As I recall, one of my best friends from high school was a member of the great deliberative body that is the UW Student Senate. I don’t think his generation of student senators would have undertaken a misguided protest like the one described in the following paragraph.
From John Fund of the Wall Street Journal:
‘Pappy’ Shot Down by Campus Ignoramuses
It’s well known that college students today aren’t as educated in our nation’s history as they should be, but it’s still hard to grasp the mind-bending political correctness just displayed by the University of Washington’s student senate at its campus in Seattle.
The issue before the Senate this month was a proposed memorial to World War II combat pilot Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, a 1933 engineering graduate of the university, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service commanding the famed “Black Sheep” squadron in the Pacific. The student senate rejected the memorial because “a Marine” is not “an example of the sort of person UW wants to produce.”
Digging themselves in deeper, the student opponents of the memorial indicated: “We don’t need to honor any more rich white males.” Other opponents compared Boyington’s actions during World War II with murder.
“I am absolutely bewildered that the Student Senate voted down the resolution,” Brent Ludeman, the president of the UW College Republicans, told me. He noted that despite the deficiencies of the UW History Department, the complete ignorance of Boyington’s history and reputation by the student body was hard to fathom. After all, “Black Sheep Squadron,” a 1970s television show portraying Colonel Boyington’s heroism as a pilot and Japanese prisoner of war, still airs frequently on the History Channel. Apparently, though, it’s an unusual UW student who’d be willing to learn any U.S. history even if it’s spoonfed to him by TV.
As for the sin of honoring a rich white male, Mr. Ludeman points out that Boyington (who died in 1988) was neither rich nor white. He happened to be a Sioux Indian, who wound up raising his three children as a single parent. “Colonel Boyington is luckily not around to see how ignorant students at his alma mater can be today,” says Kirby Wilbur, a morning talk show host at Seattle’s KVI Radio. Perhaps the trustees and alumni of the school will now help educate them.
— John Fund
Is this what people mean when they discuss–in reverential tones–great, open-minded, liberal universities?
I think UW profs need to teach less of the “white male screwed everyone” critique of history and more history. I understand the discontent over the war in Iraq, what I don’t get is the venom directed to WWII heroes. Is their knowledge of that war limited to repeated screenings of “Pearl Harbor”?
Note to UW students: America was not the aggressor in WWII. The Japanese bombed us at Pearl Harbor. Fascists in Germany, Italy, and Japan caused the death of millions. Heroes like Boyington helped bring that war to a successful conclusion and end that fascist threat. I repeat the call I first made on Pearl Harbor Day 2005. Resist the urge to rent, for the umpteenth time, fanatical conspiracy theory based movies like “Syriana” (come on, do you really think the CIA is that good? give me a break), and pick up “Band of Brothers.” US Armed Forces were made up of men like these and Boyington who joined because they believed in America and hated Hitler and Tojo. On the lines in Europe or in the skies over the Pacific, these men fought for each other.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court stuck it to schools who maintained Vietnam era bans on campus recruiters. They ruled that schools receiving federal funding had to allow military recruiters on campus. Makes sense, right? This hasn’t stopped these schools and their students from protesting most vigorously the recruiters presence on campus. I love the irony of a group that protests the very existence of an organization that maintains their freedom of speech. Time and again soldiers in Iraq are quoted as saying that they don’t agree with anti-war protesters, but that they still fight for their right to publicly disagree. Do you think the islamifascists would allow them their right to free speech? Lest you think 9/11 was anything other than a part of an ongoing attack on our way of life and right to freedom and liberty, think again.
Hopefully someone at UW with more sense than the student senate will step up and push through the Boyington memorial. As a part of the ceremony to dedicate the memorial I suggest a short history lesson about Boyington. Maybe then the students will understand the honor associated with serving this country in the United States Marine Corp. Seriously, who would you rather have represent you–this fatuous student senate or Medal of Honor winner Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington?
I’ll take Boyington.