Fred Grimm

Barry U tees off on Donald Trump, pulls golf team from Doral

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is greeted by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi as she introduces him to speak at a campaign event in Tampa on March 14.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is greeted by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi as she introduces him to speak at a campaign event in Tampa on March 14. AP

Such a trifling irritant for the great Trump. A small act of moral conscience, amounting to hardly a pinprick in the impervious bullhide of a blustering demagogue.

I doubt his lackeys even bothered to tell the presidential candidate, busy scarfing up votes in the Northeast, that a little Catholic university in South Florida run by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian had decided to sever its relationship with Donald Trump.

To be exact, Barry University has announced that the school’s golf team will no longer frequent the fabulous course at Trump National Doral. Yeah. I know. Just a piddling college golf team from a school not called Notre Dame or Villanova or Georgetown, which was allowed to take three or four practice sessions a season at the famed club.

Trump hardly cares, of course, that the nuns at Barry are boycotting his luxurious playground. It sure as hell won’t affect his bottom line. His crazy talk already cost him business relationships with Macy’s and Perfumania and NASCAR and Farouk Systems and the men’s clothing manufacturer PVH Corp, along with broadcasters Televisa and Univision and NBC. None of that persuaded him to moderate his bigoted pronouncements about Mexicans, Muslims and women.

Even the PGA Tour, in its tepid way (careful not to damage the tour’s symbiotic relationship with the golf course king), scolded Trump, putting out a statement that his intemperate remarks were “inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”

So does it matter that some Dominican nuns joined the chorus? It matters. Florida is always in need of moral guidance.

A statement issued from the office of Sister Linda Bevilacqua, Barry’s president, said the school doesn’t “engage in business relationships” with outfits whose “guiding principles are antithetical to the University’s core commitments of inclusive community and/or social justice.”

Barry insisted that the decision was not political — which set off hoots of derision from right-wing websites. The statement called avoiding Trump enterprises a “fulfillment of our values.”

The Dominican Sisters of Adrian, part of an order that’s been around since 1233, are pretty adamant about this social justice stuff. Particularly when it comes to immigrants. The order, based in Adrian, Michigan, has called on Congress “to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes reunification of families and a path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants living in the United States. Until such time as this is achieved we support a moratorium on deportations.”

And the nuns demand “an end to state legislation that criminalizes people with undocumented status; denies people basic human services; and creates a climate of fear in immigrant communities and in our country.”

Donald Trump promises, if elected, that his administration would do just about the opposite. It’s easy to see why the nuns would classify his guiding principles as “antithetical to the university’s core commitments.” (Some might quibble with the notion that he has any real core commitments, but the nuns apparently take him at his word.)

So it’s hardly surprising that Barry University would take a stand. What’s more shocking in Florida has been the support Trump has received from the state’s two most powerful elected officials.

Maybe Attorney General Pam Bondi’s endorsement shouldn’t have been unexpected. Back in 2013, when Bondi was revving up her reelection campaign, some of her fellow state attorneys general were going after the for-profit college rip-off called Trump University. But not Pam, despite scads of complaints against Trump U in Florida. Not after she received that nice $25,000 campaign contribution from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

The real puzzle here has been Gov. Rick Scott, who endorsed Trump last month. Whatever else you say about Scott — and newspaper columnists have whacked him regularly — the governor is not given to bigoted bombast or sexist innuendo or nasty insults. I don’t much care for Scott’s policies but he has never sounded as if he was making them up as he went along. Not like the presidential candidate he’s backing.

The governor frequently talks about his religion. The mystery becomes how his religious principles allowed him to hook up with a guy like Donald Trump.

Rick and Pam could both use a little moral guidance from the Dominican Sisters of Adrian.

  Comments