News: CJ Exclusives

UNC facing tough questions after fall of Silent Sam

'Silent Sam' was removed from his pedestal in August 2018 at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
'Silent Sam' was removed from his pedestal in August 2018 at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)

After a historic protest that ended in the illegal takedown of Silent Sam, a Confederate statue at UNC-Chapel Hill, the university faces tough inquiries about campus security and law enforcement.

A striking question — about how a handful of people tore down a weighty statue under watch of city and university police — so far has reaped cryptic answers.

On Monday, Aug. 20, around 9:20 p.m., a group of roughly 250 people cheered as Silent Sam fell from his pedestal. Installed in 1913, Sam has for decades been subject to controversy, drawing both scorn and support.

Protesters who dethroned the statue likely used torches to cut the bolts that secured Silent Sam to his base, sources familiar with the situation told Carolina Journal.

Barricades formerly placed around the monument were ordered by top university officials to be taken down ahead of the protests, sources also revealed.

A video published by Blacklisted News on Aug. 23 shows campus police filing away from Silent Sam just before the crowd toppled it with ropes.

CJ spoke with representatives from UNC-Chapel Hill and the N.C. Historical Commission — which oversees public monuments — asking for more details on the dismantling of the monument.

Jeni Cook, a spokeswoman for UNC-Chapel Hill, did not answer questions but pointed CJ to a general statement condemning the activity of the protesters. A representative of the historical commission said the commission isn’t familiar with details of Silent Sam’s physical condition prior to the protest.

No one in UNC’s administration ordered officers to allow protesters to disassemble the monument, UNC officials said in an Aug. 21 press release.

“We rely on the experience and judgment of law enforcement to make decisions on the ground, keeping safety as the top priority,” the statement reads.

The police and the State Bureau of Investigation are working to sort things out, said Harry Smith, chairman of the UNC System Board of Governors. He didn’t comment on the mechanics of the statue’s overthrow but called the story “fluid.”

Consequences are inevitable for those who committed crimes, Smith said. Security is the top concern for UNC officials, many of whom have supported active shooter drills and safety training across the system’s 17 schools.

“The law is the law,” Smith said. “We can’t allow anarchy on any of our campuses.”

UNC’s governing body will support UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt and will work with the school’s Board of Trustees to handle the issues “in full transparency,” Smith said.

Smith said he’s had many discussions with Folt about the situation.

“It’s a difficult landscape she’s in.”

Violence is never excusable, but the United States carries a history of vandalism and disobedience when related to protests and issues of civil rights, said Gerry Cohen, former special counsel to the General Assembly. The Boston Tea Party and civil rights movement offer examples, Cohen said, though not fully comparable to the Silent Sam situation.

“Over time, people have used protest — and occasional illegal actions — as a means for making change,” Cohen said.

Folt is in a tough spot, and administrators “probably want the the situation to go away,” said UNC board member Marty Kotis.

If university leaders don’t set boundaries and rules, lawless behavior will only escalate, Kotis said.

“It’s like a toddler. If you don’t set the rules, the toddler will run amok.”

  • jan1031

    CJ article that should be read

  • ProudlyUnaffiliated

    The only action (or inaction) that will mean anything is the university putting Silent Sam back up. If it is not up in a few weeks, that will tell you everything you need to know.

    • Daisiemae

      They’ll never put it back up. This is what they wanted all along.

      • Junius Daniel

        That’s right for Governor Cooper, Miss Daisie, but, not right for many others, such as Lt. Governor Forest or Speaker Berger.

        • Daisiemae

          I was referring to Chancellor Holt and the Board of Trustees. As information has come out, it has become clear that somebody ordered the campus police and Chapel Hill police to stand back and watch. Plus, it has become clear that the attack on Silent Sam was carefully and professionally orchestrated.

          I believe Holt wanted this to happen. She is the one with the authority to order campus police to stand down. No doubt she collaborated with some higher up in Chapel Hill to get their police to stand down too.

          I believe Holt thought letting the mob tear down the statue would solve all her problems for her. Well, there have already been two riots since the statue came down. How’s that working out for her?

          She’s already signaled that she will not be putting the statue back up in its original position–even though the Board of Governors clearly instructed her to carefully weigh all options. It was clearly her intention to get rid of it all along.

          So, no, I don’t believe it will go back up in its original position. Not unless the SCV or UDC or somebody else sues.

          • Junius Daniel

            Dear Daisie,

            Are you aware that the town of Chapel Hill is being run by the same Negro who was running Charlottesville, Virginia when folks went out to protest the removal of General Lee from the park, up yonder, BUT, the Charlottesville police AND the Virginia state troopers stood down – creating the opportunity for Antifa to make the violence which the lying Mainstream Media would pin on Southern patriots?

            Folks are watching, Dear Daisie, and if, like in Durham – a year earlier- the monu ment law is not followed – it does not bode well for the tranqulility of this state.

            Meanwhile, you can look at it this way : Antifa and scalawag officials are doing everything possible to make it plain to Native Tarheels that the state no longer belongs to us.

            What better wake-up call can there be for the sleepy-headed Southerners who actually still think that Dixie is their home?

            At any rate, God bless you, on this day!

          • Junius Daniel

            The article is there for you, Miss Daisie…

          • Daisiemae

            For the benefit of anyone reading this blog, I wish to make it plain that I do not appreciate Junius Daniel’s racist references to “the same Negro” or “criminal Negroes.” Furthermore, I do not appreciate his making such statements in association with our Confederate battle flag. By doing so, he stains the honor of the brave men who defended their homes and families under that banner.

            I do not agree with such racist statements, and I do not wish to be associated with them.

            Should Junius Daniel or anyone else attack me for descrying these racist statements, I will NOT respond. My refusal to engage with any such attack should not be interpreted as approval of any racist statements that may be made.

    • Junius Daniel

      I totally agree, Proudly.

      We are at a juncture here, not just in this state, but, all over The Union.

      Will the elected officials fulfill the responsibilities for which they were elected, or will they leave that to someone else?

      We are at an historick moment.

  • DeoPatria

    According to NC’s laws, the monument MUST be back up in 90 days (after being moved for maintenance or any other reason). As anyone with a functioning brain and memory cells knows, lawless miscreants – particularly the socialist/Marxist Left – shall only be emboldened unless there are legal consequences. The Left screams for “justice” – social and otherwise. There is NO justice unless justice is blind. We currently have a “separate and unequal” justice system, with the lawless protected if they participate in violence that is approved by the Left’s “community organizers.”
    Silent Sam MUST be rebuilt as well as protected 24/7. The costs of not doing so are far too high.
    And God bless Robert E. Lee…

    • Junius Daniel

      Amen, for your sentiments, Deo.

      That said, it remains to be seen if the politicians of our state can do anything more than politely manage our decline.

      I give them every credit for how they have handled this so far, yet, I have the bitter taste of what happened in Durham, still stinging in my mouth.

  • civilwar 12

    Nothing tough here. Put the statue back up that the ANARCHISTS tore down and run 10,000 volts thru it and fry the next anarchist that touches it!

    • Junius Daniel

      Frying is too good and too quick, Dear Caesar. No, Sir – put those spoiled scalawag kids in jail with hardened criminal Negroes for a few months.

      As word of that got out, that would straighten this situation out, ASAP!

  • Daisiemae

    “Over time, people have used protest — and occasional illegal actions — as a means for making change,” Cohen said.

    Yes, many illegal, evil deeds have been committed in this country in the name of change. And they are still just as evil and illegal now as they were then.

    Illegal actions committed in the past is no justification for illegal actions committed today.

    • Studly Hungwell

      Cohen is a clown

  • Carl Tommy Miller

    It is not a Monument but a Memorial to Soldiers from North Carolina that defending their country as they understood it at that time. When they were called by their state and country they responded and many died. Many were buried in mass graves in other parts of the country and many remain in an unknown status , so this is a memorial to all those soldier’s!

    • Junius Daniel

      It’s more than just a memorial, Dear Carl. It is a symbol of our right to rule ourselves, without alien interference, and a call for us to rise again.

      THAT, Sir, is what really threatens The Left.

      The Left wants White Tarheels down on their knees – permanently.

  • Kev Dav

    People today have a weak interpretation of the word Tough? Nothing tough here.

  • none none

    This activity speaks volumes about the credibility, ethical behavior and character or the perpetrators. After you leave the school try getting a job above the level of janitor or toilet scrubber. Your actions will follow you for the rest of your lives,

    • Daisiemae

      They can always get a job as a university professor.

      • David L. Stinson


      • Junius Daniel


    • Junius Daniel

      They are Totalitiarians, None, and, that so, their only ethick is the superimposition of their values over all, no matter what the cost.

  • sctanker

    Communist radicals were allowed to destroy a memorial to the war dead from Chapel Hill, put there on the 50th Anniversary of the War Between the States. You can make up all kinds of stuff to state how “offensive” it is, but the bottom line? These Reds destroyed what amounts to a grave marker with tacit approval from the University and Chapel Hill.

    Even more ironic? The people accusing these war dead as “traitors” are dedicated to a political party that espouses the overthrow of the US government.

    • Junius Daniel

      Dear SC – If you start mentioning how oxymoronick The Left is, you ‘ll never get to the end.

  • sctanker

    Yet, absolutely no opposition to someone who *actually* believed in White supremacy, who has his own personal statue in the Capitol, and has a myriad of things named after him. Everything from highways to radio telescopes. Not only was this fellow an unabashed racist, he bravely served his country in WW2 burning crosses in West Virginia as a high official of the Ku Klux Klan. He was also the senior Senator of the Democratic party, who died in office in 2010. That would be one Senator Robert Byrd.

  • sctanker

    This was no secret that this was going to happen. The word was out weeks and days before the event. Since the majority of the 4th Estate is too busy trying to be a 5th Column, let me present to you flyers and brochures available in the wide open. A blind man could have seen this coming. Yes, UNC and Chapel Hill need to answer some tough questions, particularly when the actors are violent Communist revolutionaries.

    • Junius Daniel

      Sir, this is the dilemma that Normal Tarheels, who want to avoid dealing with this at any cost, will have to deal – you cannot reason and cajole those who are sworn to undo you.

      Folks in this state are going to have to come to terms with the 2 selection menu we have been offered – capitulate or fight.

  • Bruce Bayless

    They need to find out who took the barricades down prior to the protest since they were complicit in this destruction of public property. There is no excuse for this kind of vandalism!

  • Bruce Bayless

    The school needs to protect these monuments! Antifa and their Communist sympathizers (The Antifa website previously stated they were Communists but they have since revised their website but I think they are still Communists) think that by vandalizing these monuments they will cause the administration to eventually take down these monuments. However, to preserve free speech they need to keep the monuments in place. They need to place a fence around the monument and/or a guard. They also need to find who took down the barricades which enabled the monument to be vandalized!

  • Studly Hungwell

    It was an inside job by a bunch of Liberal Radicals who thought no one would care I guess? Well. I’d say the chancellor and the police chief or whoever gave the STAND DOWN orders (and yes, someone did) were sorely mistaken!!

  • David L. Stinson

    The University ordered the barricades protecting the monument taken down
    the day before. The bolts holding the monument on its pedestal had to have been
    cut by torch to allow Sam to be pulled down- something the University would
    have ordered done.

    The University administrators are Democrats, as are the reporting Press-titutes,
    and therefore liars by default, doing their Father Below’s work.
    “The Truth is not in them.”

  • David L. Stinson
    • Junius Daniel


  • bruce

    No consequences from UNC. Check back in a year.

  • Junius Daniel

    Chickens coming home to roost – UNC spends decades training our children to hate our culture, and now the administration has a dilemma.

    Oh, well – in the big picture – there is no point looking for resolution on this issue, because The Left will not accept that until this becomes a matter of rifles.

    That’s why rifles were invented – for people who get to the point where they will have no respects for others.

    This could have been avoided if the penalties in the Monument Law offered more of a deterrant, but, to brainwasht kids, going to court for a misdimeanour hearing is merely a badge of honour – no deterrant, whatsoever.

  • Junius Daniel

    I do have one question, though : Why are professors, who openly avow anti-Tarheel sentiment, and who openly admit to encouraging such in our children, allowed to remain on the job?

    Is there not something very very wrong with this picture?