Can rocks be racist? According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, yes.
Fox News reported, The University of Wisconsin removed a controversial boulder from its Madison campus Friday after the Black Student Union and other activists objected to its description nearly 100 years ago with a racial slur.
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.
This piece of University and Geological history was removed from the campus after students found a nearly century old Wisconsin State Journal Article that described the rock using a racial slur in 1925. No other reference to the rock was made using racially charged language.
This description of “n—– head” was thrust onto the rock one singular time. The description had nothing to do with the Boulder or it’s history on Observatory Hill.
The rock was excavated and placed atop the hill in 1925 by the university in order to honor their dying former President, Thomas Crowder Chamberlin.
The boulder was large, rare and believed to be over 2 billion years old. Geologists of the time believed that the rock had been carried into Wisconsin from Canada by glaciers.
It was also requested that a statue of Abraham Lincoln be removed, but the university rejected the request.
“This moment is about the students, past and present, that relentlessly advocated for the removal of this racist monument,” said senior campus representative Juliana Bennett.
In reality, the monument was never racist, or symbolic of racism. It was simply described in a racist fashion, once nearly a century ago.