STUDENTS at Marymount Manhattan College are demanding a professor be sacked for falling asleep during a discussion on racism.

Theatre Arts Associate Professor Patricia Simon was one of 150 staff and students participating in a Zoom meeting on June 29 to discuss implementation of an “anti-racist framework” when she appeared to doze off.

Almost 2000 students have signed a petition to have the professor sacked.

Petition organiser Caitlin Gagnon wrote:

“It has been brought to the attention of students that Patricia Simon was sleeping during the meeting … these actions have proven to the students within the program that she does not have the best interests of all students in mind, and therefore, she should not be an educator any longer.”

The professor, who according to the New York Post has worked at the College since 1991, told students she had not been asleep.

“I was looking down or briefly resting my Zoom weary eyes with my head tilted back which I must do in order to see my computer screen through my trifocal progressive lenses. I listened with my ears and heart the entire meeting.”

But neither the explanation nor the fact that Professor Simon was wearing “progressive” lenses were enough to placate the mob.

Social justice warriors have put the world on notice that you cannot be properly woke unless you are literally awake. And you must remain awoke at all times!

It is likely more of the Theatre Arts students – by Theatre Arts we really mean “Barista Science” since a degree in Theatre Arts most often leads to a job pouring lattes at Starbucks -would have signed the petition had they not been asleep in class when the document was passed around.

The saga brings to mind stories of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin who would serve dinner around 1am and insist subordinates stay with him until dawn. Advisor Nikita Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs that he would nap in the afternoon to be prepared for the all night meetings. “Things went badly for those who dozed off at Stalin’s table,” he said. He could have been writing about a university social justice meeting.

Of course, being punished for being sleepy during a wokey talk was predicted by George Orwell in his dystopian classic 1984.

“The smallest thing could give you away. . .to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.”

The Marymount Manhattan College meeting is reminiscent of a story from the Gulag Archipelago where, at the conclusion of a planning meeting, everyone rose to applaud. But no one wanted to be the first to sit down. So they clapped and clapped. Finally, on the verge of collapse, one man sat down and the rest quickly followed.

In the morning, the man who sat down first was arrested and shipped off to the gulag. The message: never be the first to stop clapping.

If he had fallen asleep they likely would have shot him. Much like the Marymount students have Professor Simon in their sights.

Wokeness is now much like an old time religion, but harsher since there is no forgiveness to be found and no redemption offered.

Speaking of which, I confess that I once fell asleep during a church service. I wasn’t bored or trying to be disrespectful. I was simply tired. I certainly wasn’t making a stand for Satan!

As for the man across the aisle who was also asleep, I can’t say who he was working for.

James Macpherson is a sought after international speaker with a background in journalism at the Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph. He previously pastored a significant church in Australia and South Africa. James' weekly Good Sauce podcast comes out every Tuesday. He also writes regularly for The Spectator.

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