17 members of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) have informed the school’s chancellor, Carol Folt, that they will forcibly remove a statue of a Confederate soldier if they university doesn’t take action before Thursday, March 1.
The statue, known as Silent Sam, was erected in 1913 and funded by alumni and the United Daughters of the Confederacy and is in part a memorial to UNC students who joined the Confederate States Army.
Editors from the UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, met with some of the professors, who are choosing to remain anonymous, and confirmed their intentions are serious.
In a letter sent to Chancellor Folt, the professors wrote “We do not fear arrest, indeed we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the commitment that the Carolina faculty has to the wellbeing of its students and the principles that make this university great.”
The Daily Tar Heel published a screenshot of the email.
Senior Michelle Brown told WRAL she protests next to the statue for two hours each week:
“Because the university promises us a campus free of racial discrimination and racial hostility, and by having this up, they’re not fulfilling that promise,” she said. “When it’s at the front of our university, it shows that this is the thing that we value most. It’s trying to send a message to black and brown people.”
A group of 17 senior faculty – all at the full or endowed chair level – have sent a letter to #UNC Chancellor Folt demanding the University take down Silent Sam.
They said if the University does not take down the Confederate monument before Thursday, they will do it themselves. pic.twitter.com/hHTmM9QThz
— The Crisis Magazine (@thecrisismag) February 27, 2018
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