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Who at UNC is calling for Silent Sam’s removal now?

Campus groups at UNC Chapel Hill have called for the removal of the Confederate monument known as ‘Silent Sam’
Campus groups at UNC Chapel Hill have called for the removal of the Confederate monument known as ‘Silent Sam’

A group from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work became the latest on campus calling for the removal of the Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam.”

They released their statement on Silent Sam and called for the removal of the statue Dec. 8.

“We, the undersigned members of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work community — faculty, staff, students and graduates — join with many other voices on campus to demand the removal of the Confederate monument known as ‘Silent Sam,’” the statement said. “Whatever else the memorial may symbolize to some, it was erected to glorify White people in the South, and, by extension, to carry on the subjugation of Black people. Its presence continues to legitimize and incite violence, dehumanization, and oppression. Such racist symbolism is antithetical to the ethos of this vibrant, public university. It violates our personal, professional, and communal commitments to social justice. It denigrates and misappropriates the immeasurable contributions of people of color throughout our history. It divides us. It demeans us all.”

The statement was signed by about 200 faculty, staff, students and graduates from the School of Social Work.

Previous statements urging Silent Sam’s removal have come from the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Geography, the Department of Communication, a group of faculty and staff from the School of Education, a group of faculty at the School of Law, the Faculty Council, UNC students and Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger. Former Chancellor James Moeser also has called for “Sam” to be gone.

Attorney Hampton Dellinger, representing the UNC Black Law Students Association and other UNC students, sent a September letter to Chancellor Carol Folt and UNC system President Margaret Spellings advising them that he is prepared to file a federal lawsuit if the statue is not removed.

The Confederate monument stands on UNC Chapel Hill’s McCorkle Place quad, a primary entrance to campus off Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

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