Saturday, February 18, 2006

Campus Idiots & Honoring Heroes

Threats to the Cultural Element: University of Washington Activists Find Ignorance is No Impediment (Hat Tip: Black Five)

Since the 1960’s, 'Activists' have run amok on university and college campuses. When the original rebels-without-a-clue became the academic 'establishment', a self-sustaining incubator for self-important wackiness was created. The known instances of academia's lunacy are legion. But the idiocy du jour is a particularly delightful example of why children, especially those earnest, caring ones still in college and have yet to have held a REAL job, should be seen and not heard (from).

I am speaking of course, of the University of Washington’s Student Senate voting down a proposal to honor the late Greg “Pappy” Boyington.

Boyington was a UofW Engineering grad, legendary fighter pilot, leader of men, and wearer of the Congressional Medal of Honor. A common man who became a war hero, and a tragic all-too-human figure who fought his personal demons most of his life. One of my favorite quotes comes from him: "Show me a hero and I’ll show you a bum".

I saw him in 1979 at the Mojave Air Races. He was autographing and selling books and other memorabilia. I 'knew his story’ before then of course, and perhaps because of this he look just a little more stocky, older, and battered (think pugilistic) to me than he really was, but MAN! even in his sixties he looked like one tough Marine.

So why would the Student Senate turn down a proposal to honor this great American fighting man and UofW graduate?

It seems the most vocal resistance came from two ‘Senators’ for two very “PC” reasons.

‘Senator’ Ashley Miller apparently believed the honor was inappropriate because "many monuments at UofW already commemorate rich white men." One might find this somewhat 'racist' remark surprising, given Ms. Miller’s commitment to “...working to overcome institutionalized racism…”.

But it is hard to see how Ms. Miller’s goal to “produce a more informed, diverse and equal campus community” can come to fruition when she is so grossly ignorant of the reality that 'Pappy' Boyington was neither ‘rich’ nor ‘white’. He was a Sioux Indian (some ‘sniffy’ types might say he was only ‘part’ or ‘half’ Sioux, but as someone married to a Cherokee, I know if you’re ‘of the tribe’ you’re ‘in the family’), and he worked his tail off to get through school.

‘Senator’ Jill Edward's comments that she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce" would be beyond belief if one was not used to seeing this sort of thing on campuses. I am certain most Marines would expect a ‘Student Senator’ representing the weighty interests of a campus Croquet Club to espouse such an ignorant position. Kill people = defend America against the Fascists, all the same thing to some people. I suspect a lack of a positive male influence in her upbringing, but that is only a guess.

These are the faces of campus activism today. The first represents 'activism' for activism's sake. In Flight Test we identify this kind of behavior as "All Smash and No Vector". The second is representative of the kind of 'moral equivocation' that seems to manifest itself when one raises children without a firm moral compass. Such an upbringing that leads to simplistic thoughts like "War has never solved anything".


An interesting sidebar in the Culture Wars. Have you ever noticed that when something so blatant and outrageous such as this occurs and then receives widespread criticism, sophists on the left start whining about some ‘manufactured outrage’ ? Why, it's almost as if some people think that outrage isn't appropriate at times....

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