Educational excursions like the fall-break trip to Alabama to address civil-rights history can be immensely valuable to students. History is something to learn, not hide, even when it is unpleasant.
Princeton has recently confronted both its own complicity with slavery and the racism of Woodrow Wilson 1879. I hope the Alabama trip likewise exposed the participants to the uncomfortable fact that it was the Democratic Party that fought for slavery and segregation; opposed the constitutional amendments giving blacks freedom, citizenship, and the right to vote; and opposed the civil-rights bills of the middle of the 20th century. I mention this because the faculty and student body at Princeton reportedly tilt lopsidedly Democratic. All the more reason not to hide the skeletons in the Democratic closet.
I also hope someone pointed out that the Southern Poverty Law Center, visited on this student trip and reported in the article as a “highlight for many students,” has been convincingly charged with being a scam operation by articles in numerous media outlets, including Philanthropy magazine, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and National Review.