Silent Sam should be persona non grata on UNC campus

Bringing him back just isn't worth the trouble:

The question of what to do with Silent Sam — the Confederate statue that was toppled by protesters at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in August 2018 — just won’t go away.

The university thought it had found an answer in November when it reached an agreement to give the statue to the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and fund a $2.5 million trust to display it somewhere off campus.

Actually, it wasn't the University, it was the GOP-appointed Board of Governors for the entire UNC System. Might seem like I'm nit-picking, but UNC Chapel Hill did not make this deal, would never have given neo-confederates $2.5 Million for any reason, and the failure of this author to make that distinction in the intro to this story paints all UNC grads with the same idiotic brush. Back to the disposition of the distasteful statue:

Karl Adkins, a retired judge and one of the first black students to graduate from the university, was among a number of prominent alumni and donors — including Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Carla Overbeck, the former Olympic soccer captain — who joined a legal brief arguing the deal “seriously damages the reputation of the university, which should be committed to historical truth and opposed to modern-day white supremacy.”

“I don’t think there’s any way the Sons of Confederate Veterans should be paid to to take care of something that ought to be destroyed,” Mr. Adkins, a member of the class of 1968, said.

He recalled fighting to integrate restaurants in Chapel Hill and then returning to campus to see Silent Sam.

“And there he is looking over you,” Mr. Adkins said. “I remember him very well. I’m glad it’s gone and I hope to never hear about it anywhere.”

I second that emotion. Either let the rednecks keep the damn thing, or melt it down. Because as long as that monstrosity is on the campus proper, there will be movements to put him back on his pedestal.



Here's what to do with Silent Sam

I think that, barring melting down the thing, the best thing to do with the statute would be to donate it to the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro.

The museum is about the struggle for Civil Rights more generally, using the site of the Woolworth counter sit-ins as a centerpiece.

Part of their exhibits looks at Jim Crow and activities of the KKK and neo-Confederates. Silent Sam would be appropriate for discussion of the circumstances around the erection of the statue in the first place, the connection to other Jim Crow era statues designed to intimidate Blacks, and community responses in contemporary times to these relics of racism. And there's the connection between student activism and the Greensboro sit-ins and the toppling of Silent Sam.

Displaying the statue unrestored, damaged and in a position similar to the way it was toppled would make the point.