Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States, also served as the governor of New Jersey and spent roughly eight years as the president of Princeton University, but his record of service to his country, as well as to Princeton and the state in which it is located, did not prevent a recent, stark challenge to the continued memorialization of a Princeton school in his name by student activists who object to his record on issues of race.
Princeton trustees recently announced that, despite the challenge, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs would remain so named, but that the University must also be transparent “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.”
In the current climate of historical revisionism, wherein it is deemed not only appropriate, but mandatory, by many to review American society’s entire history through the social lenses that characterize the present day, many of the country’s greatest and most popular historical figures are being attacked for the decidedly unprogressive views they held during periods when unprogressive views were the standard of the day.
Some students at Princeton had been very vocal in their objections to Wilson’s expressed views on race, which included statements that racial segregation was “a benefit” and that blacks benefitted from slavery because, in that condition, slaves “were happy and well-cared for.”
Current GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz, a 1992 graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, previously weighed in on the dust-up over the school’s name, dismissing the protestors as “essentially pampered teenagers.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large