For many years (well before the call for Confederate flag reform and Charleston church shooting) a controversial statue on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) campus by the name of “Silent Sam” has stood proud. Its symbolism stands for unknown Confederate soldiers who eventually lost the Civil War fighting for their cause to keep slavery intact.
Over the holiday weekend, a group of unknown vandals decided to make “improvements” to “Silent Sam;” spraying “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “KKK” and “MURDERER” across its base.
ABC11 interviewed nearby residents and students about the incident and they found there has been overwhelming support for “Silent Sam’s” new look.
“They’ve made a major improvement to the statue,” UNC student Nikhil Umesh told WTVD.
Kirsten Adams agreed, telling the outlet: “As an African-American woman, who is a student here, that statue is the very statue that pretty much says I don’t belong here, that I shouldn’t be here. It is a relevant statue, and so it should be there, on the other hand if we keep Silent Sam up, if we keep all these halls named after these racists, it’s like we’re celebrating the racism so you kind of have to draw a line somewhere.”
According to the Daily Tar Heel, industrialist Julian Carr commemorated the statue’s 1913 unveiling with a speech that partially read, “100 yards from where we stand, less than 90 days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench, until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady.”
And this is the symbol you want your students to gaze upon throughout their higher learning, UNC? Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications and Public Affairs Rick White gave a rather politically correct statement that indicated the aforementioned question was “yes.”
“We understand that the issue of race and place is both emotional and, for many, painful,” he relayed to the News & Observer. “We welcome all points of view, but damaging or defacing statues is not the way to go about it.”
Because taking it down is just oh-so impossible.
Flip through the gallery to see “Silent Sam’s” new makeover and the solution UNC took to cover it up.
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