The Right Coast

February 18, 2006
Not rich, not white, and he risked his life so that spoiled American college students could sleep securely at night ...
By Gail Heriot

This story, reported in 's Political Diary, particularly annoyed me:

"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." ... -- John Fund