Woodrow Wilson, beyond the pale

In Middletown, Connecticut, the school board is considering renaming Woodrow Wilson Middle School because of Wilson’s segregationist views. Born in 1856 in Virginia, Wilson grew up in Georgia. He taught at Wesleyan, which is in Middletown, before going on to Princeton and then the White House.

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  1. In this case its justified. Wilson’s reputation has been in serious decline as historians have reexamined his role in during WWI and the ensuing Paris Peace Conference. This has opened up his entire record. As it turns out Wilson was the KKK President. He brought Jim Crow to the Federal Goverment and in every way was a ardent segregationist and racist. Its about time that Wilson be demoted in the Presidential Pantheon. He was rated as a great President by the usual assortment of Democratic Party affiliated Historians. You know, the same ones who call Kennedy one of our greatest.

  2. The renaming craze has long been one of the most infantile artifacts of leftist politics.

    Judging the past by today’s standards is just plain dumb.

    Stacking up everybody according to the current platitudes of “racism, sexism and homophobia” is the province of fools.

    It won’t stop, because one of the most common characteristics of fools is their desire to don their halos and preen around for the lesser folks.

    This crap really needs to stop, and it really doesn’t matter what you think of Wilson. I don’t really care one way or another about him.

  3. And by the way, the Democrats are currently running a black gangster for President, a gangster who was implicated in:

    1. The murder of a Jewish man in Brooklyn
    2. The firebombing of a Jewish owned store in Harlem and the murder of a clerk in that fire
    3. The Tawana Brawley travesty

    Seems that gang membership and thug tactics are positively romantic to Democrats when committed by blacks. Evidently, what Democrats oppose is white committing the same crimes and using the same tactics in response.

  4. Gimme a break: Sounds like those folks in Middletown need to “get a life.” Wilson’s real “crime” is that he happens to be a DWM….

  5. No doubt there’d be no problem if someone wanted to name a school today after Al Sharpton, or Jesse Jackson. Sharpton’s and Jackson’s supporters don’t give a damn about THEIR shortcomings.
    Just last year there was an elementary school in Los Angeles named for Slick Willie.

  6. John Thacker says:

    “Judging the past by today’s standards is just plain dumb.”

    Perhaps. But Woodrow Wilson was unusually racist, even by the standards of his own time. He took large steps to introduce segregation into the federal government in places where it had not been previously.

    This is far different from men like Jefferson, Lincoln, or Teddy Roosevelt, who were racist by today’s standards but enlightened by their own.

  7. “Gimme a break: Sounds like those folks in Middletown need to “get a life.” Wilson’s real “crime” is that he happens to be a DWM….”

    And not an especially good President, all things considered. Renaming it to another more worthy DWM (there’s plenty to choose from) might be a good idea.

    “And by the way, the Democrats are currently running a black gangster for President, a gangster who was implicated in:”

    No, they’re not. He’s running in the Democratic Primary, but will certainly lose badly. The Democrats won’t run anybody for President until their primaries are finished.

    There’s lots of things we can criticize the Democratic party for without making up stuff or distorting the truth.

  8. jeff_wright@sbcglobal.net says:

    The term, “get a life,” comes to mind. No doubt Wilson was a mediocre president and racist pond scum to boot. But, you know, who really gives a damn about the name of the middle school you happen to attend?

    IMHO, a lot of this whole renaming thing is just smoke to cover the continuing failure of “oppressed minorities” to step up and perform in an increasingly complex society. The day that kids from schools renamed “MLK,” Cesar Chavez or (choose minority icon) actually perform better than those named after DWM, then maybe I’ll have that epiphany that I, a mostly liberal white devil, have just somehow missed. In the meantime, I’ll remain a cynic.

  9. greeneyeshade says:

    just to show how complicated these judgments can get: does wilson also get brownie points for putting the 1st jew (louis brandeis, who drew pretty strong opposition) on the supreme court?

  10. A Jew! No way! They’re more evil than DWMs (WASP variety)

  11. Richard Cook says:

    Can someone give me some sources that cite that Wilson introduced Jim Crow into Federal Government? Sources anyone?

  12. PJ/Maryland says:


    It’s not as though the Wilson Administration is shrouded in secrecy. If you google on “Woodrow Wilson” and “Jim Crow”, you get 3760 hits, including this article in Reason. Or here’s a PBS history of Jim Crow that features Wilson prominently.

    I should note that Wilson was not much more racist (by today’s standards) than other Presidents in the early 20th century. He was a bit more actively racist, tho, when the general Federal government policy towards blacks was simple neglect. The PBS story line tends to blame all the Presidents from 1877 (the end of Reconstruction) on, partly because they can then make FDR look better. (PBS fawning on FDR? Who’da thunk!)

  13. PJ,

    Great link to the Reason magazine article… that magazine is hardly part of the liberal media elite… I knew Wilson was bad, I didn’t realize he was that bad… and as someone pointed out, he wasn’t just bad by today’s standards, he was pretty bad by even standards in his day… So… after reading that article, can anyone blame those students for wanting the name of their school changed? What I find even more surprising is why haven’t students at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs already agitated for
    a name change…

  14. Nicholas Patler says:


  15. Kenneth Moore says:

    Nicholas Patler’s classic new book was truly a pleasure to read. A book of historical substance, I commend Nicholas on his labor of love in this valued analysis of Jim Crow and the Woodrow Wilson Administration. A must read for all who have a genuine interest in a protest movement that challenged federal racial segregation and discrimination as it related to the forthcoming “Prophet of Peace.” Great contribution to the Political Science Dept. Mr. Patler!

    NB I’m looking forward to the movie!