(David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images), UNC Classics Professor Jim O'Hara has also been active in understanding the history of Silent Sam and in petitioning the University administration to remove the statue. In a statement issued Tuesday, UNC's Chancellor Carol Folt, UNC System President Margaret Spellings, and other leaders said that "we do not support lawlessness, and we will use the full breadth of the state and and University processes to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.". The university itself did not fund the statue, but then-president Francis Venable solicited donations from alumni. With frustrations boiling over and legal options seemingly exhausted, anti-racist activists took down Silent Sam on August 20. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Nearly 50 years after the end of the Civil War, dozens of, site at 55th & Ward Parkway, taken to a storage location by request of the group to the Kansas City, Missouri Parks Department. They're not just random pieces of furniture. In November of 1971, a protest was held by the UNC Black Student Movement at Silent Sam after two young black men were killed by whites. I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. It was commissioned for the more than 1,000 UNC students who left their studies to fight on the side of the Confederacy in the Civil War, on the 50th anniversary of the Civil War's beginning. Silent Sam is a Jim Crow-era monument erected during a time when people of color could not attend UNC. “As chancellor, the safety of the UNC-Chapel Hill community is my clear, unequivocal and non-negotiable responsibility,” Folt wrote in a letter to students. "We are providing legal notice of an additional reason why Silent Sam must come down now: the statue violates federal anti-discrimination laws by fostering a racially hostile learning environment." Again in 1973 and in 1990, students wrote letters to the Daily Tar Heel to discuss the meaning of Silent Sam. One of the earliest written records of this, according to UNC's archives, was on March 17, 1965 at the height of the Civil Rights era during the Selma-to-Montgomery marches in Alabama. Silent Sam was not the first Confederate monument to come down in North Carolina. Police stand … Silent Sam, after all, was meant to pay tribute to those who wanted to maintain slavery. The law was drafted in response to the Silent Sam statue that still stands tall on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus, as some folks wanted (and still want to) tear the fucker down. UNC’s Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s public universities, accepted Folt’s resignation and said she should leave by the end of the month. Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on the UNC campus in August 2018. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterward slept with a double-barrel shotgun under my head. If their presence offends our sensibilities, good. No one learns at their best when they feel unsafe.”. But this political, post-Trump-election moment has also generated an urgency to confront symbols and systems of white supremacy. Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, posted details on Facebook about why they stole a Chapel Hill black history monument connected to Silent Sam monument Video taken at UNC around 1 a.m. Tuesday showed people singing and cheering as construction workers carefully removed the remains of Silent Sam. ", Protesters gather at a Confederate monument known as "Silent Sam" on campus at the University of... [+] North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. Vox Recommended for you. The idea of bringing down Silent Sam and other Confederate statues clearly has a long history, but a letter to the Daily Tar Heel editor in 2003 by Gerald Horne, then a professor of history at UNC, asked whether, like Saddam Hussein's statues that were being pulled down all over Iraq, Silent Sam should be removed. This law was passed specifically because of calls for removal of Silent Sam that intensified in 2015. Current NC governor Roy Cooper said in 2017 that UNC system officials could remove the statue, particularly if they thought there was a public safety risk, but the University administrators felt they could not legally do it. The Confederate Monument, University of North Carolina, commonly known as Silent Sam, is a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier by Canadian sculptor John A. Wilson, which stood on the historic McCorkle Place of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) from 1913 until it was pulled down by protestors on August 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome), emoving the statue will not, by itself, erase attitudes of white supremacy, eliminate racial violence in our society, provide equal protection to immigrants who enter lawfully, or redress the other injustices that are standing in the way of our nation’s progress. Specifically, in the same year that Silent Sam was dedicated, the UDC "unanimously endorsed and promoted for use in schools a history of the KKK that praised the heroic work they did to preserve white supremacy. "That's not just bad logic," O'Hara notes, "it's based on a false premise. Silent Sam, like other memorials to the Confederacy, is a monument to a treasonous rebellion against the United States, fought to preserve the enslavement of African Americans. In a letter to the Daily Tar Heel, the university's student newspaper, Horne suggests Silent Sam should be toppled just like the statue of Saddam Hussein. Late Monday evening, protestors on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pulled down a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier nicknamed 'Silent Sam.' ©2021 Verizon Media. Part of HuffPost News. Protesters Monday night toppled Silent Sam, the Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The downfall of Silent Sam sparked backlash on campus, but also struck a chord across the country, once again bringing the conversation on … Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Twitter. "Silent Sam and other Confederate monuments erected during Jim Crow represent white Southerners’ efforts -- and specifically efforts by white Southern women in groups such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy -- to revise Civil War history," UNC history graduate student and Silent Sam sit-in member Jennifer Standish tells me. Confederate monuments in the state of North Carolina are currently protected by a law signed by Republican then-governor Pat McCrory in 2015 that prevents removal, relocation, or alteration of monuments, memorials, plaques, and other markers on public property without permission of the North Carolina Historical Commission. And of course the Silent Sam statue erased the memory of the enslaved people that those young men were fighting to keep enslaved, who are nowhere mentioned on it. “While I recognize that some may not agree with my decision to remove the base and tablets now, I am confident this is the right one for our community – one that will promote public safety, enable us to begin the healing process and renew our focus on our great mission,” Folt said. ", Police stand guard after the confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on... [+] campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. [...] In view of this situation which so lately prevailed in other areas of the country, the existence on the UNC campus of a monument to men who were militant white supremacists and extremists of the worst kind is no less an affront to the Negro peoples and the intelligentsia than is the gaudy Confederate flag flying from the lily-white dome of Alabama's capitol. One hundred yards from where we stand [on Franklin Street], less than ninety 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 an maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. RELATED: Black History Plaque Taken … Folt’s decision to remove Silent Sam’s pedestal as she announced her resignation in January won plaudits from some on campus, but she may have worsened the challenges her successor … They should. ", campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. But … Protests outside the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 2017 over Confederate monuments led to a woman’s death in clashes between white supremacists and demonstrators. Standish, however, points out that Silent Sam "actively distorts it and teaches people an incorrect version of history. Students and protesters take to McCorkle Place on UNC’s campus and tear down the Silent Sam statue from its pedestal. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. New; 7:27. The Daughters of the Confederacy monument was lifted and removed on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, from its... [+] site at 55th & Ward Parkway, taken to a storage location by request of the group to the Kansas City, Missouri Parks Department. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome), America's Top Givers: The 25 Most Philanthropic Billionaires, EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Mercury Rising: How You Can Find The Solar System’s Smallest Planet With Your Naked Eyes This Week, How Ben Franklin Went From Anti-Vaxxer To Advocate, No, Your Personality Is Not Set In Stone — And Here’s The Science To Prove It, This Forgotten Plan To Protect Americans Should Be A Top Priority For The Biden Administration. Silent Sam Taken Down! The statue was first proposed in 1908 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in memory of Chapel Hill students who left college and "joined our Southern Army in defense of our State," according to UNC's archives. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, granted UNC permission to remove Silent Sam out of concern over public safety. ", Those who want Confederate monuments like Silent Sam to come down do not, as some commenters have suggested, want history or the memory of the Civil War to be wiped out. In a letter to the editor of the Daily Tar Heel, UNC's campus newspaper, student Al Ribak wrote: The primary purpose of the 'memorial' was to associate a fictitious 'honor' with the darkest blot on American history -- the fight of southern racists to keep the Negro peoples in a position of debased subservience. UNC has only admitted black undergraduate students for 27% of its history. It lacks transparency and it undermines and insults the Board’s goal to operate with class and dignity,” Smith said in a statement on Monday. What will happen to Silent Sam is currently unknown, but it may eventually end up in storage, which was the fate of the Confederate statue taken down in Durham last year. After 105 years on a pedestal at the University of North Carolina (UNC), it was pulled down by protestors in 2018. Whether any of the other 200 or so Confederate memorials that dot the state will similarly be removed remains to be seen. With frustrations boiling over and legal options seemingly exhausted, anti-racist activists took down Silent Sam on August 20. All rights reserved. Silent Sam was not removed then, but was defaced following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 8, 1968. Nearly 50 years after the end of the Civil War, dozens of Confederate statues were erected around the U.S., but particularly in the South. We, as student leaders, find ourselves looking to the ideals that brought us to Carolina in the first place -- those of light and liberty -- that every student should feel welcomed, valued, and heard. Silent Sam honors Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. "This has been a long time coming," Standish says, "and it took all of these years of protest to build the energy and power to do this. That’s why we need to stick that flag in a museum but leave standing statues of Silent Sam and monuments to his Confederate cohorts. Chairman Harry Smith said speeding up the ouster isn’t meant as a punishment ― though he said the board was unaware of Folt’s plans to remove the statue and was unhappy with what she had done. Chancellor Carol L. Folt on Monday said she would step down at the end of the academic year and announced she had ordered the removal of the statue’s base and commemorative plaques because of safety concerns. He tells me that, while Julian Carr's racist speech is well known at this point, "less well known is what the United Daughters of the Confederacy were doing in 1913." A swarm of angry protestors tore down a towering bronze effigy of a Confederate soldier at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2018. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The state university system’s Board of Governors responded by telling Folt to leave by the end of January. Protesters last Monday toppled the Silent Sam Confederate monument on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, after years of controversy and vandalism surrounding the … "It's very interesting that people were celebrating the toppling of the statue of Saddam a few days ago, because, of course, in Chapel Hill, people say you can't take down statues. What Is The Most Common Type Of Planet In The Universe? Following that, a Confederate statue in nearby Durham, NC, was pulled down from in front of the county courthouse. 3 People Charged With Toppling Confederate 'Silent Sam' Monument, UNC Officials Condemn Silent Sam Confederate Statue Toppling, Removal of Confederate Monuments and Memorials, University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. Loading... Unsubscribe from David Pino? I urge the Daily Tar Heel and the Carolina student body to take up the case of removing from the campus that shameful commemoration of a disgraceful episode. Its former location has been described as "the front door" of the university and "a position of honor". Taking Silent Sam down opens the door for reconciliation and will allow UNC to declare itself a true home for all. “The presence of the remaining parts of the monument on campus poses a continuing threat both to the personal safety and well-being of our community and to our ability to provide a stable, productive educational environment. When 'the bottom rail was on top' all over the Southern states, and today, as a consequence, the purest strain of the Angl0-Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States -- Praise God. On Aug. 20, Silent Sam was finally pulled down, toppled by a coalition of North Carolina students and protestors who decided the statue had been perched on campus for far too long. 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