RACIST BOULDER: University of Wisconsin Removes Two Billion Year Old Rock

Goodbye, hateful inanimate object.

Never mind that Chamberlain Rock is on the National Historic Monument database. Never mind that Chamberlain Rock is named after one of America’s most prominent geologists ever. Never mind that Chamberlain Rock is also named after one of the presidents of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Never mind that the detractors of Chamberlain Rock can only find one single instance of said boulder tagged with a derogatory moniker… and that bit of evidence consists of a singular sentence in a newspaper that has zero ties to UWM. By the way, that single sentence was penned nearly 100 years ago. That doesn’t matter, either.

What is important is that BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) at the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin can now “breathe a sigh of relief.”

World’s most useless badger found in Wisconsin.

As it turns out, someone with nothing better to do than stir-up an extremely questionable racial controversy, just so happened to have been thumbing through the October of 1925 copies of the privately-owned Wisconsin State Journal.

I know, I know. One person writes a racial epithet 96-years ago in a newspaper that the state of Wisconsin has no control over… now certain individuals are queasy and feeling somehow threatened by this rare example  of a “glacial erratic” boulder, now $50,000 was spent to move the same.

As reported by the Associated Press (via the San Diego Union-Tribune);

The University of Wisconsin removed a large boulder from its Madison campus on Friday at the request of minority students who view the rock as a symbol of racism.

Chamberlin Rock, on the top of Observatory Hill, is named after Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, a geologist and former university president. Students of color on campus say the rock represents a history of discrimination. The boulder was referred to as a derogatory name for Black people in a Wisconsin State Journal story in 1925.

The derogatory term was commonly used in the 1920s to describe any large dark rock. University historians have not found any other time that the term was used, but they said the Ku Klux Klan was active on campus at that time, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The boulder is a rare, large example of a pre-Cambrian era glacial erratic that experts say is likely over 2 billion years old.

The Black Student Union led the call to remove the rock last summer. Crews began removing it just before 7 a.m. Friday, securing it with straps and lifting it with a crane before moving it to a flatbed truck. It cost an estimated $50,000, covered by private donations, to remove.

Juliana Bennett, a senior and a campus representative on the Madison City Council, said removing the rock signaled a small 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,” she said. “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.”

I have just two painfully simple questions:

  1. Has anyone on both the Madison City Council and the Black Student Union ever met a Tuskegee Airman?
  2. How in the hell did we ever win World War II?

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