All ye need to know 8

The National Review reports that “Classics majors at Princeton University will no longer be required to learn Greek or Latin in a push to create a more inclusive and equitable program” because –

The history of our own department bears witness to the place of Classics in the long arc of systemic racism.

Oh? How?

Here are the appalling facts:

Our department is housed in a building named after Moses Taylor Pyne, the University benefactor whose family wealth was directly tied to the misery of enslaved laborers on Cuban sugar plantations. This same wealth underwrote the acquisition of the Roman inscriptions that the department owns and that are currently installed on the third floor of Firestone Library. Standing only a few meters from our offices and facing towards Firestone is a statue of John Witherspoon, the University’s slave-owning sixth president and a stalwart anti-abolitionist, leaning on a stack of books, one of which sports the name Cicero.

Well, good grief, that’s really too much. It’s a totally convincing case for boycotting Greek and Latin. We ask you, how can the Classics Department – the one that exists to teach Greek and Roman culture – have anything to do with the languages of the Greeks and Romans if there’s a statue in full view from its offices of an anti-abolitionist leaning on a stack of books including one that has the name of Cicero on it?

We await announcements from other departments of Princeton University that the offensive statue compels them to give up teaching everything except “Race and Identity” – the core course that must be taught:

The department of politics added a track in race and identity, which the associate chair of the department said was part of the larger initiative on campus launched by [President Christopher Ludwig] Eisgruber to address systemic racism.

“The politics of race underlies so much of U.S. political history,” said Professor Frances Lee, associate chair of the politics department.

The track will include three main requirements: an introductory core course “Race and Politics in the United States”; three other courses from the 14 focused on race and identity [??]; and a senior thesis that includes the theme.

Black students must learn that they are oppressed, and white students that they are oppressors.

“That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”