The numbers unearthed by the account are appalling. As of Jan. 28, the account has researched 31 of the 287 dead Confederate soldiers who are memorialized by Silent Sam. Their research has found 100 percent of the soldiers so far investigated came from slave-owning families (defined as at least one parent owning slaves). Forty-five percent of these soldiers owned slaves themselves.
The statistics regarding UNC families and their slave-owning pasts are especially striking. There is a clearly disproportional relationship between those recognized by the Silent Sam monument and the N.C. populace. This commemoration of the small population of slave-holding North Carolinians is troubling and reflective of the endurance of white supremacy, both on this campus and the surrounding culture of North Carolina.
What’s more, Sam's Reckoning has found that a total of 1,491 slaves were owned by the families of the 31 deceased Confederate UNC soldiers that the account has researched so far. 604 slaves were directly owned by these 31 deceased Confederate UNC soldiers.
Where is their monument at the forefront of the University?
This research is important. These numbers are so much more than data points. They represent lives, a history of oppression and discrimination.
This is a history that deserves to be recognized. It is deplorable UNC has not already conducted its own research project, examining the histories of its campus and student body. Silent Sam's Reckoning should not have to exist. This is research that should have been conducted decades ago.
It is also shameful that the account's current efforts must be disguised through anonymity for fear of professional and personal retribution. This work is crucial if our society ever wishes to properly heal from our past sins. UNC should be at the forefront of this work, and the fact that it is actively choosing to hide in the shadows, instead of opting to disguise itself in the complacency of the barren field where Silent Sam once stood is not only contemptible; it’s cowardly.