Despite the fact that Abraham Lincoln was the president who abolished slavery, students at the University of Wisconsin are now demanding that a statue of him be torn down because he was not “pro-black” enough for them.
The statue has sat on top of the school’s picturesque Bascom Hill for over 100 years, according to WISC-TV, but radically liberal students want it to be removed because of statements Lincoln made about racial equality. “He was also very publicly anti-Black,” said Nalah McWhorter, the president of UW-Madison’s black student union. “Just because he was anti-slavery doesn’t mean he was pro-black.”
“He said a lot in his presidential campaigns,” she added. “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.” Lincoln did actually say this in a campaign speech given on September 18, 1858, five years before he ended slavery by signing the Emancipation Proclamation.
The university is taking a stand to keep the Lincoln statue in place…for now. “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 these calls to remove the statue. “However, when the totality of his tenure is considered, Lincoln is widely acknowledged as one of our greatest presidents, having issued the Emancipation Proclamation, persuaded Congress to adopt the 13th Amendment ending slavery and preserved the Union during the Civil War.”
Blank went on to add that while the school has much to do “to address systemic racism and oppression,” she does not think the Lincoln statue should be removed.
.@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
This response enraged McWhorter, who accused the school of siding with a “breathless, lifeless statue” over their black students. “For them to want to protect a breathless, lifeless statue more than they care about the experiences of their black students that have been crying out for help for the past 50, 60 years, it’s just a horrible feeling as a student, as a black and brown student on campus,” she said.
Though statues are being forcibly removed by radically liberal rioters all over the country, McWhorter said that her group has no intention of doing this. Instead, she wants the college to make the decision to take the Lincoln statue down.