Good morning, and happy Memorial Day. Friday’s quote was Connecticut track star Chelsea Mitchell lamenting several losses to biological males. Today Fiddleheads looks to give back; Princeton erases Greek and Latin from its Classics curriculum; a brief tribute to those who lost their lives; and China further backs off its One Child policy.
Enjoy the long weekend.
Fiddleheads is perched at the intersection of Lansing and Albion. It’s a quaint California-based café that announced it will charge patrons still choosing to wear a mask or bragging about their vaccine an additional $5; that’s the proverbial stick. The carrot went into effect in April, when the owner announced 50% off for any customers who threw their masks in the trash before ordering. The newest placard signs went up on May 24 next to its “Get your FREE COVID-19 vaccine card here!” sign, which has since been pulled down. What hasn’t changed is its promise to deliver all fees to the victims of domestic abuse—a worthy cause, to be sure.
You might think that any self-respecting Classics department would require some courses in Greek and Latin. Not at Princeton University, where faculty says “new urgency” forced it to create a more “inclusive” and “equitable” kind of program to combat “systemic racism.” According to the Princeton Alumni Weekly, intermediate proficiency in either language, as well as any requirement to take related courses, will be removed. “We think that having new perspectives in the field will make the field better,” says Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber. You may recall Eisgruber from last year after he made the university the subject of a civil rights investigation by the Department of Education when he declared that “racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in structures of the University itself.” Eisgruber has since doubled- and tripled-down, forcing students to take an introductory course on “Race and Politics in the United States” and some mandatory upper-level requirements focused on race and identity, as opposed to courses having anything to do with Classics.
While America goes outside for some backyard barbeque and family fun this Memorial Day, it is important to remember the men and women who lost their lives to defend the freedom and make this holiday possible. It is a tradition we’ve held dear since the end of the Civil War, where more than 622,000 Americans lost their lives. The holiday as such has only been around since 1968, though, when Congress minted a three-day weekend through its Uniform Monday Holiday Act, officially one year after Congress named the holiday “Memorial Day.” Whatever its origin, we should never forget the privileges we enjoy because others paid the ultimate price. For those who lost their lives, R.I.P.
Standing athwart Malthusian predictions of overpopulation, China is facing a different sort of population crisis. Early this morning, China announced an end to its two-child policy in a demographic emergency. Its three-child policy is supposed to fill in the gaps opened by the Communist Party’s governmental programs, which depend heavily on transfer payments from the working population to the elderly. Such a quick reversal from its 2016 decision, which allowed parents to have two children, means the bean counters in China must be a bit more worried about impending financial strife than they are letting on.