‘Black lives matter’ painted on UNC’s ‘Silent Sam’

Courtesy: Josh Lockhart)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Campus police at UNC-Chapel Hill are investigating after vandals targeted a confederate monument early Sunday morning.

This comes after a similar vandalism case at a confederate gravestone last week near Duke’s campus.Among the phrases painted on “Silent Sam” were “murderer” and “black lives matter.”

According to UNC’s website, the North Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned the memorial in 1913 to honor UNC alumni who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

“Silent Sam,” which faces Franklin Street in UNC’s upper-quad, has often stirred debate on campus especially over the past few weeks following the Charleston Church shooting and calls to remove Confederate flags from government buildings.

Reaction to the vandalism was mixed across the UNC campus.

“I think what they’ve done is not vandalism. I think they’ve made a major improvement to the statue,” said UNC student Nikhil Umesh. “I’m in full support of this action that has been done on our campus to illuminate the violent, racist history and presence.”

Chapel Hill resident James Elder said defacing the statue was “wrong.”

“I understand that people are upset with the division between the Confederate flag and they want to say it’s hate and all this and it symbolizes all that. But to go out and deface that that’s been here for however long it’s been here, that’s just, that’s crazy,” said Elder.

The statue’s base will remain covered until the spray paint can be removed.

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