Paula Span on History.net explains:
“Black leaders subsequently declined to support [Wilson’s] reelection.
‘We need scarcely to say that you have grievously disappointed us,’ Du Bois wrote.”
” ‘By any reasonable standards anyone would apply today, I think it’s fair to say Woodrow Wilson was a racist’, (University of Wisconsin historian John Milton Cooper, author of several Wilson biographies) Cooper acknowledges, regretfully.”
(In other words, Woodrow Wilson did not care about black people, Kanye West.)
In 1956, Du Bois admitted:
“In 1912 I wanted to support Theodore Roosevelt, but his Bull Moose convention dodged the Negro problem and I tried to help elect Wilson as a liberal Southerner. Under Wilson came the worst attempt at Jim Crow legislation and discrimination in civil service that we had experienced since the Civil War.”
Black educator Booker T. Washington said of his visit to Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1913, just a few months after Wilson’s inauguration:
“I have never seen the colored people so discouraged and bitter as they are at the present time.”
Discouraged? Bitter? Why were they bitter?
Could it be that Wilson promised before his election:
“I want to assure them through you that should I become President of the United States, they may count upon me for absolute fair dealing and for everything by which I could assist in advancing the interests of their race in the United States.”?
Well, you know better when politicians make promises. Right?
I understand there was a Wilson campaign slogan: “He Kept Us Out of War!” I wonder if many black Americans at that time said: “He Kept Us Out of Everything–Period!”
Were Du Bois and the rest of the black voters who voted for Wilson bamboozled and hoodwinked? Did they discover that they were worse off under Wilson than under any other previous president?
So why is this white supremacist and racist Woodrow Wilson still considered a “hero” by those who claim to eschew white supremacy and racism?
According to the U.S. history book Land of Promise:
“Woodrow Wilson’s administration was openly hostile to black people. Wilson was an outspoken white supremacist who believed that black people were inferior. During his campaign for the presidency, Wilson promised to press for civil rights. But once in office he forgot his promises. Instead, Wilson ordered that white and black workers in federal government jobs be segregated from one another. This was the first time such segregation had existed since Reconstruction! When black federal employees in Southern cities protested the order, Wilson had the protesters fired. In November, 1914, a black delegation asked the President to reverse his policies. Wilson was rude and hostile and refused their demands.”
To sum up: “Wilson was…antiblack.” The only motion picture I know of that made heroes of white supremacists was D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation. Ironically, it was screened in the White House when Wilson was president. Woodrow Wilson, a “racist retrograde” Democrat who brought Jim Crow to Washington.
Now that you know all the facts, should all the institutions named after Wilson, institutions that “honor” him, reconsider retaining his name?
Kevin Jackson contributed to the content of this post.