North Carolina Protesters Topple Confederate Statue “Silent Sam”

Yet another racist monument down, around 1,700 more to go.

What began as a demonstration in support of student activist Maya Little — who was arrested in April for pouring red ink and her own blood on the Confederate statue “Silent Sam,” located on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus — ended in students and other protesters ripping the monument down Monday night after denouncing the school’s administrators for refusing to remove the symbol of racism and oppression.

“It’s time to build monuments to honor those who have been murdered by white supremacy,” said Little, who attended and delivered a speech at Monday’s demonstration. “It’s time to tear down ‘Silent Sam.’ It’s time to tear down UNC’s institutional white supremacy.”

Watch the moment when the statue was toppled, leaving “Silent Sam” face-down in the dirt:

“So thankful for the students at UNC who toppled the Confederate statue on their campus. They did what the administration and politicians in North Carolina should’ve done decades ago,” The Intercept’s Shaun King wrote on Twitter early Tuesday. “It was erected at the height of lynching by friends of the KKK as an act of intimidation.”

“Silent Sam,” a monument of a Confederate soldier, was constructed in 1913 with donations from the the United Daughters of the Confederacy. According to the local Raleigh News & Observer, UNC-Chapel Hill spent $390,000 on surveillance cameras and other protections for the statue last year alone.

Just before they felled the Confederate monument, “protesters covered the statue with tall, gray banners, erecting ‘an alternative monument’ that said, in part, ‘For a world without white supremacy,'” the News & Observer reported.

Andrew Skinner, a 23-year-old UNC graduate, said in an interview with the News & Observer that the demonstrators’ destruction of the Confederate statue “shows that we have the power to be on the right side of history.”

“We are part of a long tradition of civil rights in this country,” Skinner added. “We as a country have a lot of change and a lot of healing to do, and we are not going to get there putting racism on a pedestal.”