On June 27, President Eisgruber announced that the name Woodrow Wilson is being removed from one of Princeton’s colleges and from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as a means of opposing racism. This is a cowardly act in response to a mob, and will do nothing to oppose racism. The residual racism in the country will be eliminated by creating opportunities for the less fortunate, not by 
bowing to petty demands. Opportunity begins with civil order. Safety, security, and public order are the most valuable products a government can provide; far more valuable than all the public welfare benefits and symbolic actions. Public order is true reparation.

When I was an undergraduate, Woodrow Wilson was revered for his dream of a world governed by an elite collection of intellectuals.  His racism was part of his disdain for those less “intellectual” than himself.  What is viewed as systemic racism is the tendency to associate lower academic achievement with minorities. This elitism is what Princeton should disavow. The cure to this form of racism is broadened educational opportunity, and an honest respect for those who are not “intellectuals.”

William Hannum ’54
Flat Rock, N.C.