Former Arizona Cardinals football player Pat Tillman was an inspiration for almost all Americans. Even on campus, Tillman’s death in Afghanistan caused a good deal of grief, soul-searching and pride in our fighting men and women.
But not everyone on campus was pro-Tillman. According to University of Massachusetts graduate student Rene Gonzalez, Tillman was a “pendejo,” idiot, who died “in vain.” In an opinion piece published in the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Daily Collegian, Gonzalez wrote: “This was a ‘G.I. Joe’ guy who got what was coming to him. That was not heroism, it was prophetic idiocy. … He was acting out his macho, patriotic crap, and I guess someone with a bigger gun did him in.”
To his credit, University of Massachusetts president Jack Wilson condemned the filth spilling from Gonzalez’s pen, calling Gonzalez’s words “a disgusting, arrogant and intellectually immature attack on a human being who died in service to his country.” Gonzalez subsequently apologized for his column.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that a grad student was writing this kind of garbage. After all, as I explain in my book “Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth,” college campuses aren’t exactly hotbeds of patriotism. With moral relativism as the guiding ideology, the American military and al-Qaida are often moral equals on campus.
Professor Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the champion of all causes anti-American, told CNN’s Paula Zahn that the United States is responsible for “massive terrorism” and stated that “the World Court was quite correct in condemning the United States as an international terrorist state.”
Professor Dana Cloud of the University of Texas wrote a submission to the Daily Texan titled “Pledge to the Workers,” in which she advocated continued resistance on the part of terrorists: “I pledge allegiance to the people of Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, and to their struggles to survive and resist … ”
Fellow University of Texas professor Robert Jensen stated after Sept. 11 that “My anger on this day is directed … at those who have held power in the United States and have engineered attacks on civilians every bit as tragic.”
Columbia University professor Nicholas De Genova called for the death of 18 million U.S. soldiers in Iraq when he told a 3,000-student audience at a “teach-in” that he “personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.” “The only true heroes are those who find ways to help defeat the U.S. military,” he explained. And lest we forget, De Genova’s comments were made before 29 other Columbia University faculty members. No media account of the “teach-in” reported any objections by any of the other faculty on the panel at the time.
Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, called for an armed uprising against the U.S. government before a cheering crowd. “[W]e’re sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here.”
Professor Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of Southern California Law School refused to condemn anti-war protesters who carried signs reading “We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Their Officers.”
Aversion to the U.S. military is so great that the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps has been banned at many top-tier schools. Harvard University bans ROTC, as do Brown, Stanford, Yale and Columbia. Most of the bans date back to the Vietnam War and are now justified by university opposition to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the military. It’s a lame excuse, considering that ROTC was not allowed back on campus between the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The damage done to students is great. For many who never get the chance to meet a soldier, soldiers become “baby killers.” The Yale Daily News referred to military recruitment presence at Harvard Law School as “an occupation.” At one anti-war rally at UCLA, where students rarely take ROTC courses as an elective, I watched a group of marchers scream “F— the military!” as they walked past a young officer standing on the main campus walkway.
Is it any wonder that at the University of California at Berkeley, a Sept. 11 student memorial planned to ban American flags, as well as the singing of both “God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Is it totally unexpected that at Florida Gulf Coast University, employees were banned from posting stickers reading “Proud to be an American”? Should we be surprised that anti-American sentiment emanates from our universities?
Pat Tillman represented what is best about America. Why then, are we shocked when we hear anti-Tillman bile from students like Rene Gonzalez?