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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