One of the defining features of 2015 has been the intensifying liberal iconoclasm against White and Anglo-American history, symbols and spaces in the United States (1, 2, 3, 4). This should come as no surprise given the ascendancy of ((((cultural marxism)))) and popular belief in the moral authority of people of color over Whites. The latest icon slated for smashing and burning is none other than Princeton University’s own Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States during WWI, a Progressive Democrat, and ardent proponent of the UN’s antecedent, the League of Nations. More than perhaps any American president, Wilson played an instrumental role in undermining European imperialism, participating in the first world war on behalf of national liberation and democracy. The German and Austro-Hungarian empires were dismantled, while the French and British empires would barely last another generation thanks to internal and global shifts in power dynamics and anti-imperial ideology created by the Allied “victory” over the Central Powers.
The language of self-determination and decolonization that the League of Nations meant to implement would ultimately be taken up by its successor, the United Nations, today the third world’s first and foremost lobbying group. Such a legacy makes Wilson something of a founding father of that variety of liberalism that wants to save the entire world and fight oppression to the point of self-harm—Wilson fell ill and ultimately died from complications developed while campaigning for his postwar policies across the United States—which is all too familiar today. But alas, the American leftist and his golems of color do not believe in a usable past and hold all history to the standards of the Current Year®. The historical record indicates Woodrow Wilson was a racist and a Klan sympathizer who supported segregation, making him easily one of the worst human beings to have ever lived.
A brief note about segregation: The exodus of competent blacks from black communities into White spaces facilitated by desegregation/integration—much like the exodus of competent people of color from third world countries—has impoverished those communities of leadership, generational stability and growth, and a tax base more than any White person “culturally appropriating” or being “culturally insensitive” ever has. These same mobile blacks are also vociferously opposed to both white flight (White people leaving) and gentrification (White people moving in), indicating they also favor a level of segregation for themselves. Wilson was perhaps one of you.
Returning to the issue of iconoclasm, there isn’t much more to be said that isn’t plainly obvious to a millennial college student about race and politics in American society. Wilson is a White person who lived before 2008. It’s completely unacceptable that we honor him in any way shape or form. The only reason to keep his name and portrait around anything at Princeton would be as a ‘teachable moment’ that could be used to have a ‘conversation about race.’ Both of these are, of course, opportunities to denigrate Whites for being White and to agitate for ‘racial justice,’ which is just POC tribalism against non-POC, which sometimes includes Asians.
What is considered progressive is constantly redefined since achieving progress is a utopian project. Since progressing itself is a state of motion, how can anything which has passed remain progressive? The past becomes inherently bad, and so does identifying with it or utilizing it to build something in the present. Well, unless of course you were oppressed, then your selective interpretation of the past is an opportunity for rent-seeking. This is where progress leads, to damnatio memoriae. Wilson today, LBJ tomorrow, Clinton not long after.