Skip to comments.Woodrow Wilson and Black People
Posted on 08/03/2003 9:33:31 AM PDT by Mn. Black Republican Coalition
Woodrow Wilson and Black Ameircans Part 2, of our series on this President
Why do most textbooks only have a few sentences about Wilsons racism? We shall cover this in Wilson, Part 3
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Black Republican Coalition PO Box 4171 Saint Paul MN 55104
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Sarah Breedlove was born on a cotton plantation near Delta, La., in 1867. Orphaned at age 7, married at 14, widowed at 20, Breedlove earned a subsistence living as a laundress in St. Louis, Mo. Seeking to supplement her income--and cure her case of alopecia, or baldness, commonly suffered by black women at the time because of scalp diseases, poor diet and stress--Breedlove became an agent for Annie Turnbo Pope Malone's Poro Co., selling its "Wonderful Hair Grower." Realizing the potential of these products, Breedlove took her daughter and $1.50 in savings to Denver, married her third husband, a newspaper sales agent named Charles Joseph Walker, and with him established a hair-care business that made brilliant use of advertising in the growing number of black newspapers.
"Walker became a central figure in black leadership and one of the first black philanthropists, donating funds to build a black ymca in Indianapolis and restore Frederick Douglass's home in Washington, and helping lead the protest against lynching--she traveled to the White House with other leaders to present a petition to Woodrow Wilson. (He declined to see them.) "
Do you have more information about Wilson's attempt to segregate the federal government?
I am doing some research on him, and it ties in to what I am looking for.
Black conservative ping
If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)
Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.
Question for my American friends: Was Woodrow Wilson a democrat or a republican?
I think he was a Democrat.
We know that textbooks - especially those editted in today's world - are incorrect and misguided.
How pitiful it is that our children are misled.
Agencies that were desegregated after the Civil war were resegregated as one of Wilson's first actions -- all the way down to separate rest rooms and lunch rooms. Black managers were demoted or fired, even those with many years of service and no white could report to a black manager.
It was a major step backwards for black Americans. Wilson even went so far as to praise D.W. Griffiths film "Birth of a Nation" that re-wrote the ugly history of the Klu Klux Klan portraying them as southern patriots instead of what they really were, the terrorist wing of the Democrat party. (Rewriting history is nothing new for Hollywood.) After Wilson praised the film, it became the first major box-office "blockbuster" and because of it the Klan reemerged as a potent political force throughout the south and in a number of Northern and Midwestern states where large scale black migration from the south to work in northern factories caused racial tensions.
It was an ugly period in our history and Wilson rightly deserves much of the blame. Much of the torment we went through in the 50s and 60s, and even to this day regarding race relations can be traced to the Wilson administration.
And that is not even mentioning the unconstitutional Federal police powers Wilson spawned during WWI with mass arrests of and detention of so-called disruptive elements -- mostly people who opposed going to war in Europe. It made the Patriot Act of today look like a civil liberties picnic.
If so, thanks..........if not, thanks! :o)
Do you have a resource (Internet or hardcopy) for the information you cited there?
Thanks for the info.
BTW, it is a smelly irony that most of the blacks now would support a party who has a history of supporting segregation.
Almost as ironic as Senator Byrd emerging as one of the Dems attempting to block confirmation of Dr. Rice as Sec. of State... I believe he was the one who caused the delay, when originally it was believed she might be sworn in on inauguration day. From a PR standpoint, I just don't think having the KKK alum block the appointment of a black woman to the post was a good choice...
I'll see if I can find some of my older links over the weekend when I have more time.
"The eugenics movement concentrated on differences: its roots in scientific racism looked to the differences between the white and other races, while the family studies created a distinction between fit and unfit white folks. There are two types of eugenics:
"negative eugenics"-- the reduction of the excessively large number of births among the less favored, with the widespread use of contraception, sterilization and abortion.
"positive eugenics"-- increased production of the "fit"; can be advanced through artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and genetic engineering."
It's not generally collected all in one place, so it takes a bit of putting together, but it was under Wilson (D) that the "Back to the Cornrows" policy was implemented, where all non-whites were removed from all non-servitude federal positions.
Compare that to the McKinley(R) and Roosevelt(R) Administrations.
LOL. He's one of the Democrat Party's big gov. heroes. Gave us the income tax, federal reserve etc.
In 1912 Woodrow Wilson probably received more black votes than any previous Democratic presidential candidate, but his administration proved to be a bitter disappointment to African Americans. Black voters had abandoned William Howard Taft, Wilsons Republican predecessor, in part because he had appointed or retained a mere thirty-one black officeholders. But Wilson made only nine black appointments, and eight of these were Republican carryovers. Worse still, Wilson extended and defended segregation in the federal civil service. Black workers were forced to use inferior and segregated washrooms, and screens were set up to separate black and white workers in the same government offices. African Americans protested Wilsons policies. One of the most famous protest delegations was led in 1914 by Monroe Trotter, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard and Boston newspaper editor. Wilson found Trotters manner insulting and dismissed the delegation. The encounter made front-page news, and subsequent rallies protested Wilsons poor treatment of Trotter. But the segregation of the federal service continued.
38th President of the United States
28th under the US Constitution
Although he entered the 1912 Democratic National Convention a poor second to Speaker of the House Champ Clark, he won the nomination after 46 ballots. Offering a program of reform he called the New Freedom, Wilson ran against a divided Republican party. In November, Wilson won only 41.85 percent of the popular vote but polled 435 electoral votes, compared with Roosevelt's 88 and President Taft's 8.
Segregation had never been the custom in federal government offices in Washington, D.C. However, faced with strong pressure from his fellow Southerners, Wilson allowed segregation in the capital. Challenged with his vague promises before election that he would treat blacks with fairness, he could only say that the new policy of segregation was in the best interests of blacks and he would angrily end the interview when he was disputed.
The most shameful aspect of Wilson's presidency was the adoption of segregation in the federal government. For race relations during the Wilson years, see Leon Litwack's excellent 'Trouble in Mind : Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow', while Desmond King provides a good account of the Wilson administration's segregation campaign in 'Separate and Unequal: Black Americans and the Us Federal Government'. In 'Jim Crow and the Wilson Administration: Protesting Federal Segregation in the Early Twentieth Century', Nicholas Patler demonstrates that many Americans objected to Wilson's expansion of segregation, though ultimately to no avail.
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." He was elected president because the 1912 campaign featured a third party, Theodore Roosevelt's Bullmoose Party, which drew Republican votes from incumbent William Howard Taft. Wilson won a majority of votes in only one state (Arizona) outside the South.
What Wilson's election meant to the South was "home rule;" that is, license to pursue its racial practices without concern about interference from the federal government. That is exactly what the 1948 Dixiecrats wanted. But "home rule" was only the beginning. Upon taking power in Washington, Wilson and the many other Southerners he brought into his cabinet were disturbed at the way the federal government went about its own business. 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.
Wilson allowed various officials to segregate the toilets, cafeterias, and work areas of their departments. One justification involved health: White government workers had to be protected from contagious diseases, especially venereal diseases, that racists imagined were being spread by blacks. In extreme cases, federal officials built separate structures to house black workers. Most black diplomats were replaced by whites; numerous black federal officials in the South were removed from their posts; the local Washington police force and fire department stopped hiring blacks.
Wilson's own view, as he expressed it to intimates, was that federal segregation was an act of kindness. In historian Friedman's paraphrase, "Off by themselves with only a white supervisor, blacks would not be forced out of their jobs by energetic white employees."
According to Friedman, President Wilson said as much to those appalled blacks who protested his actions. He told one protesting black delegation that "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen." When the startled journalist William Monroe Trotter objected, Wilson essentially threw him out of the White House. "Your manner offends me," Wilson told him. Blacks all over the country complained about Wilson, but the president was unmoved. "If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me," he told The New York Times in 1914, "they ought to correct it."
Great resources! Thanks!
My pleasure. Good luck on your research. Let us know what you come up with.
You should read Wilson's letters to Colonel Edward Mandel House about Mexico. They made Stormfront look tame. Even in the context of his time, Wilson was one bigoted Crackah'.
The Ambassador to England before and during WWI was an outlaw of my family, Walter Page.
I have the books "The life and letters of Walter Page.
A lot of the letters are to and from President Wilson.
You might be able to get them through your library but if you can not, FReep mail me and I will mail them to you, if you promise to return them.
Before America was involved in WWI, Germany turned over it's keys to their Embassy to him.
Will do. Thanks again!
I'll see if I can find them in the library. Thanks for the reference, and the offer!
One reason why so many African-Americans cling to the Democrats now may be that party-changers aren't always rewarded by those they sign on with. Certainly not to the extent that they'd like to be, and in 1912, not at all.
In his history of the United States, Wilson also referred to Southern and Eastern European immigrants as the "sordid and hapless" elements of the population in the Old Country. It's hard to see how he could have been elected President if the Republican party weren't so badly split.
Of course it was a different time from today, but Wilson, as a man of high principle was more bigoted than a more flexible and practical politician would have been. The average politican knows not to offend people needlessly, and Wilson apparently didn't have any hesitation doing that. Apparently some groups, African-Americans in particular, didn't count in his world.
Dang! Why I've always loved Free Republic. You learn something new every day. Thanx!
I'll take that complement (via simply searching yahoo/google using keywords) as a justification of my extreme intelligence or as a "welcome to the family" FR style greeting. Both work well for me (as I stick my chest out proudly and go for another beer)!
One of the most famous nominations was submitted in 2005 by George W. Bush.
Dr. Condoleeza Rice, who earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974; her master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981, and who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, the University of Notre Dame in 1995, the National Defense University in 2002, the Mississippi College School of Law in 2003, the University of Louisville and Michigan State University in 2004, showed up in the United States Senate to supplicate herself for the favor of the assembled "rocket scientists" who populate the U.S. Senate.
Robert "Sheets" Byrd, leading Democrat, Alzheimer's victim and former KKKer, found Rice's manner insulting and dismissed her nomination.
Both. I like your style. I'm going to go dispense with a beer, and "go for another", myself.
aas - FR media expert, and media gadfly, at your service. ;-)
Now you've actually forced me to do some real Net research on Sanger and my attitudes towards her, drat you! ;-)
Like your home page. Do you speak Spanish? One of my best friends is a Spanish-speaking prodigy, and another is a professional chemist. Dang! Small world. ;-)
I have a copy of the 1990 edition of 'Don't Know Much About History' by Kenneth C. Davis. He's certainly a liberal and very unkind to Reagan and many conservatives, but he also points out how Wilson took us from the 'big stick' to the 'big brother'. He mentions Wilson's involvement in Latin America in a negative way (Nicarauga, Haiti, Dominican Republic, etc.)
Regarding Wilson's racism, this is a quote from the Davis book:
"The shame of Wilson's "progressive" administration was his abysmal record on civil rights. Under Wilson, Jim Crow became the policy of the U.S. government, with segregated offices, and blacks losing some of the few government jobs they held."
There is more interesting information in the book regarding Wilson's resistance to women voting. Only after Republicans gained control of Congress and states (Idaho and Colorado were among the first) started allowing women to vote and Wilson was eventually faced with women voting against him by a 2 to 1 margin....then Wilson gave in to the women who had protested him and endorsed the amendment.
Just a side note from the Davis book on something I didn't know about slavery: "by the time those first twenty Africans arrived in Jamestown aboard a Dutch slaver, a million or more black slaves had already been brought to the Spanish and Portugese colonies in the Carribbean and South America."
That's interesting! Especially since Wilson was re-elected with the Democratic campaign slogan "He kept us out of war!"
Thanks for the ping.
Here is a bit on the issue from the textbook for high school students that we wrote for the Declaration Foundation
Race in the Progressive Era is far more complicated than we can appreciate it today. It's within the generation of Plessy, and it's withing 2-3 generations of slavery itself. The Jack Johnsons, the DEB Dubois's hammered against the barriers. The Booker Washingtons, the G.W. Carvers, instead, pushed them back, patiently, moving them away rather than smashing them all at once. Was the one right, the other wrong? I think they're all part of the fight. I think that Washington was correct to brag of the incredible progress of a race that was only half a century before held in slavery. There are some amazing articles in the early 1910s on this economic advance in such a short period of time. For all the problems, there was, it is often forgotten, incredible progress.
The fight, ultimately, must be gauged by the outcome, and by its essence. What principles do we apply? Woodrow Wilson stood for Jim Crow. He loses in history, and there's no arguing. His vision was wrong, and it is dead. Dubois, so glorified, loses in his lifetime, yet triumphs, after all -- but for his goals and not for his process. Booker Washington, far more than Dubois, wins -- in his lifetime and today -- for his vision of self-reliance, of self-improvement, of independence and education of economic equality as essential to political and social equality proved correct in means and ends. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments ultimatel prevail, and due in no small part to the Republican party's upholding them as core principles through a period that pushed hardily against them..
The standard take on the Progressive Era Republicans is that they failed the emancipation. They are accused of that vile Nixon "Southern Strategy," a damning association for good company and high school textbooks. Of them, only Theodore Roosevelt is excused, for he invited Booker T. to the White House for lunch. Roosevelt, as ever, has a stupidly mixed record -- good on rhetoric, confused on product. As ever, McKinley is missunderstood. As ever Taft is fat, dumb and stupid -- and if you listened to the blowhards at last autumn's WW Conference, a racist fool.
Here for some good reads on all this:
Calvin Coolidge and Race: His Record in Dealing with the Racial Tensions of the 1920s by Alvin S. Felzenberg. Felzenberg discards the Mckinley-TR-Taft Republicans without considering Coolidge's inheritance, especially from Taft.It is less puzzling than distressing to see how blacks migrated from Taft Republicanism to the Bull Moose and to Wilson in 1912. They craved more from Taft, and they might well have expected it. His weakness, as ever, was in rhetoric, and in a day when rhetoric stood far above what Taft treasured, principle. He did speak for their rights, and he was consistent in his policies in their support. While seeking to defuse "racial feelings" over Federal appointments in the South, he at the same time appointed blacks to Federal positions in the North, including one to the highest ranking Federal officer up to the time, Asst. Attorney General. Still, I understand that in 1912 there was a yearning for more. That's natural and a product of the road paved before them.
Judicial Power & Civil Rights Reconsidered by David E. Bernstein and Ilya Somin. This is a significant paper (in draft?) that illuminates the previously unheard committment of the Taft-appointed Court towards Civil Liberties and the rights of African-Americans.
For some views of the more dubious Roosevelt record on race, see the 1960s-era essays from the Journal of Negro History, William D. Crum: A Negro in Politics by Willard B. Gatewood (1968), and President Theodore Roosevelt and the Negro, 1901-1908, by Seth M. Scheiner (1962). Sorry no links. J-STOR has them.
Nevertheless, Taft was the only candidate of that year to stand for them beyond politics. He alone spoke during the election of the great 50th anniversary celebration of the Altoona Conference and the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. On the anniversary, while the other candidates went stupidly silent, Taft said,
The issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation was the initial and the most important step in the freeing of five millions of slaves, who, with their descendants, have now grown into ten millions and constitute more than 10 per cent of our total population. It is, of course, an event in which every lover of his country takes an intense interest. Until the emancipation of the negroes the assertion that ours was the country of liberty was untrue. The Constitution and the Declaration were utterly at variance with each other in the recognition that the former gave to property in human kind. The excision of the cancer represented in the social institution of slavery enabled all Americans to look the world in the face, and say that our pretensions to absolute freedom were founded on actual fact, and did not need saving exceptions to make them truthful.Throughout that year that was so riled by "nationalism" and "socialism," Taft was the only candidate to speak of the 15th amendment, and of individual and civil rights. Over the hysteria of that election year, Taft's stand for civil rights has been lost. I'll do what I can to remind.
The link to the Coolidge paper is outstanding.
Thank you! THANK you, nicollo! Wonderful exposition of the truth!
Russell Kirk in an essay blamed Wilson for being the primary cause of collective rights being accepted into the American Civil Religion lexicon. He mentions this in an analysis of the term "Human Rights" which he believed Wilson used as a collective trump to individual Property Rights.
As we all know, the duel between the right of an individual and the collective right of the many is always decided in favor of the many by the rationalist or the utilitarian mindset. Sowell in the Conflict of Visions deals with this issue as well in some interesting ways.
The false collective or group right is very subject to General Will or Government as being the champion, guarantor, representative or claimant.
...this Government being a safeguard of human rights.Madison spoke it, as well, as did Monroe and Jackson. Lincoln seems not to have used "human rights" and instead spoke of "personal rights of men" and the such.
McKinley in his fourth Message to Congress wrote,
Popular government has demonstrated in its one hundred and twenty-four years of trial here its stability and security, and its efficiency as the best instrument of national development and the best safeguard to human rights.No where do these men conceive of "human rights" in the collective sense. While Lincoln famously said,
The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another man's right of property; Republicans, on the contrary, are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar.he was speaking in terms of the natural rights of the indivudual. It is not until that peak moment of the Progressive Era, 1912, that "human rights" takes on the collective sense that you say Kirk saw in Woodrow Wilson -- only the chief culprit was not Wilson but Theodore Roosevelt.
As President, TR seems to have avoided the words "human rights." Typical of his presidential rhetoric was such this-or-that damnation of extremes as,
It is well to keep in mind that exactly as the anarchist is the worst enemy of liberty and the reactionary the worst enemy of order, so the men who defend the rights of property have most to fear from the wrongdoers of great wealth, and the men who are championing popular rights have most to fear from the demagogues who in the name of popular rights would do wrong to and oppress honest business men, honest men of wealth; ...As President, "Mr. Facing Both Ways," as General Otis called him, placed himself as arbiter of the extremes of both capital and labor. Nothing yet on collective rights. It is into his post-presidency that TR both picks up on the words "human rights" and gives them that frightful odor of class politics with which he saddled and rode the Bull Moose:
We Progressives believe that the people have the right, the power, and the duty to protect themselves and their own welfare; that human rights are supreme over all other rights; that wealth should be the servant, not the master, of the people.... and ...
Our democracy is now put to a vital test; for the conflict is between human rights on the one side and on the other special privilege asserted as a property right.It was a progressive disease, and I'd say TR suffered at least as much as Wilson. In any case, TR set the rhetorical lead.
Btw, long before then Jackson settled the supposed "conflict" (in the progressives' way of seeing it) between liberty and equality with this lovely, simple statement of national purpose, from his Fourth Annual Message:
Limited to a general superintending power to maintain peace at home and abroad, and to prescribe laws on a few subjects of general interest not calculated to restrict human liberty, but to enforce human rights, this Government will find its strength and its glory in the faithful discharge of these plain and simple duties.I also like Dubya's latest:
... there can be no human rights without human liberty.
I wonder what the voracious readers like Kirk could have done born thirty years later with lexu/nexus, google and the internet at their disposal in researching?
You know, sometimes I just wish I'd pick up a reference book now and then... lol! Actually, this stuff is all on my hard drive for research I'm doing on the 1912 election.
The downside of the web is that it is too easy, and it loosens the researchers backbone. My father, an attorney, will only use the case law databases if he already knows exactly what he's looking for. Otherwise he insists on thumbing the books because it always leads him places he never thought to go.
ohioWfan: I'd like to say there's a good, easy read for a modern conservative's understanding of the Progressive Era -- perhaps rdf's textbook would be a good place to start. I can't think of a single book out there that sees the period as I do, well, except my own... That's probably not a good sign. There are some really, really good books on the Progressive Era, but they're invetibly hinged leftward. Richard Hoftstadter's "Age of Reform" is probably the best, most removed look at the period. Hofstadter doesn't have an agenda, for the most part, although he's been accused of being unfair and mean to the agrarians and the populists, which I find hilarious. One of my favorite books on the progresives is Gabriel Kolko's "Triumph of Conservatism." Kolko is a leftwing nutjob who's complaint is that the progressives didn't go far enough into nationalism and collectivism. Perhaps x can recommend better reads.
It's hard to think of good things to say about the progressives. They're too centralizing and power-oriented for the Right and too White, Protestant and moralistic for the Left. But looking at how the reputations of Hamilton, Adams, and the Federalists have been rising and rising in the last ten years or so, it's likely that somebody will try to bring the Progressives back into fashion.
One question about Wilson is just how strong Black support for him was in 1912. It looks a lot like a Northeastern academic and professional phenomenon, a gravitation to Wilson by African-Americans who fit the profile of Progressivism and considered themselves and Wilson cut from the same cloth. What they expected was far beyond what White Americans would allow at the beginning of the 20th century, and that's a common failing of intellectuals in politics: they pick up on the main theme of the day, but miss the troubling and contradictory details.
I wonder why DuBois, William Trotter didn't go with TR. Were Trotter and DuBois expecting to become king makers by throwing Black support to the Democrats? Or were they taken in by Wilson's academic manner, so much closer to what they valued themselves than TR's bluster? If they weren't rather more radical than most Americans in the day, one might think of them as Black Mugwumps. There's a strongly anti-Wilson article here.
BTW, James Pinkerton has a Bush-Wilson column this week.
But in recent years academics have shyed away from the big names like TR or Wilson and focused on much smaller and more local topics.I guess that's why I feel like there's nothing new in books. I can point to articles, but no books. They've cut history into pieces. Is it to stay away from the big names, as you say, or just easier ways to put things in print by splitting logs?
Good remarks there about the progressives. I'm inclined towards Taft for, while he was a progressive among progressives, he alone among the major figures was willing to say "enough!" I think under Roosevelt Taft was quite taken away by the man, as were so many others, but once in power Taft took head-on that distinction between words and acts -- and consequences, which always follow acts, something TR never enjoyed. TR's legacy was like the Celubra Cut: the mud flowed behind it.
I have yet to properly visit with Dubois and Trotter in 1912, so I can't speak to their views on Wilson other than the general distaste in their movement for the Republican primary and the Republican and Progressive conventions, which were wholly abusive, on all sides, of racial politics in patronage and delegates. My first guess is that Wilson seemed an alternative route, and not a destination.
Thanks for your words, and thanks for the links!
Just ran across a Taft passage that reminded me of the "human rights" discussion (or my soliloquy on it) on this thread. Taft's reply in 1912 to the growing rhetoric of "human rights" over "property rights" was rather sublime:
It has been said, and it is a common platform expression, that it is well to prefer the man above the dollar, as if the preservation of property rights has some other purpose than the assistance to and the uplifting of human rights. Private property was not established in order to gratify love of some material wealth or capital. It was established as an instrumentality in the progress of civilization and the uplifting of man, and it is equality of opportunity that private property promotes by assuring to man the result of his own labor, thrift, and self-restraint.While it would seem that too few listened in 1912, enough did to preserve those rights of property and the Constitition from which they come.
When, therefore, the demagogue mounts the platform and announces that he prefers the man above the dollar, he ought to be interrogated as to what he means thereby -- whether he is in favor of abolishing the right of the institution of private property and of taking away from the poor man the opportunity to become wealthy by the use of the abilities that God has given him, the cultivation of the virtues with which practice of self-restraint and the exercise of moral courage will fortify him.
I will definately steal it for my files.
Conservatives arent, as is often claimed, the trolls standing athwart the path of history, yelling, Stop!Here for some fun from Taft with this concept of who, exactly, is crying "Stop!"
The present political situation is a curious one. Indeed, the condition of public opinion is curious. It seems to be feeling the effect of the flood of misrepresentation which manifests itself in a protest against everything and everybody who is not in the forefront crying Stop thief!I think you will find Taft to be of a mind with Burke as regards the forceful conservative. The general essence of my working paper on the election of 1912 is Taft's defense of first principles (here -- it's long, but you'll find therein some Taft gems).
It is not a natural condition, however, and we people of America are so sane on the whole that I look for a change, not rapid, but sufficiently marked in the course of three or four years to give those of us that have not been carried off our feet hope of the Republic. With such a tremendous cry and so little wool I think the people will realize it after a while and give credit to those of us who are trying to make progress by legislation and by things done.
READ NICHOLAS PATLER'S FASCINATING BOOK, PUB. IN 2004, TITLED, JIM CROW AND THE WILSON ADMINISTRATION: PROTESTING FEDERAL SEGREGATION IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY. It is by far the most thorough account of federal Jim Crow during the Wilson years--much more thorough than a few others that have been mentioned by users on the Free Republic site. In addition, his chapter--I believe 3--"Jim Crow in the White House"--deals rather extensively with Wilson's racial views, the best treatment I have ever seen. Patler not only explores in depth the various aspects of federal segregation, etc., but he demonstrates that African Americans and white sympathizers launched an amazing collective protest, consisting of thousands of people nationwide, who passionately challenged the spread of racism in the federal government--this forty years before the modern civil rights movement! His book really challenges many perceptions of African Americans and protest in the Progressive Era. I came away from this read with a sense of awe because it showed that African Americans had a powerful sense of justice even then, and help set the tone for the modern civil rights movment. Pay attention here to William Monroe Trotter! He has been revived and will inspire contemporary generations. Also, read my review for this book on amazon.com.
It sounds like just what I'm looking for!
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we jump on the bandwagon when what we hear coincides with what we want to hear. But do we try to correct the record when we find something that doesn't go along with what we want to hear? No. As a black man, it is more damaging to me and how I percieve my fellow black men and women, when I read things like some of the posts here. Woodrow Wilson did NOT praise "Birth of a Nation". He only screened it in the White House, and the statement that he praised it was not made by him, but by Thomas Dixon, a classmate at Princeton. So that's one lie that needs to be corrected. "Birth of a Nation" was made in 1915. Think about that for a minute, and don't try to revise history by saying that just because anti-Black attitudes were common, that they were wrong. They've ALWAYS been wrong, but frankly, 100 years from now, the historians and sociologists will be saying a lot of things about now that don't go with how WE think of them. They had them then, because they were products of their times. Don't be a revisionist. Speak the truth, even if it is a negative one.
The second lie that needs to be corrected is that Wilson took some kind of action to create segregationist policies in the government. Try reading the Papers of Woodrow Wilson edited by Arthur Link to get the truth on that. There are dozens of letters and papers in those 69 volumes that show where Wilson tried to get Blacks appointed to Federal offices, Judgeships and other positions, but was *always* blocked by the Republican Senate. Wilson was NEVER responsible for Blacks being fired or losing their jobs. It was the management of Federal offices and departments who were doing that. There are several documented cases of Wilson intervening, only to be overriden by Congress. Again, this was a product of the times. We may not like it, but that's how it was.
I'm not entirely sure where this "racial attitudes in the 50s and 60s can be traced directly back to Wilson" comes from, because it simply isn't so. I have enough problems because of the color of my skin. I don't need some misguided and misinformed people making it worse, by playing a race card that is incorrect. There are plenty of racial injustices that we as Blacks have to deal with today, and sitting around complaining that it was bad 100 years ago does nothing to accomplish change today. The truth may well be negative, and it certainly may not be one that we like, but it is the truth. Try using it sometime. It increases credibility. I was the first person in my family to get a graduate degree, and only the second in my family to go to college. Please don't create issues, because you don't like some parts of the truth. History gets rewritten enough.
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