Silent Sam


The University of North Carolina has a confederate monument on campus known colloquially as “Silent Sam.”

More about the monument here and here.

This monument is, not surprisingly, controversial, with a number of calls for its removal.

For more on the controversy surrounding the monument see here, here, here, and here.

There’s also a short and very thoughtful video regarding the monument and how it’s perceived:

I tend to agree that it shouldn’t be removed and that it should be reinterpreted for each generation of students.

What do you think?  What does it represent to you?  Should it be removed?

[h/t to Pat Young]


  1. I am not a big fan of taking down statues. I realize that there is an argument to be made that white supremacists often seized the most prominent places to memorialize the Confederacy in places with large black populations but almost no black voters. But, I generally think placing interpretive materials near the statue is a better option.

    I think the dedicatory speech should be printed on the marker. This will help students understand that the statue was never just a monument to dead men who were similar in age to themselves. It would also let them know that the statue was an early 20th Century reminder to blacks that impudence would be met with violence.

    Of course, a fuller explanation of what the statue stands for would lead to more calls for its removal.

    1. Could the monument stand for something completely different from what was originally intended?

      1. He does. I doubt the dedicators realized that later generations would use him to establish the lack of maidenly virtue among Carolina women.

        Change the plaques on the pedestal next year to read “To the duck hunters of North Carolina” or “In Memory of the brave men who fought against the Confederacy in the mountains of North Carolina” and the statue can stay, with entirely different meanings.

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