It is our University’s moral duty to remove “Silent Sam” so that the racism it represents no longer affronts the principles we strive to uphold. The statue was intended to stand as a symbol of white supremacy. The dedication in 1913 is unequivocal on this deeper purpose: “the confederate soldier…saved the very life of the Anglo-Saxon in the South.” The monument celebrates the disenfranchisement and segregation of American citizens who sought the full rights of citizenship.
This racist artifact has stood for over a century at the heart of our campus. We call for a continuing substantive and vocal commitment to inclusivity, equal rights, and academic freedom. The American Studies Department stands for the principles of respect, courage, and Gadugi-Cherokee for working together for the common good. These principles guide our conviction that no place should be provided for “Silent Sam” on our campus.
Statement from August 27, 2018
We embrace without equivocation the right to freedom of expression, inquiry, equity, dissent, justice, and equality.
We invite transformative conversation that leads to positive and constructive action.
We condemn bigotry, intimidation, coercion, and brutality in all its forms.
With these commitments in mind, we create space for people to act on these principles and protect their right to do so.
The American Studies faculty, in accordance with it’s Statement of Principle, stand united with the UNC Faculty Council and the UNC Chairs of Fine Arts and Humanities in their condemnation of the UNC Board of Governors disposition of the “Silent Sam” confederate monument and a $2.5 million endowment to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.