MADISON — Madison West High School has joined the left’s latest act of public self-flagellation.
A parent tells Wisconsin Spotlight students are now required to recite the so-called Land Acknowledgement Statement, woke creeds announcing that the United States of America was established on land stolen from indigenous people.”
There’s concern that the claim of shame is replacing the Pledge of Allegiance, but Madison Metropolitan School District spokesman Tim LeMonds says that’s not the case.
“The Land Acknowledgement statement is recognized twice a week at West, however it does not replace the Pledge of Allegiance,” LeMonds told told Wisconsin Spotlight in an email.
He sent a copy of the statement upon request. It declares:
“It is with great respect that West High School acknowledges and celebrates the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the 11 indigenous First Nations within what is now referred to as the State of Wisconsin. The sacred ancestral land you are standing on in Madison is that of the Ho-Chunk People. West High School will continue to grow and build upon our partnerships with the Ho-Chunk Nation and all First Nations.”
Kyle Smith, critic for National Review, says the “meaningless self-scourging progressive fashion statements” are becoming ubiquitous these days, “especially among institutions run by the wokest of the woke.”
That includes the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The leftist campus is filled with the statements, from the student union to the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“The University of Wisconsin–Madison occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial,” the statement proclaims. It goes into the “ethnic cleansing” of the Ho-Chunk, who were forced to cede their land “when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin.”
Of course you’ll find nothing in the statements about the Ho-Chunk taking the lands of other native Americans — through wars and good old-fashioned property squatting. In short, the story of most peoples since time immemorial.
The Village of Waunakee, a satellite of socialist Madison, recently got in on the white guilt game. Its land acknowledgement creed also asserts the Ho-Chunk’s dawn of time claim to the land the village of settlers now occupies.
“We address this trend of dispossession by upholding Hoocagra [way of life], sovereignty, culture, language, and environmental practices. Acknowledging these atrocities is only the first step towards reconciliation,” the statement declares.
While these latest virtue signaling statements are being pushed in schools and at government meetings, Rick Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, says he hasn’t heard of students being compelled to recite them.
“You can’t be compelled as a student to say the Pledge of Allegiance. You can opt out. Similarly you should not be compelled to say these land acknowledgements.”
Of course in Woke schools, there is the social pressure on students to follow the leftist crowd or be labeled a privileged white supremacist through silence advocating for systemic racism.