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It’s Never Sunny In Wokeadelphia

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A lazy, entitled bum of a college student? Whoever heard of such a thing! Look, I’m always on the side of a teacher having to deal with an academic layabout, but holy cow, you have to read the whole Sunny Singh thread to observe her total woke meltdown. Sunny Singh,  a British university, is one fragile lady — but as usual with the woke, she has learned how to weaponize her fragility. Here are excerpts:

Strap in, everybody — Dr. Singh has been triggered! Here comes female trouble! More:

Shaking? Because of a lazy undergraduate who, on evidence of his behavior, doesn’t belong in a university classroom, not because of his sex or color, but because he doesn’t have what it takes to learn? Here’s a thought: maybe the student’s words are not a judgment on Dr. Singh’s competence or worth, but rather an expression of his own self-centeredness (i.e., that he shouldn’t have to do anything that he doesn’t want to do, or read anything he doesn’t want to read)? If so, then he has met his perfect match in Dr. Singh, who cannot interpret anything except through the self-aggrandizing lens of identity politics. Let’s join her again, mid-quiver:

Let me make sure you have this right: the university has mandated an “inclusive” curriculum, but because teachers like Sunny Singh have to risk encountering in the classroom a lazy student who doesn’t want to read the assigned text, Sunny Singh is a martyr? It gets worse — or better, depending on how you look at it:

Think of how many students were introduced to those books in this class, and learned true and beautiful things from this encounter with the texts. They’re all invisible to Sunny Singh, for whom the entire thing was ruined because of one lazy student’s completely ordinary reaction. Sunny is having a public meltdown over her contamination. Seriously, this is like a pious Muslim learning that the mystery meat she just ate in Mecca was a pork chop.

More:

Is she a good teacher? I dunno, but it seems to me that even an average teacher would not be so thrown by an encounter with a lazy student. And that a good teacher would make an attempt to awaken the lazy student to the wonders of literature, which to which his own slothfulness is blinding him, but that he may overcome with effort. If Virgil appearing to Dante in the selva oscura, and meeting with resistance from the putative pilgrim, had had the heart of Sunny Singh, he would have thrown himself on the ground and had a hissy fit. Instead, when the vice that halted the pilgrim Dante was not slothfulness, but cowardice, Virgil replied (trans. Anthony Esolen):

“If I have understood your words aright,”
replied the shade of that greathearted man,
“your spirit has been bruised by cowardice,

Which many a time so weighs a mean’s heart down
it turns him from a glorious enterprise —
as shadows food the horse that shies away.

That you may slip this worry and go free,
I’ll tell you why I came and what I heard
when first I pitied you your misery.”

Do you see what Virgil does here? He responds to the sinner Dante with pity in his ignorance — an ignorance that immiserates Dante. Virgil tells him a story about how he, Virgil, came to be present as Dante’s liberator from ignorance and vice. Three heavenly graces — the Madonna, St. Lucia, and Beatrice — called him to be an emissary of grace to the pilgrim. Virgil concludes:

“What is it, then? Why stand here, why delay?

Why let such cowardice come take your heart?

Why are you not afire and bold and free,

 

Seeing that three such ladies blessed in Heaven

care for your healing from their court above,

and what I tell you holds forth so much good?”

Isn’t that marvelous? Rather than hate on Dante in his vice and ignorance, Virgil responds with compassion, and convinces Dante that his hesitance to go on this journey is a sign of his mental slavery, and that he is being offered a way out thanks to the fact that good people love him, and care what happens to him.

How do you suppose that slothful young man would have responded had his professor, Dr. Singh, reacted that way? We don’t know. But I guarantee that shrieking and leaving the classroom and having a very public Twitter meltdown will convince no one that Dr. Singh cares about them, that she has any life-saving wisdom, or the slightest authority to proclaim the truths found in these books to students. The student failed that day, it is true — but the greater failure was the teacher’s.

As it happened, the porcelain professor did not resign:

Her “safety”? All because a kid didn’t do his homework. The greatest danger to Sunny Singh’s safety is Sunny Singh, who, on evidence presented here, is at all times two tics away from a gran mal seizure.

She’s reaching the end of her woke journey:

And finally, the magnificent conclusion, when the pilgrim Sunny Singh achieves the beatific vision within the Social Justice religion:

I remind you that what triggered this entire tweetstorm that culminated in an actual grown woman professor having a shrieking public meltdown and imagining herself as a martyr (“killed”) was a student saying he didn’t do his reading assignment because he didn’t get into the book.

Here’s a link to the whole thread. Could you imagine being in her classroom? Could you imagine how frightening it would be to have such a person holding authority over your educational future? How free is anybody in that classroom to dissent from the professor’s point of view, either validly or not, when the professor construes everything as a world-historical clash of good and evil?

Sunny Singh models how to achieve and maintain power in the current academic hothouse — proclaim one’s own victimhood, accuse anyone you don’t like of racism, sexism, and so forth, and compel everyone else (in her case, a white man!) to fall all over themselves to calm you down. But she does not model virtue, strength, or resilience. With this pathetic display, she showed that she is a weakling and a bully. If you want to learn something about literature, avoid Dr. Singh’s class, is the lesson here. She’s a laughingstock.

Any academic institution constructed on a foundation that privileges people like Sunny Singh is going to fall, and deserve to fall, because it is decadent. If the university were healthy, it would tell its Sunny Singhs to get hold of themselves, and to get back in there and teach the damn class. If the kid doesn’t want to do the reading, and he won’t be persuaded that it is to his benefit, then flunk him, and move on. He doesn’t deserve to be at the university anyway, if that’s his attitude. But like I said, Sunny Singh and that anonymous doofus have a lot in common, in that they see the education process as self-centered and therapeutic.

Is this the end result of critical theory, “social justice,” and that sort of thing? To turn people into woke tyrants who are incapable of confronting anything that bothers them? Sure looks like it. Notice how it all began: with Dr. Singh turning what is pretty clearly a case of bog-standard student laziness into “racism” and “sexism.” This is a totalitarian mindset: one that renders all of life political (in this case, identity politics). A system that privileges people like Sunny Singh is not a healthy system, and it will eventually die — but not before wreaking a lot of destruction.

Ask yourself: are the students in that class more likely to believe that reading literature, especially from “diverse” authors, is a valuable endeavor after witnessing their professor’s tantrum? Or are they more likely to think that studying this stuff is likely to make you a crazy, woke bully? Whatever else you might say about it, Prof. Singh destroyed her authority with her totally unprofessional behavior.

If you are masochistically inclined to this sort of thing, here is a link to a 2014 panel discussion on What Intersectionality Means To You. The link takes you to the beginning of Dr. Singh’s remarks.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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