Trump Criticizes Princeton University Dropping Woodrow Wilson’s Name From Its Buildings, Michelle Obama Praises Decision
President Donald Trump blasted Princeton University’s decision to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from buildings on its campus, calling it “incredible stupidity.”
“Can anyone believe that Princeton just dropped the name of Woodrow Wilson from their highly respected policy center,” Trump tweeted Monday. “Now the Do Nothing Democrats want to take off the name John Wayne from an airport. Incredible stupidity!”
Can anyone believe that Princeton just dropped the name of Woodrow Wilson from their highly respected policy center. Now the Do Nothing Democrats want to take off the name John Wayne from an airport. Incredible stupidity!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2020
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Princeton announced their decision on Saturday to take Wilson’s name off its public and international affairs school, as well as a residential building, as the nation-wide debate surrounding the removal of statues and monuments honoring people with racist pasts continues to heat up.
Trump’s comment about John Wayne refers to efforts to remove the actor’s name from a Southern California airport over comments he made favoring white supremacy during a 1971 Playboy interview.
As president, Wilson instituted several racist policies including resegregating federal workers and blocking a Japanese proposal to include racial equality as a founding principle in the League of Nations.
“The trustees concluded that Woodrow Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college whose scholars, students, and alumni must stand firmly against racism in all its forms,” Princeton’s president Christopher Eisgruber, said in a statement on Saturday.
Former First Lady and Princeton graduate, Michelle Obama, praised the name change on Monday.
Heartened to see my alma mater make this change, and even prouder of the students who’ve been advocating for this kind of change on campus for years. Let’s keep finding ways to be more inclusive to all students—at Princeton and at every school across the country. https://t.co/jQd0TmJe1r
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 29, 2020
“Heartened to see my alma mater make this change, and even prouder of the students who’ve been advocating for this kind of change on campus for years,“ Obama wrote. “Let’s keep finding ways to be more inclusive to all students — at Princeton and at every school across the country.“
Former U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Princeton graduate, David Huebner, also supported the decision, tweeting that “the virulence of Wilson’s racial animus & his aggressive re-segregation efforts while in office cannot be justified & should not be celebrated.”
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