Princeton rejects US President Woodrow Wilson's name for racist thinking

Princeton rejects US President Woodrow Wilson's name for racist thinking
Princeton University is removing Woodrow Wilson's name from his school of public policy and one of its residential universities, as trustees concluded that "the 28th president's racist thinking and policies made him" an inappropriate name. "According to a statement released on Saturday, Ivy League school administrators made the decision on Friday.

It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of America's racial heritage. The Black Lives Matter movement is activated by a series of high-profile deaths of African Americans, resulting in the removal of memorials, flags, and symbols of racism across the United States.

Removing Wilson in Princeton may be the most prominent work ever. The school of politics will now be known as "The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs".

Wilson was president of Princeton from 1902 to 1910 and, as a Democrat, served as governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. Born in 1856 in Virginia, Wilson spent his early years in the South, including Georgia. South Carolina.

"Wilson's racism was important and consistent, even by the standards of his own time," Princeton President Christopher L. Igisuber said in the statement.

Civil Services

He said that after decades of being racially integrated, he seceded the federal civil service, leaving the United States in search of justice. Still hurt today. "

Princeton established its School of Public and International Affairs in 1930, in which Wilson was interested in preparing students for leadership. It was named in 1948 in Wilson's honor, according to the Princeton website.

Wilson's "Fourteen Points" speech to Congress in 1918 led to a Declaration of Principles for Peace, which was then used to end the World War. He was noted for his role in the Paris Peace Conference, the war between Germany and the allied powers, and the signing of the Versailles Treaty ending the post-war establishment of the nations.

During his first term, Wilson oversaw the creation of the modern central bank of the United States, signing the Federal Reserve Act in 1913.

Full history

Established in 1746, Princeton states that it is the fourth oldest university in the United States. It has been run by only 20 presidents, dating back to the colonial era. It is also among the richest universities. As one of the oldest universities in the United States, Princeton's history is steeped in race and gender. He admitted his first black college students in 1945 after other Ivy League schools. He did not accept women as university students until 1969, and yet, he did so in protest against some alumni.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, one of the school's most talked-about black students, called Princeton "extremely white and very masculine" in her autobiography, "Bikming."

"If I had felt in high school that I had represented my neighborhood, now in Princeton I represented my race," he wrote. "Every time I found my voice in class or participated in an exam, I hoped it would help me do a good job." The biggest thing. "

The university had earlier discussed the removal of Wilson in November 2015 after a student protest at a New Jersey school. At the time, a committee studying Wilson's legacy at Princeton decided to retain the name.

The university said in its statement that there remains interest in Princeton alumni and alumni, and administrators have returned to the subject this month as the United States struggles deeply with the injustice of racism.

Best wishes to all

"As a Princeton alumnus, I am excited," said Keisha Bline, president of the Society for African American Intellectual History, on Twitter, "Congratulations to the brave teachers, students and staff."

Student activists renewed their efforts in recent weeks to call for the removal of the Woodrow Wilson name, as the BLM protest sparked changes globally, corporations, governments, the world of sports and beyond. Two groups of students filed an anti-racism lawsuit with administrators at the school this week.

"This question is made more urgent by the recent murders of Bryo Taylor, Ahmed Amberi, George Floyd and Rashard Brooks, who served as tragic reminders of racism and the continued need of all of us to resist equality and justice. "Our commitment to those values ​​should be clear and unequaled," the administrators said.

Protest organizers said the name change was only a small part of their demands, and called for more "transformational change" at the school.

New diploma?

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, who holds a master's degree from the School of Public Policy, praised the decision on Twitter and asked, "Will we get new diplomas."

Northwestern University history professor Leslie Harris said that the United States is a change in terms of public memory and representation.

Harris said: "I am concerned that this decision was made after the loss of lives of blacks, rather than the extraordinary discussion and debate that is allegedly the hallmark of the university." .

"Nothing has changed in Woodrow Wilson's record since the university decided to keep the name, and that decision today," said Harris, whose research includes the history of slavery in the United States.

Eric Yellin, an associate professor at the University of Richmond, said Princeton is "trying to indicate that it wants to be a place where students of color and historically marginalized feel at home."

"The author of racism, Yellin, said," I don't know what reality on the ground means for Princeton students of color, especially black students. There is a long history of finding a difficult place for Princeton. In The Nation Service: Government Employees and the Color Line in America "by Woodrow Wilson." This is certainly a powerful sign of intention to make a change. "

Trustees at Monmouth University, another New Jersey school in West Long Branch, voted this month to remove Wilson's name from their marquee building. It is unclear what effect the Princeton decision may have on other institutions in the US named after Wilson, including middle schools and elementary schools in various states.

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