Crews worked for several hours Friday morning to remove a 70-ton boulder from Observatory Hill on the UW-Madison campus that was formerly known by a name some students felt was racist.
Chamberlin Rock, located on top of Observatory Hill, is named in honor of Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, a geologist and former university president. But for some students of color on campus, the rock represents a painful history of discrimination.
The boulder was referred to as a “n——-head” — a commonly used expression in the 1920s to describe any large dark rock — at least once in a 1925 Wisconsin State Journal story. University historians have not found any other time that the term was used but said the Ku Klux Klan was active on campus at that time.
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank approved the removal of Chamberlin Rock in January but the Wisconsin Historical Society needed to sign off on the rock’s removal because it was located within 15 feet of a Native American burial site.
Rachel Campos-Duffy mocked the move, writing “It cost the university $50k (your tax dollars) to remove this “racist” rock. These are the priorities of the woke UW Madison Taliban.”
It cost the university $50k (your tax dollars) to remove this “racist” rock. These are the priorities of the woke UW Madison Taliban. https://t.co/MYVx27pu65
— Rachel Campos-Duffy (@RCamposDuffy) August 7, 2021
Christopher F. Rufo wrote “Critical rock theory.”
Critical rock theory.https://t.co/uoTwZh7H0N
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) August 7, 2021
— Beverly A. Pekala (@PekalaLaw) August 7, 2021