There’s a great piece up on “CNN” by Susan Baer that we wanted to share with our readers. As we wrote about a few months ago, there has been a rising movement at Princeton University to rename the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs as well as a dorm on the university’s campus bearing the former President of the United States’ name. And why? Because Woodrow Wilson was a racist. As an example, Baer writes, “As U.S. president, he rolled back many post-emancipation gains of former slaves and their descendants and spread segregation throughout federal agencies.” Understandably, a number of Princeton students are lifting their voices to let it be known that a university that so vocally prides itself on its commitment to diversity should not proudly name one of their seminal schools after a known racist, even if he did serve as an American president.
The Black Lives Matter movement sweeping America has certainly propelled debate about schools and dorms bearing the name of Woodrow Wilson into the national conversation. But Princeton University is not alone among universities in weighing decisions on issues creating unrest. As Bear points out in her piece on the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, “At Yale, students have demanded a new name for a residential college whose namesake, John Calhoun, was a leading defender of slavery in the antebellum South. At the University of Texas, statues of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis and of Woodrow Wilson were removed from the main mall in late summer…Georgetown University is renaming two buildings that were named for past school presidents involved in the slave trade in the 1830s. After student complaints, the trustees at Amherst in Massachusetts recently voted to stop using the school’s unofficial mascot, Lord Jeff, because his namesake, Lord Jeffrey Amherst, was said to have proposed giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans.”
Do you think that Princeton should remove the name of Woodrow Wilson from its public policy school? Do you think his name should remain? What do you think about this movement at Princeton, Georgetown, Yale, Amherst, and so many other highly selective colleges across America? We’re curious to hear from our readers so post a Comment below.