COME ON: College Just Removed A Rock Because Students Said It Was Racist!


Can rocks be racist? According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, yes. 

The school in early August moved a giant boulder that had sat prominently on campus for nearly a century to honor geologist and former university President Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin.

“This moment is about the students, past and present, that relentlessly advocated for the removal of this racist monument,” said Juliana Bennett, a student and campus representative on the Madison City Council. “Now is a moment for all of us [black, Indigenous, and people of color] students to breathe a sigh of relief, to be proud of our endurance, and to begin healing.”

Chamberlin was never accused of racism or anything else inappropriate. Instead, the massive 42-ton boulder was removed because of a single line in a local newspaper nearly 100 years ago in 1925 that referred to the rock using an offensive anachronism. No other reference to the rock was made using racially charged language.

The school’s Black Student Union had started calling over the summer for the boulder to be yanked off the hill, noting it reminded students of color of the school’s history of racism.

This description of “n—– head” was thrust onto the rock one singular time. The description had nothing to do with Boulder or its history on Observatory Hill.

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.

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman, who went to Madison for his undergraduate and law degrees, said that he has never heard anyone imply anything racist about the boulder.

“It’s high time in society and education, in particular, to stop paying attention to the most thin-skinned in society,” Grothman said. “I’m sure I’ve walked within 40 feet of the rock hundreds of times. I never knew it existed. Nobody ever talked about it.”

Last summer, Wisconsin’s Black Student Union led the charge. A senior who participated in the effort claimed to the Associated Press that moving the rock provides “a moment for all of us BIPOC students to breathe a sigh of relief, to be proud of our endurance, and to begin healing.”

Watch the video below:

Sources: AWM, NYpost