The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 26th

Silent Sam needs a future reminding people of past

TO THE EDITOR:

Davie Poplar and Davie Hall are both named after William R. Davie, a prominent North Carolina slaveholder.

Thomas Ruffin, the namesake of Ruffin Hall, used his position as a Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court during the antebellum period to affirm the absolute power of white masters over their slaves.

James Johnston Pettigrew, William Preston Bynum, and John Washington Graham all served in the Confederate army, and all are memorialized by buildings on our campus. Memorial Hall is dedicated to the memory of UNC’s fallen Confederate alumni, and their names are prominently inscribed on the walls of the auditorium.

By far the most shocking of all is the namesake of Saunders Hall, William L. Saunders, the man who organized the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.

If Silent Sam is to be removed from McCorkle Place, what’s next?

Should we rename every building on campus which was named after a Confederate soldier, slaveholder or racist?

The Civil War is a chapter of Southern history which cannot be erased or ignored, no matter how many monuments are disassembled.

Why not take Silent Sam at face value, as a memorial to UNC’s alumni who served for a cause which they believed was right, even if we do not agree with their views?

Why not use Sam’s presence on McCorkle Place as a starting point for a dialogue about the past, rather than pretending that it never happened?

Cassandra McGuire
Senior
History

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