Editor’s note: Publishing this piece was an oversight. While this column does not reflect the view of the editorial board or of most members of our newsroom, it was published in an attempt to reflect differing viewpoints on Silent Sam from UNC students.
It is inexcusable to publish a piece that implies that student activists, many of whom are Black, do not understand racism more than a white columnist. It is a betrayal to many of our Black readers and staffers.
It would also feel disingenuous to retract the piece, at this point — it stayed up for several weeks without comment from any of the editors who read it. Issues with the piece were pointed out on social media, and by staffers of color. This note is an apology, and a promise to do better. In the future, we will attempt to draw a firmer line between alternate perspectives and ignorance in our editorial content.
There are a lot of stupid things in the world right now. I’ve heard Republicans argue that Trump has good moral character – he doesn't. I’ve heard people say the world is getting worse – it’s not. I’ve heard that people shouldn’t vaccinate their children – really? I’ve heard that the orcs in the Lord of the Rings prove Tolkien was racist – y’all need to chill.