Just like that, General Flynn has been canceled again. Yesterday President Marc Parlange of the University of Rhode Island (URI) asked the Board of Trustees to revoke Flynn's 2014 honorary degree he received based on his military service. The URI President also requested revocation of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's honorary degree.
The board voted unanimously to revoke Flynn and Giuliani's degrees on Friday.
President Marc Parlange/URI
Parlange became the university's 12th president in August of 2021. He asked the "Honorary Degree Committee to meet to consider the possible revocation of previously awarded Honorary Degrees to Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (retired) and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani," Parlange wrote in a Jan. 17 letter.
Flynn and Giuliani apparently do not meet URI's values and standards of "truth and integrity. URI has the privilege and responsibility to sustain and preserve American democracy by inspiring and modeling good citizenship. Revoking these honorary degrees reinforces our values and allows us to lead with truth and integrity." The full letter with the Committee's findings is provided below:
Marc Parlange/URI Letter/Jan. 17,2021
UncoverDC spoke at length with General Flynn on Friday morning. Flynn said he had no idea his honorary degree was revoked until the media wrote about it, and a friend from Rhode Island called to lament that he was being "persecuted" in the press again.
Flynn spoke candidly about his disgust with the censorship and cancel culture that seeks to destroy anyone who disagrees with the political elites in this country, whether it is in government, the media, or the educational system "from top to bottom."
This isn't the first time he has been "canceled," said Flynn. He has been banned by Twitter, and, in August, Chase Bank sent a letter to his wife Lori stating they had canceled their credit cards due to "reputational risk." Chase later came back on "bended knee," said Flynn, apologizing to him for sending the letter. "I still have the voice message from Chase, saying we are on bended knee," Flynn explained, "Chase was losing all kinds of accounts and wanted us to let things go."
Flynn says that this is not the first attempt by the university to revoke his degree. Early last summer, President David Dooley, President of URI at the time, "had the courage and the guts" to contact Flynn directly because the Honorary Degree Committee had been considering revocation of his degree at the time. Flynn explained:
"Dooley actually had the guts to call me and have a conversation. The former President of the University had the courage and the guts to call me out of respect. And after our conversation, he fully understood the persecution and the corruption that I experienced. He then resigned in August after 10 years" of service to the University.
About Parlange, on the other hand, Flynn said:
"His first big ax is to remove honorary doctorates from people because of the political persecution and the political environment we're in. This guy he's just showing his colors, but he's also demonstrating where academia is today in this country. Our entire education system, top to bottom today, is progressive. It leans to only one side."
Cancel culture, says Flynn, is a huge problem today, most of it grounded in nothing but politics. He believes it lacks substance or even the slightest attempt to seek the facts of a situation if you are on the "wrong side of politics." Few even care to ask a curious question. Flynn continued:
"Mike Lindell's banks canceled his addiction charity. Direct TV, which is owned by AT&T, canceled OAN...If you supported Donald Trump, this is what it is about. Rudy Giuliani was America's mayor during 9/11, and I get this for being America's General. I fought back, using the legal system. We have to be able to fight back against this corruption that we have, not only in our government but in our academic institutions and our banking institutions. I have been banned and censored because I supported Trump."
One of the most important messages Flynn wishes to communicate is that, while he is currently a registered Republican, he has been a life-long Democrat. He says that the cancel culture should not be, and is not, something that many Democrats want to embrace in this country. Like him, Flynn says, there are many Democrats out there who are "Pro-life, pro-family, and pro-business. If you look at Biden's popularity, it is no surprise that it is down 30%. I want people to know that this is not about party ideology. This is about our country."
In Flynn's case, much of this started with the Russia investigation, which, if examined with even the slightest intellectual curiosity, shows Flynn was targeted solely for political reasons and because of fear of what he might do in his position of National Security Advisor. Few have actually read his case or the letter he wrote explaining why he agreed to cooperate and what happened to him and his family. Many people have somehow forgotten that the DOJ dismissed his case because of "gross prosecutorial abuse."
"They came after me," Flynn continued, "Because they were afraid of what I was going to be able to do as a national security adviser to organizations like the intelligence community and probably the Department of Justice—and certainly the FBI. They were afraid about what I was going to be able to do. They knew because I know how they operate. I know how these organizations are. But why do they fear Mike Flynn so much? The quick answer is because I know exactly how they operate, so if I'm in the position of national security adviser to the President of the United States, I can actually fix those things. I can fix those problems—and I mean in a big way because I will make them run like hell.
I was appointed by Barack Obama twice. I was confirmed by the Senate twice—fully with 100% unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate twice! And a year later, I'm a Russian spy? These people are nuts, that's why. And it's when we're in a really different time. This is just another example of how they're trying to cancel anybody who has a national, or my case, an international platform and has an authentic voice and who demonstrates the type of leadership that people want to have in this country."
The Dangers of Bias in Higher Institutions
A cursory look at the values espoused by the University of Rhode Island or its past and present Board of Trustees seems to show bias favoring more progressive values. Diversity and inclusion, climate change, globalism are on its agenda and are closely held convictions of many of its Trustees. One of the board members, Christine M. Heenan, "previously served as Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Advocacy at the Rockefeller Foundation, Senior Advisor at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for Harvard University...and was a White House senior policy analyst and speechwriter for President Clinton, focused primarily on health care policy and women's empowerment."
The University of Rhode Island is a public institution, and one could argue that it should be more balanced in its policies and intellectual pursuits. A university, its professors, and trustees occupy positions of influence, arguably fixing the rudder that sets the course for young, impressionable minds. Many of these "big thinkers" may go on to be leaders in their communities, in industry, or on the national stage.
However, bias alone is not the beating heart of this issue. It is how bias, opinion, and lazy speculation are now too often used as a cudgel. And it is a cudgel that destroys open dialogue and, in some cases, the lives of those it pummels. It is a cudgel that, over and over, wields the full force and power of the government, mass media, and big tech, attempting to shape and influence almost every avenue of inquiry or discourse.
We are Losing the America the Founders Envisioned
This is not the America the founders envisioned. It is most certainly not the America General Flynn, and his family served for over 30 years. The America Flynn has experienced in recent years looks more like tyranny and oppression. Flynn says it must be vigorously opposed. As Flynn wrote in his personal statement to America:
"We are a nation founded by leaders who fought tyranny and oppression to ensure that all American citizens be treated fairly and equally across this land. These constitutional and God-given rights should never be denied or disguised behind false prosecution or political persecution out of fear, hate, or an opposing voice. Those who scowl at the very core of our Republic and act from vengeance or revenge against one of us threaten the safety and security of all of us."
Fight Like A Flynn
The Flynn family is well known for its battle cry motto, "Fight like a Flynn." The family wrote a letter on Thursday in response to the threats to revoke the honorary degree.
The family's letter, shown in full below, is a testament to their courage and their dedication to the principles of American Exceptionalism, qualities many in this country seem to sorely lack. The family correctly states that URI made no attempt to inquire about the veracity of its findings, in a "cowardly and corrupt attempt to discredit our brother...endors[ing] the destructive and tyrannical cancel culture, bowing down to the woke mob and repressive forces while revealing itself to lack the intellectual capacity, fortitude or integrity that is required of an American public university in the 21st century,"
Flynn Family Letter/Jan. 20
Flynn tells the story of a young man he met in the gym on Friday who told him he was retired. Seemingly unaware of the state of the union, the young man told him, "he was going to take it easy now." He was not surprised to witness his lack of fight. Flynn believes this is the attitude that has put us here in the first place. Where others might settle into early retirement, General Flynn runs into battle as he has always done. His travel schedule and appearances are unrelenting.
Flynn and Lori, his wife of 40 years/Photo Courtesy of General Flynn
As for those who would attack or try to cancel him, he says he will tirelessly expose and fight every sling and arrow that comes his way. He hopes to awaken more Americans to the value of local activism.
"These institutions know that I am out there politically, and Rudy is out there politically. We are still fighting for this country. We are fighting to expose the election fraud, and they know our platforms—so they are doing whatever they can to hurt us and impact any credibility we might have. But, frankly, it actually strengthens me. These people don't know me."