Hundreds of people protested for the removal of the Silent Sam statue yesterday at a rally on UNC’s McCorkle Place. Since the protest, Chapel Hill residents and UNC students have expressed a multitude of reactions.
Town resident Edward Leak grew up in Chapel Hill and said this is the first protest he's seen in his 67 years regarding the Confederate statue. He said he was surprised to see a protest in Chapel Hill against Silent Sam and noted the differences between his generation and millennials.
“We missed the vote,” Leak said. “That shit had been done years ago, and then you come along a generation later and we’d been doing the same thing we’d been doing in the '60s. We were removing stuff. Tearing down stuff, but we were livid burning down stuff. We weren’t just knocking on doors or writing it on the walls, we were setting fires.”
Marina Crisp works on Franklin Street and said she thinks peaceful protests can be effective and that the statue should come down.
“I’m just wondering what the hell has happened to this world,” Crisp said. “I don’t know much about Silent Sam honestly but I do know we shouldn’t have statues that represent hate, so I can understand people protesting against it. I wish we could just all get along.”