If your kids attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, you might be interested to hear what they plan to blow a big chunk of your tuition money on.
School officials want to remove a large black boulder from Observatory Hill after a black campus activist group and a campus newspaper declared it a racist rock (and no, “Racist Rock” is not an old ABC afterschool series.)
Its name since 1926 has been Chamberlin Rock, after geologist and then-campus president Thomas Crowder Chamberlin. But showing that at least someone there is studying history, the activists discovered that in the first half of the last century, such rock formations were sometimes called by the racist name, “'N-word'-heads.” And this rock was once referred to by that term, albeit in quotation marks, in a newspaper article…in 1925.
So of course, it has to be removed because black students might feel oppressed by it. The estimated cost is between $30,000 and $75,000, which would pay for a nice scholarship for a promising black student. But removing the rock that was referred to by a racist name one time 95 years ago is far more urgent.
The removal will require the okay of the Wisconsin Historical Society, which notes that the boulder is a “Pre-Cambrian era glacial erratic that is an iconic representation of Wisconsin glaciation period.” FYI: the Pre-Cambrian period stretched from 4.6 billion years ago to about 541 million years ago. That’s how long the rock had been sitting there minding its own business before anyone decided it was racist and had to go.
The most shocking part of this story isn’t that the school’s administrators are actually planning to blow $75,000 of desperately-needed school funds on removing a rock that’s been there since the dawn of time because someone called it by a racist term 95 years ago. The shocking part is that we pay these people to teach our kids when they are apparently dumber than a box of Pre-Cambrian rocks.