News & Politics

Police Investigating 'Unlawful and Dangerous' Toppling of 'Silent Sam' Confederate Statue at UNC

Twitter screenshot of the Confederate monument "Silent Sam" toppled.

On Monday night, a group of roughly 250 violent protesters toppled a Confederate monument from its plinth at the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill. “Silent Sam” commemorated the UNC students who had gone off to fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

Protesters had scheduled a rally entitled “Until They All Fall,” for 7 p.m.

According to the flyer, the event would be “a demonstration against institutional white supremacy at UNC, in solidarity with Maya Little on the day of her trial for marking Silent Sam with her own blood.”

In May, UNC Ph.D. student Maya Little — who is black — mixed her own blood with red paint and dashed it on the “Silent Sam” statue. She was arrested for defacing a public monument, and her trial started Monday. “That statue is not a historical object,” Little told The News & Observer. “It’s missing its history. What I did was give it some context.”

UNC’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, shared pictures and video of the protest.

Demonstrators chanted “tear it down!”

The crowd went crazy when Silent Sam fell.

Ph.D. student Samee Siddiqui shared an image of the fallen Silent Sam, where protesters proceeded to bury its head in the dirt.

After the vandalism, police surrounded the empty plinth.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s official Twitter account condemned the actions. “Around 9:20 p.m., a group from among an estimated crowd of 250 protesters brought down the Confederate Monument on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” the staff account tweeted. “Tonight’s actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured. We are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage.”

Chancellor Carol Folt condemned the “unlawful and dangerous” actions, and announced that the police were investigating the vandalism.

“The monument has been divisive for years, and its presence has been a source of frustration for many people not only on our campus but throughout the community,” Folt admitted. “However, last night’s actions were unlawful and dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured. The police are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage.”

She expressed her appreciation for “the actions taken by the police to ensure the community’s safety” and promised to keep students and staff “informed as additional information is available.”

Last year, as Confederate monuments were targeted by angry mobs and torn down like this one was, the left-wing smear group the Southern Poverty Law Center released a map of all the Confederate monuments across America. The map included elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, and warned of “turmoil and bloodshed” from the monuments…

Tragically and hilariously, the SPLC marked “Stonewall Elementary School” on its Confederate “hate map,” even though the school was named after a literal stone wall, rather than Stonewall Jackson. Whoops!

In May, the SPLC reported that 110 Confederate monuments had been removed.

As for the turmoil and bloodshed, it seems these come from the very protesters egged on by the SPLC.

A graduate of Hillsdale College, I have fond memories of the statue commemorating the men who left to go fight for the Union in the Civil War. Hillsdale is still proud of that heritage. It is important to remember, however, that many of the soldiers on both sides fought for home and country, not for or against slavery.

Tearing down Confederate monuments is a rather public attempt to erase the past, rather than learning from it. Protest is legal, but vandalism is a crime. Especially with warnings of “turmoil and bloodshed,” it would be wise for protesters to ask the school to take down such monuments, or put up new ones, rather than resorting to mob violence.