Racism chiseled on our walls -- and the fight to erase it
Updated 11:50 AM ET, Mon February 15, 2016
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Princeton, New Jersey (CNN)On campus tours, Princeton University junior Charlesa Redmond takes prospective students to historic, ivy-covered Nassau Hall, where she passes along a bit of college lore about the weathered bronze tigers that flank the entrance. Nicknamed "Woodrow" and "Wilson," they were a gift to the school from the graduating class of its most cherished alumnus, and, legend has it, if you rub their heads, the admissions gods will smile on your application.
Still, the protests have ignited fierce debates about the proper standards by which historical figures should be judged, and whether rescinding honors bestowed upon these figures by earlier generations leads to dangerous distortions and omissions of history or valid repudiations of values long since discarded.
Protests spring up nationwide
Judging past behavior by today's standards
Judging Wilson solely on his record on race, Greenberg says, would be like evaluating Franklin D. Roosevelt only on his internment of Japanese Americans. "All our leaders are flawed, contradictory," he says. "History is not just about heroes and villains. My feeling is the students now want to replace the hero Wilson with the villain Wilson rather than acknowledge a more nuanced understanding of him."
Two sides of Wilson: Insidious racism and progressive politics
Wilson's ubiquitous presence at Princeton 'feels like a haunting'
Destiny Crockett, a junior and English major, says she's heard of lot of people make the case that, " 'Yes, Wilson, did some racist things, but ...' There needs to be a message sent that there is no 'but' when there's that level of hatred toward people who are now members of the Princeton community."