Saturday, February 11, 2006

Education Does Not Equal Intelligence

I received my bachelor's degree at the University of Washington, and am currently in the MBA program there, so I am pretty much as hardcore of a Husky as you can get. The student senate, like most student organizations everywhere has a history of doing silly and ignorant things, but this one is just offensive.

Some students proposed a memorial for UW Alum "Pappy" Boyington, a World War II vet who received the Medal of Honor, shot down 26 Japanese planes, and spent 20 months in a Japanese prison camp. For a good description of his life see Wikipedia. If they turned this down for financial reasons, it would be one thing, but many of the students showed their ignorance and hate, for a man who showed courage and resolve far more than they could imagine themselves doing.

The notes for the meeting are here, some excerpts.

Jill Edwards said she didn’t’ believe a member of the Marine Corps was
an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.

Ashley Miller commented that many monuments at UW already
commemorate rich white men.


Karl Smith amended the first ‘whereas’ clause to strike the section “he was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform for which he was” and leaving the reference to the Navy Cross. Seconded. Objection.

He said the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington’s service, not
his killing of others.

His heroism aside, Colonel Boyington is hardly even indicative of a "rich white male", he grew up in a small logging town in Idaho and worked in road construction during his school breaks. As for the comment that a member of the Marine Corp wasn't an example of the sort of person the UW wanted to produce, well that comment is below contempt.

Some other blogs on this issue. Andrews-Dad and Paradosis

Update: Now it appears that Colonel Boyington was part Sioux Indian. So we have a "rich, white man" who was neither rich, nor white...