Should "Silent Sam" Have Been Torn Down?
On Saturday, a large group of both those in favor and those against the statue’s toppling arrived around UNC-Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, this was not a peaceful gathering or protest as it led to seventh arrests. UNC-Chapel Hill reports that “three arrests were for assault, the fourth for the destruction of property and the fifth arrest for resisting an officer. The sixth arrest was for assault, destruction of property and inciting a riot. We are waiting for information on charges for the seventh arrest.” As seen, the removal of “Silent Sam” has left an impact on those in North Carolina and throughout the United States.
Although UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus was extremely close to Saturday’s gathering, the school discouraged its’ students from attending and participating in any way. In a statement, they said, “We do not know for sure what groups may attend, but we are mindful that the current atmosphere is highly charged, and protests that begin peacefully do not always remain that way. For this reason, we urge you not to attend. For those who do attend, please know that we will do all we can to protect and keep everyone safe.” Allegedly, UNC-Chapel Hill students have received threats after “Silent Sam” was knocked over.
Due to the statue’s forceful and unlawful removal, North Carolina will have to “reinstall” the state within 90 days. Thom Goolsby, a member of the University of Carolina Board of Governors, explained that this is the regulation for state property damage as per the North Carolina state law. Therefore, although the protestors' actions have made an imprint on minds, it will not leave a permanent removal of the statue itself.