Former UNC chancellor, prominent faculty speak out against “Silent Sam”

Former UNC Chancellor James Moeser is among the voices that spoke out for the removal of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument on the school’s Chapel Hill campus Monday night.

The statue was the focus of a panel discussion on campus Monday night and has been at the center of a recent firestorm on the UNC Board of Governors.

In a Facebook post last month, Moeser wrote he had once supported keeping the monument but his thinking has shifted.

“I too have changed my mind about Silent Sam,” he wrote. “I was, for a long time, arguing for contextualization and preservation, and I think if UNC had acted on this idea a couple of years ago, we might have been able to hold our course. But now events have passed us by.

“These monuments have been adopted by Nazis and their fellow travelers as icons for white supremacy,” Moeser continued. “Silent Sam needs to come down. Now.”

The confederate monument controversy will be the subject of a meeting of the N.C. Historical Commission, which must approve any removal of such monuments, on Sept. 22.

Members of that board have recently begun to speak out on the issue, with several supporting the monuments’ removal.

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