Response to Wall Street Journal Opinion Piece (February 7, 2024)

Dear Colleagues,

Sometimes you see or hear something that is so outrageous and beyond the pale, so rooted in misinformation, so offensive, you wonder if it is simply ill-conceived satire or shockingly real. This was my initial reaction when I read a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece (2/2/24) about our home community. 

As I quickly learned, this piece was indeed someone’s misinformed, pernicious, and nefarious view of Dearborn, Michigan. It cannot go unchallenged.

As a staunch defender of the First Amendment, I fully support individuals’ rights to freedom of thought and speech. However, I am utterly astonished that the Wall Street Journal chose to publish this piece over many other worthy, well-researched, and reasoned submissions. What the editors choose to print or not print reflects their publication’s values and moral compass. It was disheartening and, frankly, shocking to see one of the nation's most respected and reliable news sources succumb to the pressures of sensational journalism. 

This op-ed must be repudiated and condemned for its shallow attempt to malign and divide a great American community and its residents. We must call out, in no uncertain terms, manipulative fearmongering and recycled malicious stereotypes.

Since arriving in Dearborn over five years ago, I have come to deeply respect, appreciate, and cherish this community. The city of Dearborn is a compact microcosm of the American Dream, where a diverse population works tirelessly for a better future. I am proud that our campus reflects and amplifies Dearborn’s deep community spirit of hard work, care, and support. 

In his response to the WSJ piece, Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud stated: “If anyone is wondering how they can make a difference, come to Dearborn and witness how diversity has moved our community forward.” I agree completely; we should all invite colleagues, family, friends, and strangers to visit Dearborn and experience its rich culture of opportunity and possibility.

While we have not experienced any impacts of this baneful op-ed on our campus, our Public Safety team has increased patrols and maintained a higher level of vigilance and visibility. If you see anything concerning, please call DPS at 313-593-5333 or email [email protected].

Faculty and staff may seek support through the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO). 

I know each of you joins me in recognizing how fortunate we are to live, work, learn, and play in this strong, vibrant community.

Go Dearborn,  

Domenico Grasso

Office of the Chancellor

1070 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5500
Fax: 313-593-5204