A statue on UNC-Chapel Hill campus commemorating students who died in the Civil War was vandalized with graffiti reading “Black Lives Matter,” “Murderer,” and “KKK.” Commonly known as the “Silent Sam” statue, the memorial has been a source of controversy for a number of years.
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In 2014, someone placed a plastic bag around its head and left a noose around its neck. While the purpose of that vandalism remains unclear, there’s no doubt as to what message the most recent grafitti wants to send. The words “Tear It Down” were also spray painted on the statue.
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UNC-Chapel Hill responded with this official statement:
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. 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 statue has since been covered up:
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