UNC chancellor says path in place for Silent Sam to be moved
CHAPEL HILL, NC (WWAY/WTVD) — UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said in a conference call with members of the media Friday that a “clear path” is in place to move the now-toppled Silent Sam statue from the spot where it stood on the Chapel Hill campus for 113 years.
The revelation comes a day after tense protests from demonstrators on both sides of the Confederate monument issue. Three people were arrested Thursday night during the events that took place near the site of the desecrated monument to UNC’s fallen Civil War veterans.
I just shared this message with our Carolina Community. As you head into the Labor Day weekend, I ask you to think about our opportunity and shared responsibility to move forward. https://t.co/hk3X3dUgdN
— Carol Folt (@ChancellorFolt) August 31, 2018
“Three days ago, for the first time, the UNC System Board of Governors gave the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and me a clear path to identify a safe, legal and alternative location for Silent Sam,” Folt wrote in a release. “We are instructed to present our plan to them by November 15, 2018.”
Folt would not say Friday whether McCorkle Place, where the statue stood for more than a century, would be ruled out as a future spot for Silent Sam.
Folt went on to say that Silent Sam “has a place in our history and on our campus where its history can be taught, but not at the front door of a safe, welcoming, proudly public research university.”
Folt said the university and the Board of Governors have heard daily from people “across North Carolina and the country” from people who urge the importance of preserving history and honoring fallen soldiers, as well as from those that associate such monuments with divisiveness and racism.
“The disputes around the monument are about deeply rooted and profound struggles of race, inclusion, history and honor that our entire country needs to resolve,” Folt said. “We see that those conflicts and the need for their resolution are as strong as ever, even with the statue toppled from its base.”