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What to Do About Woodrow
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  • Dale Fayda

    “Leftists don’t value equality, they value disruption. If they
    can disrupt by promoting equality, they will do it. If they can disrupt by
    promoting inequality, they will do that. If they can disrupt by promoting gay
    marriage, promoting Islamists, promoting the environment, promoting unregulated
    industry, promoting freedom of speech or promoting hate speech laws, they will
    do those things in order of opportunism.

    Their underlying goal is to replace existing
    ideas and systems with their own. Anything that serves that purpose is good.
    Anything that maintains the existing order is bad.”

    Daniel Greenfield

  • jeburke

    The Wilson controversy will be beneficial if it raises understanding of how the Southern Democratic consensus worked for 80 years or so – right up into the 1960s. During the reign of Jim Crow and the South’s one-party system, Democratic politicians could be liberal, moderate or conservative as long as they stood staunchly behind the South’s system of legal and socially enforced race segregation. As the first successful national Democrat since the Jim Crow system was locked down during the 1990s, Wilson was simply reflecting this Democratic consensus. I would argue that it was still in force during the New Deal period when Southern Democrats were among the most radical New Deal reformers — as long as there was no attack on the Jim Crow system. The consensus on the national level only began to break up in 1948, when northerners like Hubert Humphrey stood strongly for civil rights, prompting the Dixiecrat independent candidacy.

  • Jim__L

    Damnatio memoriae is a form of denial.

    Honest history is a playground for loves and hates, admiration and condemnation, and a recycling bin to rummage around in for ideas that may have earned another time under the sun. Or rummage around for reasons that ideas (like Progressivism) are sometimes very, very bad, they’re not hard to find.

    Keep Wilson’s name, and remember him for his place in his time.

    • f1b0nacc1

      I despised Wilson for his disregard for civil liberties, his high-handed progressivism, and his harridan of a wife. His racism was merely sour icing on an already rancid cake. I will remember him with contempt as I always have.

  • johngbarker

    If today’s students think they are going to find human beings without both good and evil in their make-up, they are certainly misreading the record of human affairs. Dualistic thinking leads to fanaticism.

  • Angel Martin

    the progressive movement is purging its own founders; which seems appropriate given that they always want to discredit what had gone on before.

    wrt to Wilson being a man of his time. Not correct. Wilson re-segregated the Federal government. http://www.salon.com/2015/11/20/woodrow_wilsons_racist_acts_were_notable_even_for_the_time_it_really_was_reprehensible_to_segregate_federal_employees/

  • rheddles

    Also, unlike figures like George Wallace, Wilson was not so much an
    innovator in racist cruelty as someone whose views were, sadly, well
    within the mainstream for his time.

    Nonsense. Wilson segregated a previously integrated Federal government and Washington D.C. Wallace sought to maintain an existing system of segregation but ultimately repented his actions. Who’s really worse? There was plenty of dissent about Wilson’s move at the time.

    Time has shown Wilson was wrong about a lot of things. When I went to school he was a great man. Learning more about him outside the class room, my opinion of him and his efforts has continually fallen. I prefer to see his name continue to be attached to Princeton to attract continuing attention to his errors.

    • J K Brown

      Exactly. Wilson was not someone who had poor opinions of Blacks, he took overt actions to deny liberty to Blacks, to remove them from jobs that they were successfully performing and to force them to use different facilities than Whites. Maybe he didn’t think it up, but he certainly was an active and aggressive implementer of racist cruelty.

      The possible benefit is two-fold. First, some may learn more than the whitewashed information about Wilson presented in school. The second, hopefully, is at least some students, maybe even Liberal Arts majors, will become skeptical of what is fed to them by their “teachers” and develop a tentative attitude toward knowledge, perhaps even seek out other sources. Maybe they’ll start to pass judgement on the general worth and soundness of statements. Next thing they know, they overcome the “school helplessness” and start to, dare we say, study.

      The factors of studying:

      1. Provision for Specific Purposes
      2. The Supplementing of Thought
      3. The Organization of Ideas
      4. Judging the Soundness and General Worth of Statements
      5. Memorizing
      6. The Using of Ideas
      7. Provision for a Tentative rather than a Fixed Attitude toward Knowledge
      8. Provision for Individuality

      –How to Study and Teaching How to Study (1909) by F. M. McMurry, Professor of Elementary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

  • qet

    If Princeton wants to re-evaluate the prominence of Wilson’s association with the university, it should do so only in the future. Doing it now accomplishes nothing other than encouraging more student whinery and bellicosity.

  • Beauceron

    This article assumes there’s going to be some sort of honest debate about what should be done about Wilson at Princeton. The whole point of the movement on college campuses is to smash debate and silence the voicing of any contrary views.

    The question is not “What to Do About Woodrow,” but what will the denizens of the Left decide to do.They will do as they choose and we will do as we are told– out of fear, out of intimidation, out of apathy. But in the end, we will do as we are told.

  • wheezer

    DO NOT give the students what they want. You cant run a college from the monkey cage.

  • Nevis07

    The whole thing is ridiculous. There are many controversial figures throughout history. If fact, it’s difficult to find any historical figures that did not do or say things that were controversial. Gandhi for example held racist views of black South Africans, yet he is consistently held up as nothing other than a hero. And what about Washington? He had slaves. Are we going to wash the founding father from our history? All we can do is learn from the past and to do that we need to be able to accurately remember individuals and events. This is nothing more than an attempt by the left to push their propagandist views on the rest of us.

  • iconoclast

    Old Woody didn’t just despise blacks. He despised the Constitution and traditional liberties as well. A perfect forefather to modern-day leftists.

  • OdinsAcolyte

    unimportant and distracting

  • jeburke

    Today’s campus “progressives” don’t care a fig that Wilson was “the founder of modern progressive thought.” Their ideological roots are more Marx, Lenin and Mao and Wilson was just another bourgeois liberal, as well as an old dead white male racist.

    It might just be a good thing to raise this issue, however, if a few more young people figure out that the Jim Crow system was neither “conservative” nor “progressive.” White politicians of the period — right up into the 1960s — could be left, right or center as long as they embraced the segregation system. Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus, who became the first high-profile resister to school desegregation in 1955 was an avid New Dealer who campaigned for governor as a liberal reformer (interestingly, Faubus’s father was a Socialist Party leader and Orville attended a short-lived leftist college). Even that notorious racist and anti-Semite of the Progressive Era, Mississippi’s Theodore Bilbo, a proud Klan member, was a progressive reformer as Governor of that stronghold of Jim Crow. These were not oddities; it was the whole point of the South’s one-party system: let southern politics play out within a solid consensus on white rule, race segregation, and Democratic Party preeminence.

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