Confederate Memorial at UNC Chapel Hill Vandalized

TIME

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s memorial to Confederate soldiers was vandalized this weekend with the words “murderer” and “black lives matter.”

The statue of a soldier, which was erected in 1913 and commemorates the more than 300 UNC students who died in the Civil War, is a source of frequent controversy on campus. The soldier’s statue is nicknamed “Silent Sam” because the soldier doesn’t carry a cartridge box and is unable to fire his gun.

The graffiti on the statue elicited an ambivalent reaction among many, the local ABC affiliate reports, in a year marked by police shootings of unarmed black men and a new debate about the South’s Confederate history and the flag’s symbolism.

“As an African-American woman, who is a student here, that statue is the very statue that pretty much says I don’t belong here, that I shouldn’t be here,” said UNC student Kirsten Adams.

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