The statue of “Silent Sam” at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was found defaced yesterday morning with “KKK,” “Murderer,” and “Black Lives Matter” spray painted on it.
Put up in 1913, Silent Sam is “a monument to 321 alumni who died in the Civil War and students who joined the Confederate Army.”
Rick White, the school’s associate vice chancellor of Communications and Public Affairs, released the following statement Sunday:
“We understand that the issue of race and place is both emotional and, for many, painful. Carolina is working hard to ensure we have a thoughtful, respectful and inclusive dialogue on the issue,” he said. “The extensive discussions with the Carolina community this past year by the Board of Trustees and University leadership, and the work we will be doing to contextualize the history of our campus is a big part of advancing those conversations. We welcome all points of view, but damaging or defacing statues is not the way to go about it.”
The graffiti sparked debate among some in the campus community about whether the statue should be removed.
Several students said the “tagging” is a sign of frustration.
“We send emails and we write letters, and sometimes those emails are ignored and sometimes those letters aren’t opened,” [Ishmael] Bishop said. “This is a statement. This is one way to do it. Property can be cleaned.”
IMAGE: William Yeung/Flickr