The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 26th

Plaque on Silent Sam would prove offensive


I am unmoved by the Real Silent Sam group’s efforts and cause. As a native North Carolinian, there is no disputing that our state has some unsavory aspects to its rich history. However, the idea that we should minimize the sacrifice of the sons of the Confederacy who went to war for their homes, families, and property is absurd. The inscription on the statue is pointed and inspiring, and the addition of a new plaque to “identify the racist history” is patently offensive.

If the message that the Real Silent Sam unit wants to convey is that the University doesn’t celebrate the history of the statue and other university buildings/monuments, then why draw attention to the negative aspects of Silent Sam with a new plaque?

The Real Silent Sam movement should refocus their efforts on drawing attention to the unsung heroes of the University if they are intent on dredging up Civil War history. They should research and petition for a monument to Wilson Swain Caldwell, the African American man and former slave who was essential in preserving the town and University from the Union Army. A monument beyond the obelisk in the University Cemetery would nicely compliment the Unsung Founders Memorial.

I believe that these plaques and “disclaimers” of historic buildings does not convey the unity and inclusiveness that our school is known for, nor does it serve any purpose to enrich the storied history or bright future of one of the nation’s oldest and finest universities.

Thomas Mann


Management and Society

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