Take down Dartmouth College's racist Native American weather vane.
This petition made change with 868 supporters!
The time has come to take down the Weather Vane that symbolizes the degradation and annihilation of Native Americans by white colonists. The weather vane was built and placed on the peak of Baker Library for all to see in the 1920's. It is a caricature of a young male Native being "educated' by the white schoolmaster. The Native American is smoking a pipe of tobacco while the white man has a keg of rum. The depiction is a sad reference to the plight alcoholism and drug addiction played in the stealing of native lands to found Dartmouth College.
Dartmouth was founded as a school to Christianize Native Americans so they could be missionaries to their people. After sending a Native American preacher, Samson Occom, to England and Scotland to raise money, the money was used instead for a school primarily for white students. For two hundred years Dartmouth's commitment to minority education was a mockery. Times are changing and Dartmouth continues to improve its efforts to increase minority representation.
The weather vane is a sad relic of white oppression that is allowed to remain on campus as though it had a historical value simply because it has been there so long in such a prominent position of respect. It is time to confront symbols that carry racist roots. The weathervane even denigrates the African American slaves who helped clear the land for the college. It depicts a tree stump cut by a saw and being used as a chair for the white man. There is no African American memorialized on the weather vane only the stump, a symbol of their stolen labor founding Dartmouth.
Even the Town of Hanover has appropriated the weather vane as its logo. Hanover has it printed on their uniforms, vehicles, letterhead, and recycling bins. It is time for a recognition that this use is wrong and that all people deserve to be respected and treated with compassion. Racism and the silencing of minorities has no place on a College campus and should not be spread to a college town as a badge of honor. Dartmouth's message should continue to be a message of Love and inclusion. Taking down the weathervane is a step in that direction.
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