One particular woman, who uses performance art to draw attention to injustice, was so dismayed to realize that she’s still forced to walk by the painful artifact that she recently dressed up in a shredded garment, got on her knees, and bound herself to it.
Prompted to address questions about the post, city officials deferred to historian and Director of the Silas Bronson Library, Rachael Guest, to research the matter, and what she found was that there indeed was a link to chattel slavery. “In the 1700s every town had a whipping post in the center of town,” says Guest. Guest adds, however, that the whipping post was also used to punish those who offended the law, and she also vouches that at some point after slavery was outlawed, the post was converted into a post for the town to pin notices on to. Still, some residents don’t see why the post cannot be removed and replaced with something more modern and less tainted by a dark history.
“This here is like a smack in the face to black people,” Waterbury resident Mark Greene told a local news outlet. He and other local demonstrators plan to continue fighting for the posts’ removal. No judgment has been announced on its status thus far.