The University of North Carolina is irate over students' decision to topple a Confederate statue.
An estimated 250 student-protesters gathered and tore down the "Silent Sam" statue after the school administration failed to act on grievances made by students and community leaders, according to WFMY News.
Silent Sam is down. pic.twitter.com/ATL8bmCr20— The Daily Tar Heel (@dailytarheel) August 21, 2018
The statue, erected in 1913, has a long racist history tied to the oppression of black people in the nation and the surviving veterans of the Confederacy at that time.
When it was built, tobacco industrialist and Confederate veteran Julian Carr praised the Southern rebels as the saviors “of the Anglo Saxon race in the South” and reminisced about “horse-whipp[ing] a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds.”
It is also a memorial to a UNC student who served as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. In years' past, the NAACP, students and staff have called for its removal, but no action has been taken until now, the News & Observer reports.
UNC President Margaret Spellings and board chairman Harry Smith have condemned the protesters' actions as "dangerous and incomprehensible."
“The safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount,” they said in a statement Tuesday. “And the actions last evening were unacceptable, dangerous and incomprehensible. We are a nation of laws, and mob rule and the intentional destruction of public property will not be tolerated.”
Protesters on University of North Carolina campus knock down 'Silent Sam' Confederate statue 105 years after it was erected.— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2018
Students, faculty and alumni have previously called the statue racist and asked officials to remove it. https://t.co/JeCKCuPbBd pic.twitter.com/Pt0IJOIPLs
UNC Chancellor Carol Folt has informed the student body in a statement released in the wake of the toppling that an investigation will be launched looking into "the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage."
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