A large boulder has been removed from the University of Wisconsin-Madison after the Black Student Union and other racial justice activists complained about it being a “racist monument.”
What makes the rock allegedly racist? In the 1920s, a journalist once used a racist term to describe the large boulder.
The rock’s existence has apparently been oppressing students ever since.
Fox News outlined the “racism” of the rock, as claimed by student activists:
Chamberlin Rock, which rests atop Observatory Hill, is named after a 19th Century geologist and former university president, Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, whose work centered on glacial deposits, according to a bio on the university’s website.
But it was a reporter’s reference to the rock in a nearly century-old Wisconsin State Journal article that prompted the push for its removal.
In October 1925, the university had the boulder excavated and placed prominently atop the hill to honor Chamberlin, who would die in Chicago three years later. The rock was a rare specimen believed to be more than 2 billion years old, and before it was installed on Observatory Hill, only about a foot and a half was visible above ground, according to the article. It was believed to have been carried by glaciers from Canada to Wisconsin.
In the 1920s, a slang term used to describe large dark rocks included the N-word, and it appears in coverage of the rock’s installation.
University researchers did not uncover other instances in print where the rock was referred to with this word, but they said the Ku Klux Klan was active on campus at the time of the rock’s dedication, according to an article in the same newspaper published earlier this week.
A senior and campus representative on the Madison City Council Juliana Bennett said the removal of the rock was another step toward a more “inclusive” campus.
“This moment is about the students, past and present, that relentlessly advocated for the removal of this racist monument,” Bennett told the Associated Press. “Now is a moment for all of us BIPOC students to breathe a sigh of relief, to be proud of our endurance, and to begin healing.”
According to Fox News, Mr. Chamberlin will “get a new plaque in a building already named after him, and the boulder will find a new home near Lake Kegonsa on other university-owned land.”
It’s not just young liberal activists on college campuses finding “racism” in bizarre places. The Washington Post, a supposedly neutral newspaper, discussed the “racist legacy” of birds, this summer, The Daily Wire highlighted:
In the story, reporter Darryl Fears explores a debate he says is raging within the Audubon Society about “the names of species connected to enslavers, supremacists and grave robbers.” Fears then details a number of birds named after historical figures who owned slaves or used racist terms. In particular, he points out that British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who “frequently used the n-word,” had six different bird species named after him.
Among other feathered creatures Fears names as problematic because they “bear the names of men who fought for the Southern cause, stole skulls from Indian graves for pseudoscientific studies that were later debunked, and bought and sold black people,” are Bachman’s sparrow and Wallace’s fruit dove.
Fears quotes a number of experts to bolster his premise that bird names are a problem worthy of the attention of Post readers. Black ornithologist and Clemson professor J. Drew Lanham told him, “Conservation has been driven by white patriarchy. This whole idea of calling something a wilderness after you move people off it or exterminate them and that you get to take ownership.”
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