Princeton to drop Woodrow Wilson's name from school, citing his "racist thinking" - CBS News


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  one week ago  •  12 comments

By:   Grace Segers (CBSPolitics)

Princeton to drop Woodrow Wilson's name from school, citing his "racist thinking" - CBS News

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

By Grace Segers

June 27, 2020 / 2:32 PM / CBS News

Discussing race in America

Princeton University will remove former President Woodrow Wilson's name from its School of Public and International Affairs and one of its residential colleges, the university's president announced on Saturday. University President Christopher L. Eisgruber said the Board of Trustees voted to remove the former president's name on Friday, citing Wilson's "racist thinking and policies."

"Wilson's racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time. He segregated the federal civil service after it had been racially integrated for decades, thereby taking America backward in its pursuit of justice. He not only acquiesced in but added to the persistent practice of racism in this country, a practice that continues to do harm today," Eisgruber said in his letter, adding that the former president's "segregationist policies make him an especially inappropriate namesake for a public policy school."

The board had previously considered removing Wilson's name after student activists protested in 2015, but the Wilson Legacy Review Committee had determined not to remove the name in 2016. Eisgruber said the board reconsidered that decision this month "as the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks drew renewed attention to the long and damaging history of racism in America."

The public policy school will instead be known as the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and the residential college will be renamed First College.

Eisgruber acknowledged in his statement that this action may seem controversial, because Wilson "remade Princeton" when he was president of the university.

"Part of our responsibility as a University is to preserve Wilson's record in all of its considerable complexity," Eisgruber said.

"Princeton is part of an America that has too often disregarded, ignored, or excused racism, allowing the persistence of systems that discriminate against Black people," Eisgruber said. "When Derek Chauvin knelt for nearly nine minutes on George Floyd's neck while bystanders recorded his cruelty, he might have assumed that the system would disregard, ignore, or excuse his conduct, as it had done in response to past complaints against him."

In a separate statement, the Board of Trustees said they must "ask whether it is acceptable for this University's school of public affairs to bear the name of a racist."

"As our nation wrestles with its history in this moment, it is important, especially at institutions committed to seeking the truth, that we recognize the complexity of historical figures and that we examine the entirety of their impact on the world," the Board's statement said. "Though we conclude today that Wilson's racism makes him an inappropriate namesake for the University's School of Public and International Affairs, we recognize that Princeton has a continuing responsibility to remember his achievements even as we honestly and publicly contend with his failures."

Monmouth University also removed Wilson's name from a university building on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

The schools' decisions come amid a nationwide debate about federal monuments and statues which portray controversial historical figures, such as Confederate officials.


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1  seeder  JohnRussell    one week ago

I dont mind them taking Wilson's name down, but why did it take nationwide protests? 

Sean Treacy
2  Sean Treacy    one week ago

And the first progressive president bites the dust.

3  seeder  JohnRussell    one week ago

I'd have WAY MORE respect for Princeton if they had done this before the nationwide protests. 

3.1  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @3    one week ago

So they can't win then. Nothing they do is worthy. Why bother then?

3.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Tacos! @3.1    one week ago

Wilson didnt become racist on Black Lives Matters say so. 

Mark in Wyoming
4  Mark in Wyoming    one week ago

So how long before FDR gets crucified  for his beliefs in segregation?

4.1  Tacos!  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @4    one week ago

Any second now.

5  Tacos!    one week ago

This is dumb. It's just virtue signaling.

the board reconsidered that decision this month "as the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks

None of which had anything to do with Woodrow Wilson, the School of Public and International Affairs, the residential college, or Princeton in general.

Wilson "remade Princeton" when he was president of the university

And THAT is why shit at the school is named for him. That's the reason. None of it celebrates his racism or any other flaw the man had. He was being honored for a good thing. And now the school won't even show that meager level of gratitude or honor because yet again we found an imperfect human being who must be condemned for all time.

And the people at Princeton are going to publicly pat themselves on the back for their high level of wokeness.

We are on the road to becoming the most sterile, heartless civilization in history.

6  XDm9mm    one week ago

Maybe Princeton should delve deeper into the origins of it's own name then.

It's named after the town of Princeton.  Princeton was named after the King William III who by changing several judges greatly enhanced slavery in England and the 'colonies'.

Plus they also need to consider their own past:

Princeton University's position on pre-Civil War disputes over slavery and abolitionism tended to fall on the conservative side, not so much favoring slavery as opposing radical antislavery.


An old saying biblical saying comes to mind:

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Paula Bartholomew
7  Paula Bartholomew    one week ago

Now people want the John Wayne Airport (Orange County CA) changed back to its original name OC Airport due to his racist views from an old Playboy interview.  Dead politicians are not the only ones getting the PC boot it would seem.

7.1  Tacos!  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @7    one week ago

It's so dumb. They didn't name the airport after him because of some sketchy stuff he said in one interview (or even ten). They did it to honor all the good things he did for America, his industry, and his community. It's like they want to erase 99% of the man for less than 1% of him.

Paula Bartholomew
7.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Tacos! @7.1    one week ago

My late husband was the ultimate JW fan and this would horrify him.  Me personally, they can call it a toasted bagel for all I care.  There is a bank in L.A. (Great Western) that has a statue of JW as he was the spokesman for a number of years.  I suspect with all the press the airport thing is getting, it will soon be gone also.


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