Apparently, a “racist” 42-ton boulder that is said to be two billion years old is now no longer welcome on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The historical boulder was removed over the weekend.
Called the Chamberlin Rock since 1925, the boulder was named after Thomas Chamberlin, a geologist who worked as the university’s president from 1887 to 1892. However, despite the boulder’s long and illustrious history, the UW Black Student has been lobbying for years to remove the boulder due to the fact that it was once referred to as a “n*****head” in a 1925 newspaper article. To date, university historians have not been able to find any other racist reference to the boulder.
WKOW made the following report:
According to a news release from UW spokeswoman Meredith McGlone, Chamberlin Rock is known as a two-billion-year-old glacial erratic structure, and it is very rare in the natural world. Additionally, it was named after former University President Thomas Chamberlin. However, according to the Black Student Union, the rock had been known as a racial slur for several years after it had been dug up and installed. The Black Student Union wanted to remove it because it had caused harm to their community over the years.
“Removing the rock as a monument in a prominent location prevents further harm to our community while preserving the rock’s educational and research value for current and future scholars. The rock will be placed on university-owned land southeast of Madison near Lake Kegonsa,” McGlone said in the release. They removed this rock last Friday.
It seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to over an inanimate object, so I don’t know, how about just calling it something else? How about renaming it after a black activist, such as Malcolm X Rock or Sojourner Truth Rock? But I digress….