John Leo

Last year the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York announced a new scholarship named for Ho Chi Minh and another honoring Joanne Chesimard, the former Black Panther and convicted murderer of a New Jersey police officer. Both scholarships were quickly  renamed after protests.

Stanford law school paid Lynne Stewart, the lawyer who had been indicted for aiding Islamic terrorists, to speak and mentor students at a conference. After loud complaints, the school withdrew the word "mentor" from her conference title, but let her conduct mentoring and deliver her lecture anyway. Since then, she has been  convicted on all five counts of conspiring to  to aid terrorists and lying to the government.

Jeffrey Eden, a 17-year-old Rhode Island student, created a  high-school art project comparing  President Bush and Adolf  Hitler, complete with three swastikas, little toy figurines and several slogans. One slogan was "Hitler’s own justification was his own hatred."

The Bush=Hitler artwork was just what some people wanted to see. It got an A from his teacher and a silver key at the Rhode Island scholastic art awards.

Villanova University installed a memorial plaque honoring a professor who killed her Down syndrome baby and herself in 2003. After protests, including some from parents of Down children, the plaque was removed. A spokesman said, "At no time did  the university nor anyone associated with the university intend to devalue the sanctity of life."

And we have the awards that many Austrians and other Europeans wanted to bestow on Tookie Williams, the unusually vicious multiple murderer who was executed in California late last year. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize, and when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger denied Williams clemency, a drive began to remove Arnold's name from an Austrian sports stadium and dedicate the building to Tookie instead. Awards are the new frontier of moral confusion.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

Be the first to read John Leo's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.