U. of Wisconsin rejects demand for plaque near Lincoln statue accusing 16th president of this

U. of Wisconsin rejects demand for plaque near Lincoln statue accusing 16th president of this
Image: U. of Wisconsin

Back when statue-gate was still just gathering steam, President Donald Trump quipped in a tweet that before long, the Left would be demanding the removal of statues dedicated to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

A day later, the Washington Post asked with a straight face whether it is “still OK to venerate” these two former presidents, both of whom after all held slaves. Soon after came actual demands that statues of Washington be toppled and the Jefferson Memorial turned into a museum.

Now it’s another president’s turn. The target this time? Abraham Lincoln!

Sure Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, effectively freeing the slaves, but it’s not his seeming ambivalence toward slavery that has students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, up in arms. Rather, they want the record to show that Lincoln was a “mass murderer.”

According to Campus Reform, the student government recently issued a demand to the administration that a plaque be added near the statue of Lincoln outside Bascom Hall that acknowledges his complicity in the death of 38 American Indians:

Katrina Morrison, chair of the Associated Students of Madison, told The Daily Cardinal that while she appreciates “Lincoln’s role in creating land-grant institutions,” she supports the motion to place an informative plaque on his statue to recognize what she called “his brutality towards indigenous people.”

“We wanted a plaque near Lincoln because we wanted the university to recognize his part in the Dakota 38 massacre,” she elaborated. “I think that [not putting a plaque on the statue] is a mistake, and I think that the history is irrefutable. It is clear that he played a huge role in the massacre and was killing innocent people for no reason.”

“For no reason” yet! What a bastard!

A leader of another student organization goes a step further, claiming this sin of omission is still microaggressing campus snowflakes 150 years after the event:

Mariah Skenandore, co-president of an indigenous student organization known as Wunk Sheek, likewise supported the measure, saying the university doesn’t “acknowledge the impact that it is having on their students” who have to encounter the statue on a daily basis. [Emphasis added]

“I think the plaque is the least the university can do,” she added. “If we don’t keep advocating for ourselves, no one is going to advocate for us.”

Happily, the university is having none of it.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank ultimately decided to ignore the student government’s request, pointing out that Lincoln only accepted the sentences of those who were “involved in either killing or raping,” and therefore actually played a “restraining role” in the matter.

“Abe is actually here because he was the person who really created public universities in the states throughout this country in a very real way,” she concluded. “I do not see a reason to prominently label [the killings of natives] on the Lincoln statue.”

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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