Fr Mc Manus on President Woodrow Wilson

Posted By: May 21, 2007

MAY 21, 2007

Dear Editor,

I am a big fan of Edward T. O’Donnell’s column, “Hibernian
Chronicle”, which I read religiously.

His May 16 column, “President slams ‘hyphenated Americans'” was
of special interest because it dealt with the attitude of Woodrow
Wilson (who was President from March 4, 1913 to March 3, 1921) to
the Irish Cause and it’s Irish-American supporters.

Wilson — indulging in his own bigotry and pandering to the No
Nothings of the times — reprimanded Irish-Americans for being
“Irish-American” and not just “American”, thereby implying that
they had divided loyalties. That, of course, was the Big Lie.
Irish-Americans, quite rightly, wanted the United Stated to adapt
a fair and honorable foreign policy on justice and freedom in
Ireland, with and end to English rule oppression.

Wilson, for all his talk about “national self-determination”
refused to apply that principle to Ireland. He was an Anglophile,
which is okay. But why was he anti-Irish? His bigotry was
classically demonstrated by the way he treated Hanna Sheehy
Skeffington in the white House on January 11, 1918. (Hanna’s
pacifist husband, Francis Sheehy Skeffington, although he was not
involved in the Easter Rising of 1916, had been executed without
a trial by a British firing squad). When Hanna reminded President
Wilson of his own Irish ancestry, he snapped back, “Scotch-Irish,

So why was President Wilson anti-Irish? The simple answer was
because he had a racist/sectarian/segregationist mindset and
consequently and logically he was anti-Black, anti-Semitic and
anti-Catholic. (All three go hand-in-hand, as is illustrated by
the fact that those three groups were historically the targets of
the KKK).

Wilson dismissed a number of Black federal employees, replacing
them with Whites and further segregated the Federal workplace,
stating, ” I do approve of the segregation that is being
attempted in several of the departments” And, most notoriously of
all, on March 21, 1915 Wilson put on a special screening in the
White House of Birth of a Nation, directed by D.W. Griffith and
based on the novel The Clansman by Thomas Dixon. The movie
distorted history, glorified the KKK and denigrated and demeaned
African-Americans. Instead of denouncing that racist and vicious
propaganda, President Wilson waxed lyrically about it: “It is
like writing history with lightening, and my only regret is that
it is all so terribly true”.

Is it, therefore, any surprise that President Wilson would
support British policy in Ireland that was based on racist
English superiority and Protestant supremacy? He was simply being
true to his own perverted beliefs.

Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849