I'm thinking of an American president who demonized ethnic groups as enemies of the state, censored the press, imprisoned dissidents, bullied political opponents, spewed propaganda, often expressed contempt for the Constitution, approved warrantless searches and eavesdropping, and pursued his policies with a blind, religious certainty.
Wilson, a Virginia-born Democrat, is mostly remembered as a progressive, internationalist statesman, a benign and wise leader, a father of modern American political science and one of our nation’s great presidents.
But he was also an avowed racist. And unlike many of his predecessors and successors in the White House, he put that racism into action through public policy.
-Gordon J. Davis, What Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather
One legacy of post-Civil War Republican ascendancy was that Washington's large black populace had access to federal jobs, and worked with whites in largely integrated circumstances.
Wilson's cabinet put an end to that, bringing Jim Crow to Washington.
-Charles Paul Freund
Domestically, however, Wilson was a racist retrograde, one who attempted to engineer the diminution of both justice and democracy for American blacks—who were enjoying little of either to begin with.
Wilson's racist views were hardly a secret. His own published work was peppered with Lost Cause visions of a happy antebellum South.
As president of Princeton, he had turned away black applicants, regarding their desire for education to be "unwarranted."
-Charles Paul Freund
African-Americans found it difficult to secure high-level civil service positions, which some had held under previous Republican administrations. A delegation of black professionals led by Monroe Trotter, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard and Boston newspaper editor, appeared at the White House to protest the new policies.
But Wilson treated them rudely and declared that “segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.”
Washington was a rigidly segregated town — except for federal government agencies. They had been integrated during the post-war Reconstruction period, enabling African-Americans to obtain federal jobs and work side by side with whites in government agencies.
Wilson promptly authorized members of his cabinet to reverse this long-standing policy of racial integration in the federal civil service.
“In the matter of Chinese and Japanese coolie immigration, I stand for the national policy of exclusion. We cannot make a homogenous population out of people who do not blend with the Caucasian race…Oriental Coolieism will give us another race problem to solve and surely we have had our lesson.”
-Democrat Woodrow Wilson
But only months after Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as president in 1913, my grandfather was demoted. He was shuttled from department to department in various menial jobs, and eventually became a messenger in the War Department, where he made only $720 a year... Many black men and women suffered similar fates under Wilson. -Gordon J. Davis, What Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather
Wilson was not just a racist. He believed in white supremacy as government policy, so much so that he reversed decades of racial progress. But we would be wrong to see this as a mere policy change; in doing so, he ruined the lives of countless talented African-Americans and their families. -Gordon J. Davis, What Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather
Wilson was the first President to screen a movie at the White House. 1915's The Clansman - that is...
Today, cowardly elites are busily singling out Southerners and their Confederate flag bumper stickers. Why? Because taking their pitchfork brigades to Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, requires real courage.