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Hurricanes Eta and Iota brought disaster to Central America. Officials can’t retire their names.

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Meteorologists are pushing to change the existing naming convention.
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jad
307 days ago
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Passing as a refugee

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Borders and camps across Africa are using biometrics to track refugees. But for those who are stateless, “fraud” can allow for the smuggling of truths into administrative lies.


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Faces of Dadaab. Image credit Riyaad Minty via Flickr CC.

Names and details have been changed to protect anonymity. Mahad’s story is a composite of interviews by the author with more than one person. This post is part of our series, “Histories of Refuge,” made up of essays from participants in the Rethinking Refuge Workshop. It is edited by historian Madina Thiam.

Mahad was born in Kenya—a fact that neither his passport, nor carefully scripted biography suggests. For decades, Kenyan Somalis (citizens of Kenya who also identify as Somali) have faced discrimination in accessing legal documents, including national identity cards, passports, and birth certificates. To even be considered for a national ID, most have to undergo an intimidating, invasive vetting process to assess the authenticity of their claims to citizenship. This process alone excludes many legitimate citizens from obtaining this crucial document. Without an ID in Kenya, one cannot enjoy many basic political and economic rights. These include opening a bank account, registering a SIM card, gaining formal employment, entering into government and corporate offices, and even moving about freely.

Like many Kenyan Somalis, Mahad ran afoul of registration agents when he tried to register for a national ID. He faced particular difficulty because his family structure defied easy ethnic categorization. Stuck in an impossible position, he turned to one of the few avenues available to him: passing as a refugee.

For decades, government officials and NGO workers have struggled to distinguish between refugees fleeing from Somalia and local Somalis with Kenyan citizenship. In recent years, states and international bodies have turned to techno-political solutions to this elusive problem. In 2007, the UNHCR introduced fingerprint and later iris scans to Kenya’s refugee camps. The UNHCR has also worked closely with the Kenyan government to identify cases of “double registration” (people who possess a Kenyan ID card or are on record as having applied for one). Through capacity building programs, they have strengthened the Kenyan state’s ability to carry out refugee registration. The National Registration Bureau of Kenya is now able to run the fingerprints of any person who applies for a national ID through the government’s refugee database, ensnaring people engaged in such doubling acts in legal limbo.

A biometric trail also follows African asylum seekers and migrants who make their way to Europe. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has implemented systems for capturing fingerprints and facial images at border points across 16 African countries. Such measures outsource border security, bringing technology deep into African states and along migration routes and strengthening the ability of Western nation-states “to prevent would-be asylum seekers from reaching their territories where their claims would be heard.” Migrants who manage to reach European shores are likely to have their fingerprints captured on the EU’s European Asylum Dactyloscopy Database (EURODAC), which identifies countries of first asylum. Had Mahad been born a few years later, his life trajectory would have likely looked very different. However, he was lucky to have come of age before the 9/11 securitization of borders, before the fever for biometrics had captured the imaginations of governments, intergovernmental bodies, and humanitarian organizations.

Mahad’s story begins with his enterprising and eccentric maternal grandmother, Khadija. As a young divorcée, Khadija moved from Italian Somaliland to Kenya in the late 1940s, during the waning years of British colonial rule. She settled in Narok, a predominately Maasai area in the south of the country, where she started a successful retail business and became known around town for her wit, business acumen, and occasional lapses into unreality. She soon caught the eye of a wealthy elder Maasai woman who claimed her as a long-lost daughter, adopting Khadija though she was already well into adulthood. When she died, Khadija inherited a portion of her property. This is how she came to stay in Narok, where she raised several children, including Mahad’s mother.

Mahad was born in the 1970s, one of only a few Kenyan-Somali children in this largely Maasai area. When he was little more than a toddler, his father decided to relocate the family to Wajir in northern Kenya, where they could live amongst his extended family. Moving from Narok to his father’s birthplace created unanticipated problems for Mahad—problems that only revealed themselves when he reached 18, the age when Kenyans pass through a standard rite of passage: acquiring a national ID.

For Mahad, obtaining this routine yet crucial document proved impossible. Registration agents in northern Kenya refused to process his application, redirecting him to the birthplace listed on his birth certificate. Yet, to officials in Narok he was an outsider. The kinship ties laid down by his grandmother had been lost to the stream of time. No local chief was able to pen a letter on Mahad’s behalf verifying his parentage, even though his mother had been born in the area. As a Somali, one’s citizenship status in Kenya is often called into question. As a stranger and minority in the region, Mahad was doubly suspect. Shuffled back and forth between Narok and Wajir, he found himself hedged into that ostracized category: the stateless.

Echoes of empire reverberated throughout this experience. Under British rule, Kenyans were governed according to their designated tribe. After introducing fingerprint-based ID cards in the early 20th century, the British colonial regime had insisted that Africans register in their native reserves, their putative ethnic homelands. This ethno-territorial logic—the idea of affixing people to paper to territory—had left an enduring mark on Kenya’s post-independence ID system.

After two tiresome years of trying, unsuccessfully, to acquire a national ID in both his birthplace and hometown, Mahad took a different route. Across the border in Somalia, he could easily obtain a passport. The Republic of Somalia had long championed a pan-ethnic project that embraced all Somalis as members of its imagined nation, regardless of whether they were born in a neighboring country. Somaliness may be no less contested a category than Kenyaness, but Mahad fit the part. Somalia was perhaps the only country that would accept him without question.

After Mahad acquired a Somali passport, the family paid an NGO official to smuggle him aboard a humanitarian flight to Europe, where he claimed asylum. Today, he is a Swedish citizen. When Mahad reentered to Kenya for the first time to visit family, he did so as a foreigner. It was a homecoming on a tourist visa.

According to the letter of the law (international humanitarian law, to be exact), Mahad was not a refugee: a person forced to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence with a well-founded fear of returning home. Yet, passing as one—gaining refuge under an adopted nationality—was one of the few ways out of a life teetering upon statelessness. The slow violence of bureaucratic indifference had denied him access to his natal citizenship. Adopting an assumed nationality offered him a way out. This is the type of strategy, the kind of creative corruption, employed by those pushed to the margins of political systems.

Biometric identifiers have offered the enticing promise of tying legal status directly to the body, closing the distance between the copy and the original, eliminating the possibility of mimicry and fraud. Indeed, digital biometrics can curb certain kinds of fraud, bribery, and forgery (even as it makes corruption a more expensive, high-tech endeavor). Integrating and centralizing national and refugee databases may make it easier for authorities to detect people like Mahad, who do not so much fall through the cracks as operate within them.

Notwithstanding, it is worth asking what (and who) gets lost when countries and international bodies turn to such automated biometric solutions. Data gaps, administrative failures, and clunky analog systems have caused myriad challenges for those at the mercy of dispassionate bureaucracies. They have also provided people forced to assume false identities—especially those who blur the line between citizen and refugee—room to maneuver complex, transnational lives.

In many cases, “fraud” can allow for the smuggling of truths into administrative lies.


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jad
316 days ago
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Humanitarian Camp Raided by Border Patrol and BORTAC, 30+ People Arrested

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Arivaca, AZ – The government ramped up its efforts to stop humanitarian workers on the U.S.-Mexico border and raided the ‘No More Deaths’ aid station, Byrd Camp, arresting over 30 people.
The Friday, July 31 raid featured the U.S. Border Patrol, an armored vehicle, two…

The post Humanitarian Camp Raided by Border Patrol and BORTAC, 30+ People Arrested appeared first on UNICORN RIOT.

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Thousands Demand That Michigan #FreeGrace After the Teenager Was Incarcerated for Not Doing Her Schoolwork

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ProPublica Illinois is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to get weekly updates about our work.

This story was co-published with the Detroit Free Press and Bridge Magazine.

State and federal lawmakers in Michigan are calling for the release of a 15-year-old high school student who has been held in a juvenile detention facility since mid-May for violating probation by not completing online schoolwork when schools shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, a new attorney representing the teenager, Grace*, whose case was detailed in a ProPublica Illinois investigation Tuesday, said he plans to file a motion in court Thursday asking the judge who ordered the girl detained to reconsider her decision and send Grace home.

The attorney, Jonathan Biernat, met with Grace for the first time Wednesday morning as her case gained national attention and sparked plans for a car-caravan protest Thursday afternoon traveling from Grace’s high school to the court complex in Oakland County. The case has launched a viral online discussion, which includes the hashtag #FreeGrace on Twitter and a Change.org petition asking for her release. The petition had more than 25,000 signatures as of Wednesday night.

“She is handling (detention) remarkably well, and she is remarkably brave. She has a ton of potential,” Biernat said. “This child had no tether violations, no house violations. There was simply an issue of her doing her work in a way that was not satisfactory” to the court.

“If the judge wanted her to get help and to succeed,” he added, “she should have kept her at home and provided her with additional services.”

Grace was a high school sophomore at Groves High School in Beverly Hills when she was charged with assault and theft last year. She was placed on probation in mid-April and, among other requirements, was to complete her schoolwork. Grace, who has ADHD and receives special education services, struggled with the transition to online learning and fell behind. Finding the girl had violated probation, an Oakland County judge on May 14 sentenced her to detention.

Grace’s court order, obtained by ProPublica.

Judge Mary Ellen Brennan’s decision came as Michigan and other states had shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19, and as the legal and education communities had urged leniency and a prioritization of children’s health and safety amid the crisis.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order in March, which was extended until late May, that encouraged eliminating any form of detention or residential placement unless a young person posed a “substantial and immediate safety risk to others.”

Acting on Whitmer’s order, the Michigan Supreme Court told juvenile court judges to determine which juveniles could be returned home. Juvenile courts across the country, including in Oakland County, worked to release young people who were in detention.

After spending the initial weeks in secure detention at the Children’s Village juvenile detention center in suburban Detroit, Grace is now in a residential treatment program at the facility. Grace and her mother, who have been allowed many phone calls but only three visits during the past two months, have pleaded with the judge to allow her to go home.

Now, members of Congress, officials in Oakland County and the ACLU of Michigan have called for Grace’s release. Her next court date is scheduled for Sept. 8.

Oakland County Executive David Coulter, the county’s top official, said he spoke with Brennan on Tuesday night and believes the case deserves another look.

“While there are many more details that she is unable to share with me and the public to protect privacy of the minor and their family, I believe a review of this case within her court or during an appellate process is required,” Coulter said in a statement. “It has been a top priority of my administration to keep the young people and employees safe at Children’s Village during the pandemic and that includes limiting residency to immediate safety risks.”

There have been no cases of COVID-19 among the young people at Children’s Village, the center’s manager said. Four workers have tested positive from contacts outside the facility.

At least two members of Congress also are calling for a review of the case. U.S. Rep. Andy Levin said the case had “serious deficiencies,” including court workers’ seeming lack of awareness about Grace’s learning disabilities. Levin represents the district that includes Grace’s school.

“Witnesses who could have provided a better understanding of the situation, like the student’s teachers, were unable to testify,” said Levin, vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee. “There is still time to rekindle the flame of justice in this case. I call on the court to review its decision in light of state guidance to limit juvenile detention except in cases of dire emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bring this student home to her mother now.”

A letter from Grace to her mother. Name redacted by ProPublica. Obtained by ProPublica

Grace has ADHD and an education plan that provided support from teachers and extra time to complete assignments. Birmingham Public Schools, one of the most well-regarded districts in the state, asked for patience from families and pledged to be flexible with school requirements during the school shutdown. Work was graded on a credit/no-credit system.

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, who represents parts of Oakland County, called the decision to detain Grace “more than disturbing.” In a statement, Lawrence said she wants to “ensure this case is not a glaring reminder of the disproportionate realities faced by minorities in the criminal justice system.” Grace is Black and lives in a majority white community.

From January 2016 through June 2020, about 4,800 juvenile cases were referred to the Oakland County court. Of those, 42% involved Black youth even though only about 15% of the county’s youth are Black, according to a ProPublica Illinois analysis of county data. Black children in Michigan are incarcerated more than four times as often as white children, according to federal data.

Brennan, the presiding judge of the Family Division, has declined to comment through a court administrator, who said the judge is unable to discuss a pending case.

But Brennan’s husband, attorney Ed Lennon, criticized officials and others who have suggested that Grace’s race factored into the judge’s decision, saying in an interview that “race has nothing to do with this case.” He noted that his wife was among the judges who released juveniles from detention during the pandemic. During March and April, 97 juveniles were released from Children’s Village by court order, according to figures provided by the court to ProPublica.

Brennan has been on the bench for 12 years and is “known for her compassion and fairness,” Lennon said.

In her ruling in Grace’s case, Brennan found the girl “guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school” and called Grace a “threat to (the) community,” citing the assault and theft charges that led to her probation. The charges stemmed from an argument with her mother, where Grace bit her finger and pulled her hair, and a separate incident where the girl stole a classmate’s cellphone. Brennan said Grace should stay at Children’s Village not as punishment, but to get treatment and services.

“She hasn’t fulfilled the expectation with regard to school performance,” Brennan said as she sentenced Grace. “I told her she was on thin ice and I told her that I was going to hold her to the letter, to the order, of the probation.”

On Tuesday, officials from Birmingham Public Schools and the intermediate school district in Oakland County said in statements that students should not be punished for not completing assignments or missing work during the upheaval caused by the pandemic.

“Oakland Schools shares the community’s deep concern and outrage over the recent action taken against a Birmingham Schools’ student by the court system,” Oakland Schools’ Superintendent Wanda Cook-Robinson said.

A group of Democratic state lawmakers from Oakland County — three senators and two representatives — issued a joint statement calling Brennan’s decision to remove Grace from her home during the pandemic “unconscionable” and called for the teenager to “be released and reunited with her mother immediately.”

In an interview, state Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills, said she is considering introducing legislation that would require court employees, child welfare workers and social workers to have implicit-bias training.

“What can we change to keep this from happening again?” Bayer asked.

Grace’s mom, Charisse, who said she wants to keep the family’s identity private, said she was grateful for the outpouring of support from across the country.

“While we attempt to untangle the web that now confines my daughter and keeps her away from me, her family and the support that she needs, I want to thank the seemingly endless number of people who have expressed their concern and offered their support,” she said in a statement.

“This situation is an emotional challenge, but is also a window into the brokenness that demands and deserves attention and repair as to prevent other children and families from being negatively impacted by a system that is supposed to offer protection and support.”

*ProPublica is using middle names for the teenager and her mother to protect their identities.

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PM Update: With 20 days in a row of 90 degrees or higher, D.C. sits on the edge of history

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If the thermometer hits 90 on Thursday, this streak ties for the longest on record in the city. It could come down to the wire.
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433 days ago
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Woodrow Wilson Was Even Worse Than You Think

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This article is part of TPM Cafe, TPM’s home for opinion and news analysis.

Princeton University’s decision this weekend to strike the name of its former president — and ours — from its public policy school for his “racist thinking and policies” was long overdue. Woodrow Wilson was in wide company in being a white supremacist at the turn of the 20th century, but he stands apart in having overseen the triumph of this ideology at home and abroad.

Son of the Confederacy’s leading cleric, apologist for the Klan, friend of the country’s most prominent racist demagogues, and architect and defender of an apartheid international racial order, the amazing thing is that Wilson’s name was ever associated with idealism or respectable statesmanship. In fact, delving deeply into his life to write “Union” — a book on the battle over whether the United States was to be defined by adherence to “natural rights” ideals contained in the Declaration of Independence, or to Anglo-Saxon bloodlines — I came away wondering how any institution would have wanted to be associated with his name at all, even in the 1920s or 1940s.

Wilson was raised in Augusta, Georgia during the Civil War, the son of Joseph Ruggles Wilson, leading light of the Presbyterian Church of the Confederacy who made his name through the publication of his popular sermon arguing for the Biblical sanction of slavery. After the war the slaves who served the Wilson family in the Rectory became wage laborers, but little else changed until the elder Wilson relocated the family to South Carolina’s capital, Columbia, a city that remained half-ruined after a fire spread during General Sherman’s advance five years earlier. Under the protection of the U.S. Army, South Carolina’s African-American majority had sent a 78–46 Black majority to the lower chamber of the State House, just four blocks from the Wilson’s Greek Revival home, and ten to the 21-seat senate, where Republicans — then still very much the party of Lincoln — also enjoyed a majority. As an academic and president, Wilson would later reveal just what he thought of these developments.

After dropping out of Davidson College (he had a “cold”) and loafing about his parents’ home for a year, Wilson’s father enrolled him at another Presbyterian, Southern-friendly college in Princeton, New Jersey which, unlike Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, or Brown, refused to admit African-Americans. Two thirds of Princeton’s students came from the former Confederacy, but Wilson was confronted with non-Southerners for the first time, an experience that bolstered his reactionary politics and Southern identity. He took up the secessionist side in debates with classmates, and nearly came to blows with some Northern students during the contested 1876 election. He fumed over Rutherford B. Hayes’s ascension to the presidency — “How much happier we would be now if [we] had England’s form of government instead of the miserable delusion of a Republic” — and was outraged by the prospect of universal male suffrage, which he called “the foundation of every evil in this country.”

He graduated from Princeton, but dropped out of University of Virginia’s law school after a year, again alleging a cold, and spent another sixteen months at his parents’ home, writing articles nobody would publish. “The determination of the Saxon race of the South that the negro race shall never again rule over them is, then, not unnatural and it is necessarily unalterable,” one concluded, arguing that Southern whites must maintain “united resistance to the domination of an ignorant race.”

He eventually wound up at Johns Hopkins University to study history, but was soon annoyed by his professors’ insistence that he do archival research, “digging … into dusty records” and “other rummaging work of a dry kind, which seemed very tiresome in comparison with the grand excursions amongst imperial policies which I had planned for myself,” as he put it to his fiancée. He made friends with a fellow Southerner, Thomas Dixon Jr., and wrote a book about the “living reality” of U.S. government without once visiting D.C., a short train excursion south of Baltimore, and then dropped out, believing he did not need a doctorate to pursue an academic career. Discovering otherwise, he convinced his former mentors to let him submit his book as his dissertation and stand for oral exams specially devised to ensure his success. In June 1886, he was awarded a PhD he hadn’t really earned.

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He condemned Reconstruction — the effort to enforce the civil and political emancipation of African-Americans in the occupied South — and said allowing Blacks to vote was a ‘carnival of public crime.’ "

He ultimately taught at Princeton, where he made his mark with a compact textbook, “Division and Reunion,” about the Civil War and postwar reconciliation. Contained within was an outline of the post-Confederate vision of a nation reunited based on shared Anglo-Saxon interests. He declared the “charges of moral guilt” leveled against Southern slave lords were unjust because slaves “were almost uniformly dealt with indulgently and even affectionately by their masters,” who themselves were the beneficiaries of “the sensibility and breeding of entitlement.” He condemned Reconstruction — the effort to enforce the civil and political emancipation of African-Americans in the occupied South — and said allowing Blacks to vote was a “carnival of public crime.” The mass slaughter of Black people by white terrorists in Hamburg, Vicksburg, Colfax, New Orleans and other cities went unmentioned, as did attacks occurring in dozens of South Carolina towns right under Wilson’s nose the whole time he was coming of age.

“Division and Reunion” was met with mixed reviews, but was a commercial success, as it embraced an account that let white Americans put the Civil War and civil rights behind them. And it inspired Wilson to write “A History of the American People,” a poorly written and shoddily researched five-volume, illustrated tome published in 1902. (“A disappointment after the pleasure of examining the pictures is past,” a leading journal wrote of it.) It furthered the white supremacist arguments in “Division and Reunion,” calling freed slaves “dupes” and the KKK a group formed “for the mere pleasure of association [and] private amusement” whose members accidentally discovered they could create “comic fear” in the Blacks they descended on. Immigrants were a problem because they were no longer “of the sturdy stocks of the North of Europe” but contained “multitudes of men of the lowest classes from the South of Italy and men of the meaner sort out of Hungary and Poland” and Chinese people, “with their yellow skin and strange, debasing habits of life,” who seemed “hardly fellow men at all, but evil spirits” and who provoked understandable mass killings by white mobs.

Then he went into politics, swapping the presidency of Princeton for the governorship of New Jersey by convincing the Democratic Party bosses of that state that he would be their puppet, but backstabbing them once he achieved power. After his 1911 inauguration, he did little governing, as he was soon laying groundwork for a presidential campaign. With the Republican vote split between incumbent William Howard Taft and the third party candidacy of former president Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson won the 1912 election with less than 42 percent of the vote, becoming the first Deep Southerner to hold the presidency.

It’s said that the South lost the war, but won the peace, but it was Wilson’s presidency that sealed the victory. Wilson presided over the segregation of the federal government, with Black civil servants directed to use only certain bathrooms and to eat their lunches there too so as to not sully the cafeterias. At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, makeshift partitions were erected in offices so white clerks would not have to see their Black counterparts. Dozens of prominent African-American officials were replaced with whites, which came as a shock to many African American leaders who’d supported Wilson because he’d promised to treat Blacks “fairly.” When the (white) head of the NAACP, erstwhile Wilson ally Oswald Garrison Villard, begged the president to reverse course, Wilson told him it was all being done “in the interest of the negroes.” The president famously ejected Black civil rights leader William Monroe Trotter from the Oval Office for having temerity to tell him that his delegation came to him not as “wards” but as “full-fledged American citizens” demanding equality of citizenship.

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Wilson has been described as ‘idealistic’ because of his efforts to create an international governing order at the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War I. But his plans for the world order presided over by the League of Nations paralleled his vision of the United States. "

The first Hollywood blockbuster was released in 1915, “The Birth of a Nation,” an epic film celebrating the KKK’s reign of terror against African-Americans in the South Carolina of Wilson’s adolescence and denigrating the black majority legislature that convened in his hometown with crude racial stereotypes. Co-produced by Wilson’s friend from Johns Hopkins, Thomas Dixon Jr., who wrote the novel it was based on, it contained numerous quotes from Wilson’s “History of the American People” substantiating its point of view. Massive protests broke out in cities across the country, seeking to have it censored, a common occurrence in the years before the Supreme Court ruled that artistic productions were protected speech. Threatened with bankruptcy, Dixon turned to his old friend to intervene. Wilson screened the film in the White House for his Cabinet, and the following day Supreme Court Justice Edward Douglass White — whose statues in Louisiana and the U.S. Capitol are also subject of current protests — agreed to show it to the other justices and congressional leaders because he himself had been in the Klan and loved the film’s message. These tacit endorsements from the highest levels of power turned the tide and the film went on to be a massive financial success and was until very recently celebrated as a great work of art.

Wilson has been described as “idealistic” because of his efforts to create an international governing order at the Paris Peace Conference that ended World War I. But his plans for the world order presided over by the League of Nations paralleled his vision of the United States. He promoted the principles of democracy and national self-determination, but only for European nations and Anglo-Saxon settler countries like the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Czechs, Romanians, and Serbs deserved their own national states, African, Arab, Indian, and Pacific Island peoples did not. Those living in the Axis powers’ former colonial possessions were sorted into a racial hierarchy of League mandates — Class A, B, and C — based on the level of tutelage they required.

Japan, an allied power in the war, introduced a measure to include the principle of racial equality in the League’s mandate. Wilson opposed it because it would have compelled the U.S. to ensure equal treatment to Japanese, Haitian, or Liberian citizens in hotels, restaurants, and transport across the Jim Crow South. The measure passed anyway, 11-5, but Wilson, who chaired the proceedings, unilaterally and arbitrarily declared the measure had failed because it was not unanimous. He also refused to meet Trotter, who had arrived with a petition for African-American equal rights, and a 29-year-old Vietnamese man seeking self-determination for his French-ruled people, who would later take matters into his own hand under his nom de guerre, Ho Chi Minh.

Princeton’s school of public service was reorganized in 1948, eighteen years after its creation, to add graduate education and a new emphasis on training the governmental experts the U.S. was thought to need to win the developing Cold War. “Many problems must be solved at home if our democratic institutions are to flourish,” the New York Times paraphrased Princeton president Harold Dodds as saying at the time. Having named his institution for someone opposed to the ideals of human equality set forth in the Declaration of Independence seems a straightforward problem for Princeton to have finally solved.

Colin Woodard is the author of six books including “Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood” and “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.”

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436 days ago
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acdha
447 days ago
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Washington, DC
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fxer
446 days ago
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Wilson was always suchhhhh a useless pile of shit, so glad to see he’s getting knocked off his pedestal recently

> and then [wilson] dropped out, believing he did not need a doctorate to pursue an academic career. Discovering otherwise, he convinced his former mentors to let him submit his book as his dissertation and stand for oral exams specially devised to ensure his success. In June 1886, he was awarded a PhD he hadn’t really earned.
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