A Simple Request

David Williams ’14

Retired Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin is a current member of the Hampden-Sydney College Faculty who teaches as part of the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest. Currently, former Lieutenant General Boykin is teaching the following interdisciplinary courses: Leadership and Ethics, and Overview of US National Intelligence, as the Wheat Visiting Professor of Leadership. I am sure that retired General Boykin has served as a wonderful professor and is extremely knowledgeable in his field due to his numerous years of experience in the military.

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Lieutenant General Boykin
However, I take exception to his recent comments on the causes of moral decline within the military and American society. In a transcript taken by The Daily Kos, from video posted on http://www.cbn.com under the article, “FBI, CIA Face Congress over Petraeus Scandal,” Boykin, acting as Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council, said:
“What you’re seeing is, you’re seeing a declining morality in our military. I would tell you, Tony that I believe that that is very deliberate. I think the military has been targeted by the left. I think it’s been targeted, ah, largely by the gay and lesbian lobby, ah, but also by other elements of the left to bring the military down because the military has been a bastion of morality and ethics. It’s been the anchor of our society for a very long time and you can’t change our society completely until you lower the, ah, standards of the military and bring them down. That is what we’re seeing here.”
Even though Boykin was acting as an official representative of the Family Research Council, he should still be held responsible for his indirect representation of Hampden-Sydney College due to his position as a member of faculty. In light of the events that occurred on campus during election night- only nine days before this video was published- Hampden-Sydney needs to continue to push the message of equality, integration, and acceptance that has become more prevalent in the weeks following these events. The targeting of both the Democratic, or liberal, politics and the homosexual community reflect his views regarding members of our student community. Faculty members should not ostracize the students that they might teach in the future. On these grounds, I call for Professor Boykin to offer an official statement of apology to the members of the student body, faculty, staff, or community he may have offended in making these comments.

If those of you reading are under the illusion that those with liberal political views or homosexuals, whether openly identifying or not, should not attend Hampden-Sydney College you are sorely mistaken. Hampden-Sydney gentlemen should be open and accepting of every person regardless of their politics, sexual orientation, gender, race, etc. We cannot simply sweep aside the recent events on campus nor should we allow others who associate themselves with Hampden-Sydney College to falter in upholding the standards that we agreed to as a community.

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