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Silent Sam’s New Home – UNC Proposes New $5.3 Million Building to House Controversial Confederate Statue

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After being knocked down early this year by protesters, the rifle-wielding Confederate statue known as “Silent Sam” will be made a new housing unit upon its return to the UNC campus at Chapel Hill. The new indoor facility to house the statue is said to cost $5.3 million and with an additional $800,000 annually towards operating costs. The facility will also provide historical context for the statue and for the university’s broader history. The project is expected to be finished in mid-2022.

But what’s so important about this statue, anyway? “Silent Sam” is a Confederate statue in the South which has been standing on the UNC campus since 1913. During the age of the Civil War, the Confederates wanted to keep slavery in their states – the southern states. In August of 2018, the statue was toppled over by protesters. The protesters chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy has got to go,” this idea being one of their chief issues which they believe the statue promotes. More than 100 people attended the protest, with seven people being arrested after UNC urged people not to attend the event after stating that peaceful protests “do not always remain that way.” The video at the top of this cite shows the toppling of the statue (Click Here).

UNC's "Silent Sam" statue was toppled in August by protesters.

Toppled Silent Sam Via CNN.com

In the aftermath of the protest, former Republican North Carolina State Senator tweeted:

“Silent Sam Will Be Reinstalled as Required by State Law WITHIN 90 Days. Criminals who destroyed state property at UNC and police who did nothing will be held accountable. #unc#silencedsam#silencesam#hatecrime#ncgop#wunc#wect#wral#wtvd#wway#ncgop”

Statements like the one above take the other side of the argument about the need for Silent Sam.

This was not the first time an incident like this had happened either. In August of 2017, the Confederate Soldiers Monument was toppled in Durham, two days after the “Unite the Right” Rally in Charlottesvilles which turned violent and resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

“Unite the Right” Rally Via Newsweek

The two conflicting sides’ views of Confederate statues like Silent Sam say to either keep it because it shows the United State’s history to remember it and learn from it so history doesn’t repeat itself or get rid of it because it glorifies slavery and the dark era in the South’s past. Regardless of what side you’re on, the statue and its history in itself will keep people talking for many years to come.

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