An act of vandalism took place on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus yesterday, July 6, 2015.
The campus is home to a statue of a Confederate soldier known as “Silent Sam,” a controversial statue, which has led to its damage.
The statue has been defaced with graffiti saying “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “KKK” and “MURDERER.”
Rick White, Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications and Public Affairs at the university, said, “We understand that the issue of race and place is both emotional and, for many, painful. We welcome all points of view, but damaging or defacing statues is not the way to go about it.”
However, not everyone on the Chapel Hill campus believes it is an act of vandalism. UNC student Nikhil Umesh stated, “They’ve made a major improvement to the statue.”
The statue was added to the campus in 1913 to pay a tribute to the 321 UNC alumni who died in the Civil War and to the University’s students who fought for the Confederacy. It is a “silent” statue because the solider does not have a cartridge box for ammunition.
At the statue’s dedication in 1913, industrialist Julian Carr said, “100 yards from where we stand, less than 90 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 and maligned a Southern lady.” For this reason, the statue has since been perceived as racially charged.
“Silent Sam” is now partially covered to hide the graffiti.