Woodrow Wilson
Image from the Library of Congress.

Princeton’s rejection of Wilson could have a domino effect

Chrissy Clark explains for the Washington Free Beacon how Princeton University’s treatment of its former president and former U.S. President Wooodrow Wilson could have a broader impact.

Princeton University’s decision to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus could have a domino effect on other institutions bearing the name of the Democratic president.

Princeton’s board of trustees voted to change the names of the university’s public policy school and one of its residential colleges, both of which bore the name of the professor-turned-president, in light of his “racist thinking and policies.” The Ivy League college’s decision has driven others to scrutinize Wilson’s legacy. A petition created by the D.C. History and Justice Collective asking the city to change the name of Woodrow Wilson High School has garnered thousands of signatures since Princeton made its announcement.

“We are urging you to join … Princeton University in taking this white supremacist off the pedestal on which we have left him for far too long,” the letter to D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser reads. “Washington may not be the fastest to end the shameful allegiance to a tarnished figurehead, but it can yet be the model for affirming our civic values over the racist history that continues to shape our city’s inequities today.”

The D.C. History and Justice Collective, which was created in 2018, did not respond to a request for comment.

The petition has already found allies among elected officials in Washington. Ruth Wattenberg, Ward Three member of the D.C. State Board of Education, told the Washington Free Beacon that Wilson does not deserve the honors that have been bestowed upon him. …

… The petition to rename Wilson High School took off after Princeton’s board of trustees announced on June 26 that its public policy school will be known as the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and its residential college, “First College.” Some on campus objected to the move.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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