- - Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Over the last several months, I have witnessed a gruesome take-down of a college professor from my Alma Mater, Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, by a pack of cancel culture leftists aided and abetted by a woke mob of the university’s administrators.  They masquerade as college administrators, but their real purpose is to tear down American culture and indoctrinate a whole new generation in the creed of the social justice warrior and weed out or at least silence those who disagree.  

The victim taken down was math professor Gregory Manco who made the mistake of expressing his views on Twitter regarding the proposal of Americans being forced to pay reparations for the sin of slavery and his opposition to the Biden Administration’s policy of force-feeding U.S. government employees with critical race theory.

For this transgression, the cancel culture “lions” roared and immediately began stalking him with the intent to take him down.

Following the left’s standard playbook, all it took was launching a few anonymous allegations of racism on social media.  The arrow was launched, and the victim was instantly savaged, shamed, and tarred with allegations of racism. 

Within hours, the woke administrators at Saint Joseph’s University joined in on the attack treating the professor as guilty until proven innocent.  They unceremoniously removed him from the classroom and informed his students that he would not be back for the rest of the semester.  He was then suspended and put on administrative leave to await an “investigation” by the university.     

That “roar” of the woke lions was heard across the campus, with all of the university community understanding the not-so-subtle message.  If you go against the orthodoxy, you will be punished.  How dare you disagree with reparations?  You must be a racist!  Then, after an 82-day investigation reminiscent of the French revolution’s Tribunal révolutionnaire, the wounded professor was left dangling for another month before being told that his services were no longer needed.  

The woke mob won this first round, and the professor is out of a job thanks to what has come to be known as cancel culture, which is now endemic on America’s college campuses.  The chill on free speech on the Saint Joe’s campus is now palpable, and the message is unmistakable.  You better go along with the mob and its orthodoxy, or you better keep your mouth shut.

However, the university may have overplayed its hand.  There are a few inconvenient facts that may well come back to haunt the University.  The most important one is that the University’s independent investigator provided a confidential report to the university leadership, which stated unambiguously that there was “no evidence” that Professor Manco violated any of the University’s rules.  In fact, the Report contained the phrase “no evidence’ more than a dozen times.

Despite these unambiguous findings, a cabal of the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion officials refused to accept the finding that the professor was innocent of the charges. They unfairly and improperly hatched a plan to further besmirch the professor, and, in the end, they found a way to lie and make sure the professor was out of a job.

Given these provable facts, don’t be surprised if there is another round in this fight.  The professor has not surrendered, and he has met with a law firm specializing in Defamation lawsuits, and there may well be one or more multi-million-dollar lawsuits on the horizon.  

More concerning from the University’s point of view, there is now a growing awareness among the alumni that the university has drifted way too far to the left in recent years. The firing of Professor Manco has been a catalyst for a substantial number of alumni expressing their displeasure with promises of cutting off any further contributions to the school.  There may well be emerging an alumni rebellion akin to the parent-led rebellion against Critical Race Theory that is storming school boards across the country and gaining national attention. 

Multiple alumni have already notified the University that they have removed the University from their estate plan.  If this movement also catches fire among the parents of current students who are forking out $60,000 in tuition for what one group of alumni have called “…nothing but an expensive re-education camp,” then the university’s leadership will be having some sleepless nights.

I am reminded of the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight, the number one song in the U.S. in the early 1960s and made even more popular in the 1990s when the Disney movie The Lion King dominated the nation’s movie screens.  The lyrics spoke of a lion that lived nearby to a village and that the villagers could sleep without fear this one night because the lion was sleeping.

If I were the University leadership, I would not be sleeping well, for there may be a full pride of lions (both wealthy alumni and tuition-paying parents), and they won’t be sleeping any longer.  They will be looking to take down the University leadership responsible for turning Saint Joseph’s University into that “expensive reeducation camp.”  

• Dr. Christopher Lehman, Sr., Ph.D. is a 1971 graduate of Saint Joseph’s University who served in the White House from 1983-1985 as Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to President Ronald Reagan.

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