Right Hooks

Woodrow Wilson Can Stay at Princeton

The trustees seem to want students to actually learn history.

Nate Jackson · Apr. 5, 2016

Back in November, we relayed the somewhat humorous story of a movement to oust Woodrow Wilson from Princeton. The father of the modern “progressive” movement was president of the university before becoming U.S. president, and therefore some of the school’s buildings are named after him. But the university’s Black Justice League sought to have the prominent Democrat’s name removed because of his well documented racism. As Reuters put it, “He was a leader of the Progressive Movement but supported racial segregation.” No, not “but” — those two things have always been related.

The university’s trustees announced Monday that his name and image will not be removed, though their report said the school must be honest in “recognizing Wilson’s failings and shortcomings as well as the visions and achievements that led to the naming of the school and the college in the first place.” Furthermore, they said, “Princeton must openly and candidly recognize that Wilson, like other historical figures, leaves behind a complex legacy with both positive and negative repercussions, and that the use of his name implies no endorsement of views and actions that conflict with the values and aspirations of our times.”

So they want college kids to, you know, learn history? What’s the world coming to?

Finally, and for the record once again, we’ll state that Wilson believed in a malleable Constitution and a virtually all-powerful executive. In fact, he was in many ways the originator of the elite administrative state in which know-it-all bureaucrats make thousands of decisions that solve problems in wreak havoc on our lives. And as David Harsanyi wrote in November, “Like most progressives of his era, Wilson wasn’t merely a common racist, he embraced the pseudo-scientific eugenics that would haunt millions. After his election, he didn’t only say terrible things — ‘There are no government positions for Negroes in the South. A Negro’s place in the corn field’ — he institutionalized racism in the federal government, segregating the civil service in 1913. He personally fired 15 out of 17 black supervisors appointed to federal jobs, while his postmaster general and Treasury secretary segregated their departments. He’s the only president that I know of who’s ever celebrated the Ku Klux Klan in the White House.”

Today’s Democrats are hardly different, subjecting blacks to urban poverty plantations, thus locking in their dependance and their votes. It’s past time more voters remembered that history.

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