New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says he will no longer use former President Woodrow Wilson’s desk in his Trenton office because of his support for racist policies.
“The country is having a reckoning and Woodrow Wilson, and his legacy is being swept up in that, as it should be,” Murphy said Monday during a press conference.
Murphy was criticized for using the historic furniture after tweeting a photo of himself paying tribute to George Floyd from behind the desk engraved with Wilson’s name.
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Wilson, who served as governor of New Jersey before becoming president in 1913, supported segregation and pushed for various federal agencies to be racially divided while in the White House.
Murphy initially said he had not considered the matter and that the desk has traditionally been used by other governors.
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“As soon as I was able to get a replacement, which was not as easy as I thought, I got one and I think it was the right thing to do,” Murphy said, according to CNN.
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Murphy’s decision to change the desk comes after Princeton University announced that he would remove Wilson’s name from his school of public policy, noting that his racism was “significant and consistent even by the standards of his own time.”