A southern-born president, Woodrow Wilson's legacy has been dogged by his outright racism. In his writings, Wilson eulogized the antebellum South and lamented the period of reconstruction that followed the Civil War. To quote Wilson himself on this subject, "self-preservation [forced whites] to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant negroes."Wilson excused the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in similar terms, calling it understandable in view of the "lawless" situation that victimized whites in the South after 1865.Wilson carried his racism into the public arena, both as president of Princeton University and as Governor of New Jersey. While the former, Wilson discouraged black from applying to his university, and as governor, Wilson refused to confirm the hiring of blacks in his administration.


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