Tuesday, February 14, 2006

UW Students say Bah! to Honoring Blacksheep

Thanks for the Memory to AndrewsDad via Ace of Spades HQ.

The University of Washington Student Senate has rejected a memorial to USMC Major Gergory "Pappy" Boyington, a hero of the Pacific Campaign in WWII, and a UW Alumni.

I'm so angry, I am finding it difficult to express my outrage. This man is one of my heros. He was a bit of a troublemaker and misfit, but he took care of his men, and he fought bravely for his country.

Among the comments that have (justifiably) drawn the most ire are these two snippets from the minutes:
"Jill Edwards didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce"
Honor, Courage, and Commitment. No, you're right, Jill, those ARE NOT what I think of when I think of the UW. Those Values are, however, what I think of when I think of the Marines.

"Ashley Miller commented that many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."
It may come as some shock to Ashley (and pardon me for displaying a bias, but that sure sounds like a very white name to me. Are mommy and daddy paying your tuition, princess?) to learn that Major Boyington is 1/4 Sioux, that he worked his way through college, and that he was not a wealthy individual.

In a way, I'm glad the measure failed. A man like Pappy deserves better than a classless, honorless, unpatriotic, stinking hole in the ground like UW. Go ahead and reject him -- the rest of us have plenty of room for him in our honor, our memory, and in our hearts.

jmchez, a reader at Ace of Spades sent an email to the Student Senate:

"Pappy" Boyington Not Fit For Memorial?

"Jill Edwards didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce" and "Ashley Miller commented that many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men."

The bizarre psychopathy that those comments exhibit, the ingratitude, the blindness, the lack of historical memory or perspective, the selfishness, the pettiness, the condescension, the downright inanity. I am so nauseated by all of that, that I really don’t even know how to react. I will only say that a great and courageous man suffered and struggled so that imbecilic miscreants today could have the right to denigrate him.

No, I do not ask for anyone to be silenced but I will speak freely myself to bare witness at the stupidity that is going on in your institution.

Shame on you, shame on you all.


Boyington was a quarter Sioux

He received a reply:

RE: "Pappy" Boyington Not Fit For Memorial?

The blog news and the draft minutes that were posted are inaccurate. First, Ashley Miller's statements were highlighting, as a point of information, that the majority of our statues are white males, which was an issue previously addressed last year, this is not in any way meant to go against Colonel Boyington. It was noted by the sponsor, Andrew Everett, about Boyington's heritage later. Jill Edwards made here statements as an individual, and it should not be assumed she speaks for all students. Karl Smith wanted to honor his service as a whole (he risked his life, endured 20 months in a POW Camp) in an effort to bring more support from a number of students who do not morally agree with war. These statements are in public discourse that has been and will always be at the University of Washington to educate on the questions and issues of our society.

I would also like to remind you that as ASUW President I cosponsored this bill to create a memorial, it failed by one vote, and a good majority of those who voted against it wanted more inclusion of other alumni who were combat veterans who earned the Medal of Honor. This week a new resolution to that effect is being drafted and introduced. In the meantime the ASUW supports veterans in other ways, currently we are supporting state legislation that will hopefully pass and guarantee veterans tuition waivers. In the end, the buck stops here, I would appreciate further comments to be made to me. Please do not participate or condone the hate-filled comments and phone calls made toward individuals in our student government. It has been appalling to see what is being said to people. I too am nauseated.

Thank you for you statements.
Lee Dunbar

If accurate, this changes my opinion of the Senate vote, and I have to give Dunbar credit for owning up to the issue. This in no way changes my opinion of ungrateful, ignorant. spoiled little children like mesdames Miller and Edwards.

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