Silent Sam is sitting in storage now. Removing a toxic symbol from our campus, however, will free the University of North Carolina to fulfill its promise to facilitate research, knowledge, ideas, and frameworks that do address these problems. Vox Recommended for you. ... Why German spies blew up this US island - Duration: 7:27. Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on the UNC campus in August 2018. ", In a statement by the Center for the Study of the American South, UNC history professor Malinda Lowery wrote Monday, prior to the statue's toppling, that "removing 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. The downfall of Silent Sam sparked backlash on campus, but also struck a chord across the country, once again bringing the conversation on … The statue, named “Silent Sam,” had loomed over campus for more than a century. Silent Sam honors Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. ", The Executive Branch of UNC's Student Government also put out a statement after Silent Sam's removal, noting that "for too long, we have avoided reconciling our University's past transgressions against black and brown individuals. Students and protesters take to McCorkle Place on UNC’s campus and tear down the Silent Sam statue from its pedestal. After 105 years on a pedestal at the University of North Carolina (UNC), it was pulled down by protestors in 2018. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, granted UNC permission to remove Silent Sam out of concern over public safety. 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. 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. ", 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. But many say that the law was so narrowly written that the Historical Commission has no authority to allow removal, even when a majority of people want it. You may opt-out by. “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. 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. 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. But monuments are erected to propagandize ideas. 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. 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.". Again in 1973 and in 1990, students wrote letters to the Daily Tar Heel to discuss the meaning of Silent Sam. Roy Cooper (D) also expressed support for Folt’s actions, stating on Twitter: “North Carolina is welcoming to all, and our public university should reflect that.”. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. 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. 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. The statue, erected on the Chapel Hill campus in 1913, was torn off its base in August by students protesting its symbolism as a shrine for white supremacy. The remains of the Confederate statue known as “Silent Sam” were removed from the University of North Carolina campus early Tuesday, hours after the school chancellor announced her resignation and said she had ordered the monument taken away. Although discussions about removing this and other Civil War era monuments have reached a boiling point in the last year, heated debate about Silent Sam's presence has occurred since the 1960s because of its racist history. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images), North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. 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. Confederate statues were erected around the U.S. statement by the Center for the Study of the American South. Taking Silent Sam down opens the door for reconciliation and will allow UNC to declare itself a true home for all. 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. (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. Twitter. At the unveiling, Confederate veteran and UNC trustee Julian Carr gave a speech praising the Confederate army. Horne told The Chronicle yesterday that "We were always told you can't topple statues because it's akin to toppling history. Today is National Voter Registration Day! But what an honor to be known as the people who moved that which should not be moved—the ministers who gathered together as Silent Sam goes down and … All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. This law was passed specifically because of calls for removal of Silent Sam that intensified in 2015. 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.' Press accounts in North Carolina said that the protesters used ropes to pull down the statue after first covering it with banners, one of which said that it was time for "a world without white supremacy." 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. 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. It's really important to recognize that statues and monuments are created by those who have the political and financial power to do so, in order to shape people's understanding of their lived environment, to signal power relations, and to claim spaces for these powerful groups. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome), The past year has been particularly tense, Standish notes, with "a huge resurgence of organizing against Silent Sam after Charlottesville," when a Unite the Right Rally led by white supremacist Richard Spencer ended in violence and death in the Virginia college town. Whether any of the other 200 or so Confederate memorials that dot the state will similarly be removed remains to be seen. With the backing of the state, Silent Sam has stood proudly and defiantly at UNC Chapel Hill since 1913 . NASA Spacecraft At Mars And The International Space Station Detected ‘Giant Cosmic Flare’ From ‘Silver Dollar Galaxy’, Oldest, Farthest, Brightest: Astronomers Discover Cosmic Heavyweight, Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day Comes As Several Asteroids Whip By, Like Normal, Dinosaur Fossil From Argentina Could Belong To Largest Terrestrial Animal Known To Science. Removing a toxic symbol from our campus, however, will free the University of North Carolina to fulfill its promise to facilitate research, knowledge, ideas, and frameworks that, address these problems. The university itself did not fund the statue, but then-president Francis Venable solicited donations from alumni. If their presence offends our sensibilities, good. “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. The base and plaques will be placed in storage until a permanent place for them is decided, Folt added. 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. [...] The removal of Silent Sam has placed our University at the center of a long overdue conversation about justice and reconciliation. 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. Silent Sam was not the first Confederate monument to come down in North Carolina. 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. Disclosure: I received my MA and PhD from UNC Chapel Hill and am currently a teaching assistant professor of anthropology at UNC. These new narratives ignored slavery as the cause of the war, and contributed instead to the "Jim Crow regime, which was responsible for the disenfranchisement and murder of black Southerners," she explains. The statue has been in storage since it was toppled last August by protesters who said it was a racist symbol. The history of Silent Sam is far from over. (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. 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. “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. "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. 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 … ", 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. 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. With frustrations boiling over and legal options seemingly exhausted, anti-racist activists took down Silent Sam on August 20. "Silent Sam" had stood on a main campus quad from 1913 until it was torn down by protesters who decried what they described as its racist origins. All rights reserved. With frustrations boiling over and legal options seemingly exhausted, anti-racist activists took down Silent Sam on August 20. Protesters last Monday toppled the Silent Sam Confederate monument on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, after years of controversy and vandalism surrounding the … UNC Chancellor Resigns After Ordering Confederate ‘Silent Sam’ Monument Removed. Taking Silent Sam down opens the door for reconciliation and will allow UNC to declare itself a true home for all. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. RELATED: Black History Plaque Taken … Silent Sam Taken Down! The 'Silent Sam' statue, a memorial to Confederate soldiers, on the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus was covered in black cloth as … "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. ©2021 Verizon Media. ", After Silent Sam was removed on Monday, numerous people have commented on news stories and Facebook and Twitter posts that taking down Confederate monuments eliminates our ability to learn from history. The “Whites Only” and “No Colored Allowed” signs were taken down … Protesters Monday night toppled Silent Sam, the Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 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. 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. I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. Most people wanted the statue moved and properly labeled -- moved from its position of honor at the head of the campus and put in a museum. Loading... Unsubscribe from David Pino? David Pino. "That's not just bad logic," O'Hara notes, "it's based on a false premise. Text of the full speech is available via the UNC library, which in flowery language alludes to Greco-Roman myth and the sacrifices of the women left behind, but also makes plain Carr's contempt for the North and for non-whites: The present generation, I am persuaded, 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, when the facts are that their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo-Saxon race in the South. 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. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, however, Gov. What Is The Most Common Type Of Planet In The Universe? As a bioarchaeologist, I routinely pore over the skeletons of ancient populations so that I can learn about their health, diet, and lifestyles. UNC has only admitted black undergraduate students for 27% of its history. [...] 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. 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 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. 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. 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." 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. 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. "A number of historians have shown that powerful white Southerners were creating a revisionist narrative of the Confederacy as a protector of states' rights, Southern homes, and white Southern women in this period," Standish points out. 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. The state university system’s Board of Governors responded by telling Folt to leave by the end of January. "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. The other thing that's false about this claim that we're trying to erase history is that the statue itself served to erase history. They should. Silent Sam was not removed then, but was defaced following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 8, 1968. “We are incredibly disappointed at this intentional action. In the Facebook post ACTBAC, or Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County said they took the "black history monument' because Silent Sam was taken down. New; 7:27. Police stand … 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. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Standish concurs, further noting that "these woman had racial and class privilege that allowed them - through the Silent Sam statue - to shape how all people enter and experience UNC's campus.". Standish, however, points out that Silent Sam "actively distorts it and teaches people an incorrect version of history. 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. Case Study: ‘Silent Sam’. 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. Silent Sam has been a focus of protests and controversy dating back to the ‘60s. Silent Sam, after all, was meant to pay tribute to those who wanted to maintain slavery. (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. No one learns at their best when they feel unsafe.”. 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. Statue. 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. ", 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. 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. Protests against Silent Sam have occurred since black students were allowed to enter UNC in 1955. August 21, 2018. Silent Sam was not removed then, but was defaced following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 8, 1968. Silent Sam is reminiscent of a bygone era and deeply offensive to many people of color. 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. In 1913, Silent Sam was erected on commencement day. "No one learns at their best when they feel unsafe," Chancellor Carol L. Folt said in announcing her decision. Following that, a Confederate statue in nearby Durham, NC, was pulled down from in front of the county courthouse. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. The state university system’s Board of Governors responded by telling Folt to leave by the end of January. Silent Sam is a Jim Crow-era monument erected during a time when people of color could not attend UNC. "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." Part of HuffPost News. 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. Why now: It should have come down when Jim Crow ended. But … Its former location has been described as "the front door" of the university and "a position of honor". ", campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. So putting up these statues was unambiguously part of the white supremacist movement of the Jim Crow era." The Chapel Hill school’s Board of Trustees, in contrast, expressed support for Folt’s decision to remove what remained of the monument, and said she was “acting properly to preserve campus security.”, Gov. 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. But this political, post-Trump-election moment has also generated an urgency to confront symbols and systems of white supremacy. “Silent Sam” was installed in McCorkle Place, the upper quad of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1913 by the Daughters of the Confederacy. Video taken at UNC around 1 a.m. Tuesday showed people singing and cheering as construction workers carefully removed the remains of Silent Sam. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome). Meaning of Silent Sam has placed our university at the university and `` a of. 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