The controversial Silent Sam statue has fallen on Chapel Hill to the uproarious reaction of a celebratory student body. The statue was torn down by around 250 protestors who couldn’t wait another minute for administrators and politicians to drag their feet on the issue.
Among a series of statues scattered throughout the southern and northern states called the Silent Sentinels, Silent Sam represented an homage to UNC students who went off to fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War, 40 percent of the student body.
Created at the behest of the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1913 by Canadian sculptor John Wilson, it was “christened” by one of the most racist speeches in the history of racist speeches by a despicable man named Julian Carr, an industrialist and former Confederate terrorist and namesake of Carrboro, North Carolina.
“The present generation… scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war… their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South.” – Julian Carr
He went on to boast of how he beat a black woman, who he claims offended a white woman, in front of a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers during the Reconstruction in the same speech.
Institutional racism at an institution of higher education is an almost laughable play on words if it weren’t so insidious. The statue, speech, and person who dedicated it are a stain on democracy. Yet, it took until a group of protestors who were fed up with this memoriam to white supremacy took it down 105 years later. The mood is one of jubilation down on Chapel Hill amid the student body, but school administrators have expressed concerns over the incident publicly.
“Silent Sam,” which had stood since 1913, had been the focus of demonstrations in recent years. ” Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC ” Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News is a leading source of global news and information. Here you will find clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and original digital videos.
University chancellor Carol L. Folk stated in an open letter that the statue has been divisive for years, and its presence has been a source of frustration for many people not only on our campus but throughout the community. But also called Monday nights events unlawful and dangerous.
This reflected a similar stance from officials throughout the UNC system, who called the incident unacceptable, dangerous, and incomprehensible and adding that mob rule and the intentional destruction of public property will not be tolerated. Campus police are currently gathering information for a criminal investigation.
The protestors, incensed at the resistance to progressiveness in contemporary society that has its roots in black oppression symbolized by the statue, took action. Now, the institution has decided that it will side with literal institutional racism instead of taking this as an opportunity to move forward from this offensive marker of white supremacy.
White supremacy thrives in bureaucracy, awash with antiquated and false notions of southern victimization at the hands of the north. And the official stance of the University of North Carolina is that rule of law and praise for KKK terrorism is more important than making sure that Confederate ideology is resigned to history once and for all. Pathetic.
The only reason to memorialize a bygone era is if you long for its return or reminisce over its effect on people. Either way, it’s a bad, bad look. It’s not just controversial, it’s morally reprehensible. Legality is a poor excuse.