When are ‘feelings’ more important than history?
‘At the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a 70-ton boulder named Chamberlin Rock — in honor of Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, a geologist and former university president, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
But on Oct. 9, 1925, the Wisconsin State Journal printed a story about the process of digging up the boulder — and it was referred to in the story as a “n*****head,” which was a commonly used expression in the 1920s to describe any large dark rock, the paper said.
It’s unclear if or for how long the boulder was called that racist name, the Journal said, adding that the term itself appeared to fade from common usage by the 1950s. In addition, the paper said university historians identified the news story as the only known instance of the offensive term being used.
Fast forward to 2020
But in the wake of George Floyd’s death in May and the nationwide protests and rioting that followed — including the tearing down and demands for removal of statues and monuments with any connection to racism — the Wisconsin Black Student Union followed suit over the summer and called for the removal of Chamberlin Rock, the Journal said.
Blank has previously indicated she supports the rock’s removal, the Journal added, although a timeline for such a project hasn’t been established.
UW’s Black Student Union President Nalah McWhorter said the boulder is a symbol of daily injustices students of color face on the predominantly white campus, the paper said.
“This is a huge accomplishment for us,” she told the Journal on Wednesday. “We won’t have that constant reminder, that symbol that we don’t belong here.”
Kacie Butcher, the university’s public history project director, said there was a Ku Klux Klan presence throughout Madison in the 1920s and on-campus minstrel shows, the Capital Times reported.
“That racism hasn’t left campus. It’s just changed, and this rock … is a symbol of this ongoing harm,” Butcher said, according to the Times. “We have a real opportunity here to prioritize students of color and their experiences — something we haven’t really done historically — and this is an opportunity for us not to trivialize these demands, but instead truly engage in these really complex conversations.”
As far as what will happen to the rock once it’s lifted from its spot, the Journal said options include burying it at its original resting place, breaking it apart and disposing of it, or moving the rock to the Ice Age Trail — a thousand-mile footpath formed by glacial ice in Wisconsin.’https://www.theblaze.com/news/boulder-college-racist-1925-newspaper-story?utm_source=theblaze-dailyPM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily-Newsletter__PM%202020-11-19&utm_term=ACTIVE%20LIST%20-%20TheBlaze%20Daily%20PM
This rock is the least of their worries!