Monmouth University will remove Woodrow Wilson’s names from the university’s marquee building, citing the 28th president’s racist policies, at a time when numerous monuments and honors given to figures associated with segregation or racism are being reassessed.
The decision comes four years after the New Jersey university’s trustees voted to keep Wilson’s name on the building amid student calls to rename it. President Patrick F. Leahy said “the context has changed” since then.
“Wilson was a controversial politician, and I think it has heightened awareness in 2020 about some of his racist policies,” Leahy told the New York Times.
During his presidency, Wilson oversaw the re-segregation of the federal workforce and notoriously hosted a White House screening of D.W. Griffith’s pro-Ku Klux Klan film “The Birth of a Nation,” credited for inspiring the white supremacist group’s resurgence in the 1920s. Wilson reportedly praised the film as “like writing history with lightning.” More…