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New Civility Update: Columbia University Students Heckle Purple Heart Veteran

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By Doug Powers  •  February 20, 2011 04:33 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

This is hardly surprising since we’re talking about the same university that invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak, but even still, words escape me:

Columbia University students heckled a war hero during a town-hall meeting on whether ROTC should be allowed back on campus.

“Racist!” some students yelled at Anthony Maschek, a Columbia freshman and former Army staff sergeant awarded the Purple Heart after being shot 11 times in a firefight in northern Iraq in February 2008. Others hissed and booed the veteran.

Maschek, 28, had bravely stepped up to the mike Tuesday at the meeting to issue an impassioned challenge to fellow students on their perceptions of the military.

“It doesn’t matter how you feel about the war. It doesn’t matter how you feel about fighting,” said Maschek. “There are bad men out there plotting to kill you.”

Several students laughed and jeered the Idaho native, a 10th Mountain Division infantryman who spent two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington recovering from grievous wounds.

Pathetic, but predictable. The inexcusable treatment of Anthony Maschek by people who won’t understand or appreciate the US military until there are Chinese tanks sitting in the lobbies of their dormitories and suicide bombers in Schermerhorn Hall (and probably not even then) isn’t necessarily because he’s a military veteran — it could be because his name isn’t Bradley Manning.

**Wasn’t the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” supposed to open the arms of the left toward the military?

**Rhetorical question, no need to answer

Glenn Reynolds:

I note that this is also more evidence that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was just a lame excuse to cover for generic hostility to the military, something made clear by numerous speakers at the event including some Columbia faculty. I also note that in these days of constrained budgets and an angry, aware electorate, heavily subsidized sectors like higher education — and Columbia, despite its private nature, is itself heavily dependent on government subsidies — should think twice about appearing anti-American. It’s not the 1960s anymore.

Maybe we should add Columbia to the “defund-a-palooza” wish list.

I’ll close with an observation from Jammie Wearing Fool:

This is where we are now in America: People laugh and sneer at wounded veterans. Yet go and make fun of a liberal and it’s basically a hate crime.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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