You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Letters

Wilson’s role in setting back race relations must be noted

Last Sunday’s Ideas piece “10 Ways of looking at Woodrow Wilson” left out a very important perspective on Wilson — what I would call “Jim Crow racist.” Although Wilson was a progessive on most issues, on the matter of race he did not escape his Southern roots and training.

He famously endorsed D.W. Griffith’s epic Civil War film “Birth of a Nation” as “history written with lightning,” after a White House screening. The film was, of course, a perfect depiction of the South’s “Lost Cause” mythology, replete with happy, loyal slaves and animalistic African-American Union soldiers lusting after pure-hearted Southern white women.

Continue reading below

On a less symbolic level, and with all-too-real human impact, Wilson resegregated the federal bureaucracy in Washington. At the nadir of post-emancipation race relations, Wilson actively made matters worse.

It’s a sad 11th way of looking at Wilson, but one that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Jim Beauchesne

Arlington

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.