Letters to the Editor

Letters: NAACP supports Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue’s restraint

The rise and fall of Silent Sam

Silent Sam has stood on UNC-Chapel Hill's McCorkle Place for 105 years. On Monday August 20, 2018, it was brought down by protesters.
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Silent Sam has stood on UNC-Chapel Hill's McCorkle Place for 105 years. On Monday August 20, 2018, it was brought down by protesters.

NAACP supports Blue

As observers at the Silent Sam protest of August 20, contrary to the vilification of Chief Chris Blue and the Chapel Hill Police Department for not using whatever force required to stop the protesters, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Branch of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) supports Chief Blue and his organization for their exercise of restraint in a responsible way to protect protestors and police officers from injury.

The fact that there were no injuries before or after the statue fell on the UNC campus should be perceived as an indisputably good thing by the public regardless of political affiliation or personal or cultural perceptions of that statue and its legacy. In fact, supporters of Silent Sam should take great comfort in that the statue was not destroyed. It is not missing and it was not irrevocably defaced. It stands somewhere safe — just like all the protesters that night — waiting for an orderly resolution of the next steps. While subsequent disclosures may cause us to posit otherwise, we think protecting people instead of protecting a statue was the most responsible action possible by Chief Chris Blue and the CHPD, especially under the unpredictable real time circumstances happening that night.

The mission of the NAACP may, from time to time, put us in opposition to law enforcement conduct. In this case however, we appreciate and support Chief Chris Blue’s stewardship of public safety on August 20. We believe all North Carolinians should as well.

Anna L. Richards

Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP

Proud and disappointed

It is interesting the granddaughter of a former UNC chancellor has now been arrested for helping to destroy Silent Sam.

J. Carlyle Sitterson was a classmate of my late father. Both graduated in 1933, then Sitterson earned his doctorate in history and was chancellor when I was admitted to Carolina as a legacy student (son of an alumnist who was exempted from Carolina’s out-of-state quota) in 1967. He was still chancellor when I graduated, and his name is on my diploma.

I knew Lyle Sitterson well because of his association with my father. If he were alive today, Sitterson would be proud his granddaughter, Margarita, stood up for equal rights, but having been raised in Kinston before attending Carolina and being a historian would be disappointed Margarita did not respect North Carolina’s heritage.

Mark G. Rodin

Durham

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