education news

Princeton University to withdraw President Wilson's name from school

Princeton University has announced that its school of public and international affairs will no longer be named after Woodrow Wilson, a former US president with racist ideas.

Unbolt the statues and rename streets and buildings. Since the death of George Floyd last May, a wind of protest has been blowing in the United States and many Americans have asked to rename places or remove sculptures representing personalities from the racist past.

Princeton University (New Jersey) is following suit by making the decision on Friday to rename its school of public and international affairs. It was named after Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) ruled the United States between 1913 and 1921. Abroad, the founding father of the League of Nations (ancestor of the United Nations) embodied the end of American isolationism. But in his country, the American president had let the southern states practice segregation and he had authorized the federal ministries to separate their black employees from their white employees. He notably authorized the White House to broadcast the film "Birth of a Nation", a film taking a stand in favor of the Klu Klux Klan.

Wilson "practiced segregation in the public service of this nation"

"His racist policies and opinions make his name inappropriate for a school where students, staff and alumni must be fully involved in the fight against the scourge of racism," the president said in a statement. the university, Christopher Eisgruber, after a vote by the board of directors.

Wilson "practiced segregation in the public service of this nation after years of desegregation, driving America back in the pursuit of justice," added the leader of Princeton, New Jersey, who is part of the Ivy League, an ultra-select club of eight excellent universities in the northeast of the country. After the debunking of many statues, the desire to move away from the Confederate heritage of the South is gaining ground: the governor of Mississippi, a former very conservative slave state, said on Saturday that he would not oppose withdrawing the so controversial Confederate standard that adorns the current flag of his state.