A Confederate memorial had been standing on the Chapel Hill campus of University of North Carolina since 1913 to honor the racists who lost their lives trying to dismantle America during the Civil War. Until Monday night, that is, when students took matters into their own hands and tore down the statue of a Confederate soldier known as “Silent Sam.”
Now, UNC’s chancellor has condemned those who helped topple it.
Watch the students below, of all backgrounds, come together for a common cause:
UNC Chancellor Carol Folt seemed to be wistful that the racist statue was no longer on campus.
“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. However,” she lamented, “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.”
Folt’s full statement follows:
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s expressed a similar sentiment.
“The Governor understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change and he shares their frustration, but violent destruction of public property has no place in our communities,” he tweeted.
There has been a debate over removing the statue for 50 years. So much so that the university spent $390,000 last year for the statue’s security, according to the News & Observer.
Clearly, UNC did not make this a priority over the course of five decades. Sometimes protest is uncomfortable, but this could spur other universities to act with urgency when it comes to racist monuments and statues on their campuses.