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.
ERECTED UNDER THE AUSPICES
NORTH CAROLINA DIVISION
OF THE UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY
AIDED BY THE ALUMNI OF
TO THE SONS OF THE UNIVERSITY
WHO ENTERED THE WAR OF 1861 - 65
IN ANSWER TO THE CALL OF THEIR
COUNTRY AND WHOSE LIVES
TAUGHT THE LESSON OF
THEIR GREAT COMMANDER THAT
DUTY IS THE SUBLIMEST WORD
IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
The words "WHO ENTERED THE WAR OF 1861 - 65 / IN ANSWER TO THE CALL OF THEIR / COUNTRY" give pause. They are a call to the Confederate States of America, a dead country that racist extremists would like to see reestablished.
The statue should be moved to a museum. Not so much because it shouldn't be on campus, but because a message must be sent. The University and the General Assembly must make a definitive statement about racial intolerance.
The placard in the museum should read:
In the war of 1861, the United States of America stopped armed rebellion by the Confederate States of America. More than six hundred thousand deaths resulted. The nickname of this statue is Silent Sam becausethe soldier lacks ammunition and is unable to fire his weapon.
The statue should be surrounded by photos depicting America's long history of racial violence.