Univ. Of Wisconsin Students Want Lincoln Statue Removed: Sure, He Was ‘Anti-Slavery,’ but He Wasn’t ‘Pro-Black’
Phil Shiver, The Blaze, June 29, 2020
A student group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is calling for the school to remove its popular Abraham Lincoln statue, saying the president who is known as the “Great Emancipator” is a symbol of racism.
“He was also very publicly anti-Black,” Nalah McWhorter, the president of UW-Madison’s black student union, said. “Just because he was anti-slavery doesn’t mean he was pro-black.”
“He said a lot in his presidential campaigns. His fourth presidential campaign speech, he said that he believes there should be an inferior and superior, and he believes white people should be the superior race,” she added.
“Like those of all presidents, Lincoln’s legacy is complex and contains actions which, 150 years later, appear flawed,” Chancellor Becky Blank said in response to the calls for the statue’s removal.
Blank acknowledged that while the school has a lot of work to do “to address systemic racism and oppression,” she doesn’t support removing the statue. She argued that Lincoln’s legacy should be both celebrated and critiqued.
.@UWMadison Chancellor @beckyblank‘s statement on call to remove Pres. Lincoln statue on campus. She says the university believes “deeply in justice and equity for all people” & says they are in talks for Ho-Chunk land acknowledgement, but they think the statue should stay. pic.twitter.com/8vwXZTDSCX
— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) June 25, 2020
That response didn’t sit well with McWhorter, who argued that the school is siding with a “breathless, lifeless statue” over their black students.