TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy confirmed that a bust of former President Woodrow Wilson, one of the country’s first prominent progressive Democrat leaders, won’t be returning to the Statehouse.
The bust was on display inside the Statehouse prior to a Chris Christie-approved overhaul to the building in 2017. All of the contents of the building were put into storage.
Murphy says the bust of Wilson, who served as governor from 1911 to 1913. Wilson became President in 1913.
Wilson is known for eroding the fight for civil rights for black Americans during his term in office.
Murphy’s administration however said there’s just not enough space in the building anymore for Wilson.
“The bust was put in the State Museum storage facility when the building was cleared out,” Darryl Isherwood, a spokesperson for the governor said in a statement. “Due to the multiple, new space constraints created by the renovation, the bust will remain in storage. When the director of the museum was shown the new, restored space she had to make multiple decisions on what would go back in the space, and where, and what will remain in storage.”
Wilson, when elected as President reinstated segregation in the federal government. Upon taking office, he segregated the U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Treasury Department.
“Before the election of President Woodrow Wilson, Black Americans worked at all levels of the federal government,” Guo Xi a professor of public policy at Berkeley Haas wrote. “But when Wilson assumed office in 1913, he mandated that the federal workforce be segregated by race—leading to the reduction of Black civil service workers’ income, increasing the significant income gap between Black and white workers, and eroding some of the gains Black people had made following Reconstruction.”
In reality, Wilson represented the racist and segregationist view of the turn-of-the-century Democrat party in America.
Many feel Wilson catered at the time to southern Democrats who dominated his cabinet. During his election, Wilson gained widespread support of America’s African American population. Later, many felt deceived by Wilson’s policies against black Americans.