Since nearly all of my family hails from Wyoming, I’m proud to claim cowboy blood.
My grandfather herded cattle along the Chisholm Trail. He later served as the sheriff in Rawlins, Wyoming.
I even herded cattle in Torrington, Wyoming, just after a graduated from high school.
The University of Wyoming recently announced a new slogan to attract students: The world needs more cowboys. That seems right on target to me.
But the social justice warriors have latched onto another ridiculous cause.
“I am not the only person for whom the word ‘cowboy’ invokes a white, macho, male, able-bodied, heterosexual, U.S.-born person,” said associate professor Christine Porter. She added that the slogan is “unacceptable” because the word “boy” excludes anyone who identifies as a woman.
Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that Porter got her degree from Cornell University, a bastion of leftist claptrap in New York.
Author C. J. Box, a Wyoming native and mystery writer, does some wonderful takedowns of the elites, like Porter, who occasionally frequent his home state—the hedge fund bigwigs who buy ranches so they can parade around in jeans, boots, and cowboy hats for a few weeks a year; the Easterners who frequent dude ranches; the jet set who make Jackson Hole their retreat; and the animal rights activists who care more about elk and antelope than human beings.
Joe Pickett, a University of Wyoming graduate and the main character who solves more murders than Jessica Fletcher did in Cabot Cove, Maine, may have to turn his attention to the know-nothings at his alma mater.
Fortunately, Wyoming residents have turned up the heat on the university’s faculty after the complaints about the new campaign. To the lifers, being called cowboys fits just fine.
But, as Willie Nelson put it:
Cowboys ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to hold
They’d rather give you a song then diamonds or gold
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levis and each night begins a new day
If you don’t understand him and he don’t die young
He’ll probably just ride away
Mamas’ don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such
Sing it, Willie!