The raspberry statement

John wrote about the story of the Columbia undergraduate and Army veteran who was jeered at the town hall meeting held to discuss the possible return of ROTC to campus. The student is Anthonhy Maschek, a 28-year-old freshman with three combat tours to his credit. I want to add a few notes to the story.
Maschek was grievously injured in the course of his service. He was jeered and laughed at when he asserted that there were forces out in the world seeking to kill Americans.
Even if what Maschek had said were false, the jeering and the laughter would be almost unbelievably, almost inhumanly, indecent. It tells a man who has sacrificed greatly that his sacrifice was meaningless. What kind of person would do that?
But what Maschek had to say was obviously true and germane to the discussion. The jeering and the laughter mark out those from whom it came as stupid. Stupid in an Ivy League kind of way.
The story has received serious and continuing coverage at the Columbia Spectator Last night I listened to the audio of the town hall that had been posted by the Spectator. The audio is accessible here. It should be noted that the jeering and the laughter emanated from what sounds like only a few students. (And, the Post to the contrary notwithstanding, I can’t hear anyone call Maschek a racist.)
Columbia is of course the campus whose students gave us James Simon Kunen’s The Strawberry Statement and the related antics of 1968. I would guess that the sentiments expressed by the idiotic left-wing students who can be heard jeering at Maschek may have been considerably more widespread on campus in 1968 than they are today.
It is to Columbia’s credit that Maschek is enrolled as a student there. The school badly needs what he has to offer — in several respects. The Spectator quotes Maschek on his treatment at the ROTC town hall:

Comments by a small number of individuals at the town hall meeting have not changed my positive experiences at Columbia. Thus far, my fellow students have been very interested in hearing about my past life and military experiences. Columbia has been attempting to get more veterans to share their experiences here, and the atmosphere here has been supportive despite the actions of a very small minority of the town hall participants.

At the Weekly Standard, Cheryl Miller notes the campus support for the return of ROTC. From The Strawberry Statement to the raspberry statement, the times they are a-changin’ (or so I hope).


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