“Berg is not uncritical of Wilson’s biggest lapses — his tolerance of segregation, his suppression of civil liberties and his “highly questionable” actions (or paralytic inaction) after the stroke he suffered in 1919, during his grueling campaign to win Senate approval of the League of Nations.”
—Former Clinton Speechwriter and author Jeff Shesol, in his Washington Post book review of historian Scott Berg’s new biography of Woodrow Wilson, “Wilson.”
There is a nasty piece of dishonesty in this quote, all the more sinister because it slides right by, altering your understanding of history and reality without you even knowing it. (Is it any surprise that Shesol wrote speeches for Bill Clinton?) Did you catch it?
It is the phrase, “[President Woodrow Wilson’s] tolerance of segregation.”]
Thus do ideologues intentionally mislead and warp the truth to preserve and protect their false idols. Woodrow Wilson has been so long enshrined in the Left’s pantheon of heroes through selective memory and historian malpractice that even now, when there is no denying his betrayals of core principles of both liberalism and human decency, not to mention competent leadership, there are partisan warriors like Shesol who not only refuse to acknowledge the truth, but who actively attempt to hide it.
Woodrow Wilson didn’t tolerate segregation, which suggests that he knew it was wrong but was passive in opposing it. Most of our Presidents since the Civil War fit that description, but not Wilson. He liked segregation, supported it, encouraged it, championed it. He was an admirer of the Ku Klux Klan: “The Birth of A Nation” was one of his favorite films. Woodrow Wilson was an unapologetic white supremacist who set civil rights in America back by decades. Clear-eyed, fair-minded commentators from both the left and the right have accepted and commented on this, and rightly so.
Why would a book reviewer with a background in history perpetuate the liberal spin that Wilson, because he talked and wrote provocatively about liberal government, is a misunderstood “great man,” when the historical record so clearly indicates otherwise? Why would a Washington Post editor permit him to do this? I vote for intentional public disinformation as the answer to the first question, and historical ignorance as the solution to the second.
Source: Washington Post