Brave Protesters Removed The Silent Sam Confederate Monument When UNC Chapel Hill Wouldn't
Currently

Brave Protesters Removed The Silent Sam Confederate Monument When UNC Chapel Hill Wouldn't

Toppling white supremacy one confederate monument at a time

146

On the night before the first day of classes, students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill held a protest to call for the removal of "Silent Sam," the University's Confederate monument sitting on the north side of campus. By the end of the night, the monument was toppled to the ground.

As a person raised by a black woman who grew up in the civil rights movement and a long-time advocate for racial justice and ending white silence around it, I was well aware of UNC's racist history and present upon arriving to campus this August for my first year. Naturally, I made plans to attend the "Not One Left Standing" protest in solidarity with Maya Little, a UNC student who faces criminal charges for covering Silent Sam with her own blood in protest, within my first few days on campus. What I didn't know was that I would experience not only Tar Heel but American history before even stepping foot in my first class.

Before the protest surrounding the statue, Maya Little spoke at a brief rally across the street at the Peace and Justice Plaza. Little told the crowd the story of James Lewis Cates, a black man who was killed by white supremacists in the middle of UNC's campus in 1970. In 1971, protesters gathered in a similar fashion around the Confederate monument to call for the replacement of Silent Sam with a memorial for Cates. Almost half a century later, Maya Little spoke to mobilize the crowd to call for the same thing.

Silent Sam, like most other Confederate monuments, was erected in the Jim Crow Era as a way to disenfranchise and alienate black people. In fact, in his 1913 dedication speech, Julian Carr exclaimed, "One hundred yards from where we stand, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds because she had maligned and insulted a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these university buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison."

For over a century, Silent Sam's presence on campus has served as a constant reminder to black students that the University values those who enslaved their ancestors over its present students' well being. But not anymore.

Statues come down, you just have to pull. And that's what protesters did until Silent Sam's face was in the dirt, where it belongs.

UNC issued a statement shortly after the monument came down stating "Tonight's actions were dangerous..." However, a school that prides itself on "light and liberty" still fails to see how upholding white supremacy on campus is dangerous to their black and brown students.

So what happens now? Realistically, the University will probably rebuild the statue and tack on more money to the $393,000 they have already spent in maintaining the statue just in this past year. But ideally, UNC will put their students before their donors for once and memorialize black lives on campus.

But if they don't, there's no doubt that Silent Sam will continue to fall, because "There ain't no power like the power of the people 'cause the power of the people don't stop."

Report this Content
Lifestyle

10 Etsy Father's Day Gifts Under $40 To Support Your Dad And Small Businesses

Stores may still be closed, but the internet is still wide open. So, while you're already shopping online check out Etsy for your Father's Day needs and support small creators.

As June approaches, Father's Day is coming up quickly with it. While they may not ask for much, it's always a nice gesture to give your dad something special to share your appreciation. Although, at the same time, it might be difficult to find the perfect gift either for their humor or that will be practical.

On a normal occasion, it's simple to find a gift for your father figures in stores, but for the times we're currently in our access has become very limited. Small and independent businesses need help now more than ever, so what better time than now to support them? If you're still stuck on what to give for Father's Day, look to this list for some inspiration that won't hurt your wallet too much.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Yes, George Floyd's Death Was A Homicide, According To Multiple Medical Reports

Protests have raged on across America in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The preliminary autopsy report on the death of George Floyd stated that Floyd did not die as a result of asphyxiation or strangulation from police officer Derek Chauvin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Lea Michele's Subpar Apology To Her 'Glee' Co-Stars After Being Publicly Called Out Was NOT Enough

As the star of the show, Lea should have been encouraging and supportive instead of fearsome and disrespectful.

While I was never a big fan of "Glee," it was popular enough for me to know all about it. I knew they sang some of the most iconic songs, and they sang with Broadway-level voices. I knew they had a diverse cast and handled hard-hitting topics about society. I also knew, like any show with a cast of young adults, there were feuds and drama. It was like "High School Musical" as a television show but a lot more mature.

Keep Reading... Show less

A couple of nights ago, I was scrolling through my social media accounts and shamelessly sharing several posts that I saw as helpful or informational about the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (among many others), as well as the protests that had started around the country. I have always been very loud and proud about the things I believe in, especially when it comes to educating my friends about issues in the world that they should take the time to consider. I was glad to see that so many of my friends had shared posts on their Instagram Stories highlighting the current events, but I realized that that action alone would never be enough.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

I Was At The Atlanta George Floyd Protests, Here's What It Was Like Before The Violence Started

What started out as a peaceful protest quickly resulted in destruction, with mixed opinions leading narratives on both sides.

When I heard about the protests happening in my city in honor of George Floyd, a black man who was brutally and fatally detained by police in broad daylight, I was conflicted about the best way for me to support a cause that I was passionate about. The senseless killings of people of color in America had been weighing on me, and I was eager for a way to help, to do my part. I wanted to be out on the ground with my community, having our voices heard. However, there was the issue of the coronavirus, a very real and troublesome threat that is still controlling our daily lives.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

In America, The Police Only Shoot Protesters Who Can't Fire Back, Not Those Armed With Assault Rifles

Police officers use extreme force against protesters who can't fire back, but not against those who are truly armed and dangerous.

George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died on Monday after being pinned down by a police officer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Taylor Swift Fearlessly Called Out Trump And White Supremacy, And I Am HERE For It

For Swift, who commands an 86 million fan platform on Twitter alone, explicitly condemning Trump's words is a huge deal.

After the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump had a tweet hidden by Twitter for "glorifying violence," which is against Twitter's terms of service.

Keep Reading... Show less

To be honest, I don't even know quite where to start with this one. Myka Stauffer and her husband are famous YouTube influencers who recently made the news for rehoming their adopted, autistic child.

I understand that meeting the needs of these children can be challenging. They may have verbal or physical challenges that make certain activities or communication more challenging than what it is designed to be. I fully get that Stauffer and her husband may not have fully understood what they were getting into when adopting a child who has an autism diagnosis. But what if this is doing more harm than good for this child?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments