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Response to Charlie Brown (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 19, 2015, 06:27 PM

27. No one's questioning Wilson's historical importance.

 

It's a question of the way in which it should be commemorated in public. A straight endorsement of any individual "great man" is almost always going to be a whitewash. This case is no different. I vote for more historical research and popularization of historical complexity, and less in the way of bullshit heroic monumentalization. There should be forms of memorialization that present such figures in their full contexts.

Wilson was a committed "scientific racist" who gave his presidential endorsement to the pro-Ku Klux Klan blockbuster, Birth of A Nation. Deal with it. Why do you want to forget such things? What is your identification with this particular imperialist, as opposed to any other? The League of Nations by the way was an attempt at a concordance of European empires, to maintain these and manage their affairs in a way that avoided future European wars, but did not question European dominance of their colonies. For example, it legitimated the French-British carve-up of the Middle East. Then again, this white man's club was better than the alternative that followed its breakup. Here as well, we would all be served by not heroizing and turning everything into these simplistic narratives of good or bad. Sorry that history's not simple enough.

But if you want it simple, I'd like to see a monument for Eugene Debs, of course. Or the International Workers of the World. Or the dead of Ludlow - appropriate at Princeton with all its buildings named after Rockefellers! You want a hero, look up Louis Tikas. He too was a man of his time - and yet nothing like Professor Wilson. Fancy that.

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Judi Lynn Nov 2015 OP
zentrum Nov 2015 #1
MADem Nov 2015 #2
Feeling the Bern Nov 2015 #4
Herman4747 Nov 2015 #3
MADem Nov 2015 #5
starroute Nov 2015 #7
starroute Nov 2015 #9
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #14
philosslayer Nov 2015 #24
bigworld Nov 2015 #6
Omaha Steve Nov 2015 #8
Charlie Brown Nov 2015 #10
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #15
Charlie Brown Nov 2015 #20
LineLineLineLineNew Reply No one's questioning Wilson's historical importance.
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #27
Charlie Brown Nov 2015 #28
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #29
DBoon Nov 2015 #21
MFrohike Nov 2015 #11
Elmergantry Nov 2015 #22
Reter Nov 2015 #12
iandhr Nov 2015 #13
Hoppy Nov 2015 #16
MisterP Nov 2015 #17
Hoppy Nov 2015 #18
Recursion Nov 2015 #19
One_Life_To_Give Nov 2015 #23
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #30
geek tragedy Nov 2015 #25
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #31
Herman4747 Nov 2015 #26
JackRiddler Nov 2015 #32
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