The College Fix reports visitors and students entering Cornell University's student library recently were surprised to find a Gettysburg Address plague and a bust of Abraham Lincoln had been removed without notice. Kroch Library reports the display, which has been in the library since 2013, was temporary.
A Cornell professor who frequents the library told The College Fix in late June he was told by librarians it was removed because of "some sort of complaint." Since then, Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany has written that she finds the university's explanation "tremendously hollow."
Kabbany argues that the three librarians who had (or have) authority over the temporary displays "seem sympathetic to the notion of removing the Lincoln display, because combatting systemic racism has become a cudgel for demonizing our nation's past leaders."
Deroy Murdock of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network offered his reaction during an interview with AFN.
"They're covering their derrieres," he begins. "If in fact they just wanted to remove a temporary display, I think they should have alerted people that it was going to be removed – and there'd be no controversy."
Murdock doesn't expect the issue is immediately going away – but he does anticipate that alumni are going to be asking questions:
"If there's something fishy afoot, Cornell alumni might ask themselves [the] question: Why continue to send donations to a school that disrespects the memory of Abraham Lincoln and disregards the value of the Gettysburg Address?"
The College Fix says it held its original story for five days, waiting for a response from the president's office and media relations department at Cornell as to the whereabouts of the plaque and the bust.