UNC’s ‘Silent Sam’ statue has been vandalized and hopefully it’s a wake up call for the university. Silent Sam depicts a confederate soldier, and was recently spray painted with “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “KKK” and “MURDERER.”
A university spokesman condemned the vandalism, but did not say if the statue would be removed.
“We understand that the issue of race and place is both emotional and, for many, painful,” Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications and Public Affairs Rick White said in a statement. “We welcome all points of view, but damaging or defacing statues is not the way to go about it.”
The statue has been on the campus since 1913, and pays tribute to the 321 UNC alumni who died in the Civil War as well as all of the University’s students who fought for the Confederacy.
Many students have already called for the statues removal.
“As an African-American woman, who is a student here, that statue is the very statue that pretty much says I don’t belong here, that I shouldn’t be here,” UNC student Kirsten Adams told WTVD. “It is a relevant statue, and so it should be there, on the other hand if we keep Silent Sam up, if we keep all these halls named after these racists, it’s like we’re celebrating the racism so you kind of have to draw a line somewhere.”