Jerry Boykin is the kind of man you’d want teaching your sons – a good and decent man, an honorable man – a Christian man.
For the past nine years the retired lieutenant general has taught leadership and ethics at Hampden-Sydney College, a highly regarded, all-male school based in Virginia. By many accounts – he is beloved and deeply respected by students.
But Gen. Boykin will not be returning to the classroom this fall. That’s because he tells me he's been fired.
The man who was one of the original members of Delta Force and once commanded all of the U.S. Army’s Green Berets – the man who served his nation with honor and distinction for more than 36 years – was ousted because of political correctness.
In March, Gen. Boykin delivered a speech to conservatives and he referenced the national uproar over transgendered people using the ladies room.
He cracked a joke: “The first man who goes into the restroom with my daughter will not have to worry about surgery.”
But militant LGBT activists were not laughing.
“I never said homosexuals. I never said transgenders,” he told me. “I was really talking about these perverts who would use this as a way to get into the bathrooms with our wives and daughters.”
Boykin, who also serves as an executive vice president of the Family Research Council, tells me as many as 150 activists signed a letter written to the college demanding that he be fired.
“They claimed I was calling for violence against transgenders,” he told me. “Obviously it is not true. It was a figure of speech. It was meant to be humorous and it was humorous to the audience.”
You’d think that militant LGBT activists would enjoy a good rib-tickler. Apparently, they do not.
“Political correctness is absolutely out of control,” he said.
Boykin learned just recently that he would not be returning to the college – without warning.
“I was not given a chance to defend myself,” he said. “I was not given an opportunity to explain myself. That’s the sad part of it. The school is better than that.”
Apparently, they are not.
Unlike the cowardly actions of the school’s leadership, I decided to allow the school’s administration a chance to do what they denied to Gen. Boykin – a chance to explain what happened.
“His contract was simply not renewed,” said Thomas Shomo, the college’s director of communications. “We felt it was time academically for a change.”
Shomo said Boykin worked part time – teaching two classes a semester -- serving in a position that had been set up years ago for short-term residencies for professionals in the Wilson Center for Leadership.
So did the college have concerns about Gen. Boykin’s speech?
“Yes. They were of concern,” Shomo told me. “They appeared to advocate or approve of violence.”
But he denied the speech had anything to do with giving the boot to an American hero.
“The concerns about Jerry Boykin’s comments were not the determining factor in this decision,” Shomo said – noting that the timing of their decision was entirely coincidental.
I don’t know about you folks, but I feel like we’re knee-deep in Grade-A fertilizer.
“You know he [Boykin] is an outspoken person who has many controversial views,” Shomo said. “He has expressed those controversial views in various forms over the last nine years and the college has not reacted to those.”
Does the administration of Hampden-Sydney College truly believe that protecting women from would-be predators is a controversial view?
The general has many defenders – including former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
“At a time where young people are desperately seeking hope and inspiration, you would think General Boykin would be one of their most valued faculty,” Sen. Cruz wrote on Facebook. “But instead, he fell victim to the PC police.”
FRC President Tony Perkins blasted the college’s leadership.
“What a contrast between the easily intimidated leadership of Hampden-Sydney College and men, like Gen. Boykin, who have spent their lives facing real danger so that LGBT agitators could enjoy the freedoms and rights they want to deny others,” Perkins told me.
Fred Larmore, a 1974 graduate of the college and a former board member, told me that students and alumni are furious over the decision to oust Boykin.
“General Boykin got an extremely raw deal,” he told me.
Hampden-Sydney was founded in 1776. They take great pride in their motto: “Come here as boys so you may leave as men.”
“General Boykin is the perfect example of how that happens,” Larmore told me. “He is a role model for the students. There’s no question that he’s the real deal.”
What happened to Gen. Boykin should serve as a wake-up call to every freedom-loving patriot across the fruited plain.
There is a concerted effort afoot to silence any American who cherishes traditional American values.
“They [LGBT activists] are shrewd, they are very well organized and they are unified – which is something the Church is not,” Boykin told me. “The Church is not unified. Therefore, the church fights piecemeal battles rather than doing what the LGBT community did in my case. They came together and launched a major attack and they succeeded.”
So the question at hand – my fellow Americans – is what are we going to do about it?
General Boykin plans on fighting back.
“It makes me even more determined that I’m going to do everything I can to stop men from going into bathrooms with my daughters, my wife and my granddaughters,” he said. “I am going to be a very outspoken antagonist on this issue.”
Spoken like a true American patriot.
As for Hampden-Sydney College – it seems as if their leadership places a higher value on political correctness than duty and honor.
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary. His latest book is “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.” Follow him on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.