Silent Sam

UNC students harassed online by associate of Pittsburgh mass-murderer

And apparently he lives in the area, too:

Another one of the website’s more prolific users, known as Jack Corbin, is ideologically allied with the suspected killer, Robert Bowers, 46, who would often repost Corbin. And Corbin -- whose real name is unknown, but has generated a following of more than 2,000 people on Gab -- has been harassing college students online, notably activists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, near where Corbin says he lives.

On Gab, Corbin took delight in coming up with a nickname for a graduate student who has protested Silent Sam -- calling her “lampshade.” One of Corbin’s followers had taunted the student, saying he would take her to the lampshade factory, apparently a reference to stories of Nazis who made lampshades from human skin. The student declined to be interviewed but told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Corbin has posted comments about her “looks, ethnicity and background” since August and she had started learning cardio kickboxing because she feared potential violence.

I have nothing but contempt for punks like this who hide behind an alias so they can threaten women with impunity. It's bad enough they have to deal with casual sexism and misogyny on a daily basis from males they do know, but some faceless stranger "joking" about brutal violence is beyond the pale. The 1st Amendment was not written to support predators and bullies, it was written to protect the voices of the oppressed; to keep the government from stifling legitimate complaints. The only thing "legitimate" about this stuff is that it's legitimately disgusting:

Maya Little walks out of Honor Court over biased student-judge

Recusing himself would have been the honorable thing to do:

Maya Little and her supporters walked out of the second half of her Honor Court hearing Friday afternoon after Little expressed concern over the fairness of the trial.

The Graduate and Professional Honor Court gathered at 3 p.m. Friday for the second half of the hearing that will decide Little’s fate for painting Silent Sam with red paint and her own blood in April after Thursday's hearing ended with tension. Audience members found pro-Silent Sam material on adjudicator Frank Pray’s social media, and deliberations ensued concerning his ability to be impartial.

Okay, aside from the fact that Pray is an outspoken Silent Sam supporter, he's also the Chairman of UNC's College Republicans. He shouldn't even be on the honor court, and the same goes for political leaders from the left. It may seem like a trivial exercise when compared to the real criminal justice system, but it's far from trivial. Decisions made there will follow students for the rest of their lives, and those adjudicators need to be as objective as is humanly possible. And after Pray brought anti-Muslim extremist David Horowitz to campus a few years ago, his objectivity is literally non-existent:

‘Silent Sam’ and the ACTBAC NC Bait and Switch

This morning, after the protest by Burlington, NC-based hate group ACTBAC NC, I’ve seen some of my liberal friends on social media wringing their hands and wondering if there’s a way to diffuse all of the tension around the Confederate statues by keeping them in place with historical markers or other solutions that keep them in place while acknowledging the history.

What many liberals and moderates fail to understand is that they’re being played by white supremacist groups on this.

The Chapel Hill Police Chief has been gaslighted: We shouldn’t

The Durham Herald Sun is featuring a story today about an uproar over a photo that emerged of a Chapel Hill police officer at the “Silent Sam” rally displaying tattoos associated with known violent white supremacist groups that took part in the massacre at Charlottesville.

You can read the Chief’s statement in the Herald Sun piece, but there’s an important point to make here: the police officer, not identified by the article or the department, was not dismissed, but told to “cover up” the tattoos.

Confederate monument watch: Guard posted in Alamance

It would be nice if they protected African-American citizens with such dedication:

The monument has been a hot spot several times in the past few years between those calling for the removal of Confederate monuments and statues of Confederate leaders from public property — especially after the 2015 mass murder of nine people at a church in Charleston, S.C. — and those rallying around what they call Southern heritage who want to preserve those statues and display the Confederate battle flag.

The Sheriff’s Office is working with Graham police to “provide manpower,” according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kirk Puckett. While he won’t give specifics, Puckett said someone will be there 24 hours a day “until further notice.” There have been no direct threats against the monument or the courthouse, according to Puckett.

While this Graham statue hasn't garnered nearly as much attention as Silent Sam, we've had a few clashes over it. We're also working to get some sort of monument erected in a corner of the square (not pictured) to a former slave who became a magistrate after the war, only to be lynched by the local version of the Klan. That project began shortly after I wrote this Op-Ed a year ago. Read it when you get a chance, it's a fascinating (and horrifying) story. But this current police presence is likely more about preventing pro-Confederate vigilantes from gathering than actually protecting the monument itself:

Anonymous UNC faculty group G17 forces Folt to call for removal of Silent Sam

One way or another, that dude is history:

Updated at 10: 37 p.m: An anonymous group of 17 UNC faculty members announced on their Twitter account it received notice from the chancellor's office that Chancellor Carol Folt will ask Gov. Roy Cooper to petition the N.C. Historical Commission to relocate Silent Sam.

The tweet said the governor will be asked to immediately petition on the groups that recent events suggest the monument must be moved to be preserved. The group said it will stand down but will "re-engage if the chancellor fails to follow through on her promise."

Of course the right-wing nutters are howling at the moon, calling for an investigation to determine who these professors are and get them fired and/or arrested. But the truth is, the UNC administration has brought this on themselves by farting around and hoping the problem would magically solve itself. As far as hurting the reputation of the school, it's the statue and not the controversy that has done that. Silent Sam should have been removed a long time ago, but after Julian Carr's speech was widely published, in which he bragged about whipping a female slave until her dress was in bloody tatters, it should have been a no-brainer. G17 isn't a "splinter" movement emanating from just one school, it has members from across the campus:

The power of the purse: UNC students boycott campus stores over Silent Sam

When the institution lets you down, let down the institution:

Student organizers seeking the removal of a Confederate soldier statue at North Carolina’s flagship public university have embarked on a monthlong boycott of commercial goods on campus.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the boycott launched Monday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a social media push follows marches, sit-ins, noise demonstrations and a lawyer’s letter last week pressing the school to remove the statue nicknamed “Silent Sam.” The boycott encompasses the Student Stores, the main dining hall, cafes, a snack stand, a bagel shop, Wendy’s, Starbucks and parking garages, and will end Oct. 18.

Whenever something like this occurs, you can't help but wonder about people who are already living on the margins losing their jobs. That being said, the students are very limited in the activities they can engage in to get rid of this anachronistic symbol of oppression. Don't forget, the General Assembly just passed a law to shield right-wing provocateurs on campus, threatening students with disciplinary action if they speak their minds in opposition. But that "bottling up" of the anger and frustration doesn't make it go away, it does just the opposite. The UNC administration should be glad a boycott is how they choose to vent that.

This is the legacy of Silent Sam

“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.” Julian Carr, on the commemoration of Silent Sam

More on Silent Sam

Here in Chapel Hill, the perennial question of Silent Sam is raising itself for consideration. Silent Sam is a statue on the campus of UNC that memorializes the confederacy. It was created on behalf of the North Carolina division of the Daughters of the Confederacy, with support from alumni of the University. Below are the inscriptions on the statue, from NCPedia.

http://www.ncpedia.org/monument/memorial-civil-war

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