McKenna Dallmeyer, Campus Reform, October 27, 2020
The University of Wisconsin-Madison student government unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that calls for the removal of the Abraham Lincoln statue on campus.
In June, Campus Reform reported that UW-Madison would not remove the Lincoln statue despite students’ calls in favor of doing so. In September, a petition titled “BIPOC Demands for the University of Wisconsin-Madison” garnered more than 3,000 signatures. The first demand states, “Remove the Abraham Lincoln monument located at the top of Bascom Hill and replace it with someone who stands for the justice of all people.”
Students argue that President Lincoln was “anti-Black,” “anti-Native” and “not pro-Black.”
Following these calls to remove the statue, a resolution was introduced to the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Student Council advocating for the removal of the Lincoln statue on campus.
The resolution states that the statue should be removed and replaced because it “serve[s] as remnants of this school’s history of white supremacy.”
When asked how the statue serves as a “remnant” of “white supremacy,” Shared Governance Campaign Director for ASM and co-sponsor of the resolution Kevin Jacobson told Campus Reform that the statue “sits at the top of Bascom Hill, a Native American burial mound. Abraham Lincoln is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Native Americans over the course of his presidency.”
Equity & inclusion committee chair of ASM Brandon Springer also told Campus Reform that Lincoln’s “legacy” allows for white supremacy to have a role on campus.
The main sponsor of the resolution, Crystal Zhao, told Campus Reform that even though the vote was unanimous, “not all representatives in ASM agree that Abraham Lincoln Statue should be removed.”
“With that said, Abraham Lincoln is a representation of ethnic cleansing of indigenous folks and the fact that UW-Madison stands on stolen land. Many students do not feel comfortable seeing him every day when we used to walk to classes. And his presence on Bascom shows that UW-Madison does not care about the ‘shared future’ plan we have with Ho-Chuck people and other first nations,” Zhao continued.
The College Republicans started a petition in support of keeping the statue where it is.