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"Silent Sam": A racist Jim Crow speech inspired UNC students to topple a Confederate monument on campus



In 1913, Julian Carr, a prominent industrialist and supporter of the Ku Klux Klan, was invited to speak at the unveiling of a statue of a Confederate soldier on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was placed there by the daughters of the Confederation.

Carr's long speech made clear the symbolism of the statue that had been erected there by the daughters of the Confederacy. First, he confessed to the soldiers of the Confederation the salvation of the "Anglo-Saxon race in the south" and added: "Today, the Anglo-Saxon's purest tension lies in the 1

3 southern states – Praise God."

Then he continued to tell a personal story.

"I trust that I'll be pardoned for a nod, though it's quite personal," Carr said. "One hundred yards from our base, less than ninety days, perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I flogged a negress until her skirts were torn to shreds, for on the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted a Southerner reviled lady, and then rushed to the shelter to these university buildings, where a garrison of 100 federal soldiers was stationed. I performed the gratifying duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison and slept under my head for thirty nights with a double-barreled shotgun.

On Monday night, when the statue he had dedicated was pulled out of town On the podium of a crowd of demonstrators, Carr's boastful hint of brutally beating a black woman was not far off. The rally began as Demonstration of Solidarity with Maya Little arrested in April after she read Carr's speech and covered the statue with red ink and her own blood.The student, a student of history, becomes, according to the Daily Tar Heel currently accused of disfiguring a public monument.

Early Monday evening, student activists covered the statue – now known as "Silent Sam" – behind gray cloth banners, reading: "For a world without white supremacy."

Another list of victims of racist violence, beginning with "Unnamed Black Woman Beaten by Julian Carr."

Hours later, when it got dark, these banners covered the protesters. They tied ropes around the statue and dumped them on the ground, according to the Daily Tar Heel. Cheering and screaming, they covered the statue with mud and dirt.

"I saw it groan and shake and fall apart," said Dwayne Dixon, a professor of Asian studies at the UNC, the Daily Tar Heel. "I mean, it feels biblical, it thunders and starts to rain, it's almost as if heaven is trying to wash away the contaminated contaminated remains."

Early Tuesday morning, the statue was pulled away in a dump truck.

In recent years, the Carr speech, as it is known on campus, was a galvanizing force for activists who demanded the removal of the statue. But it was largely forgotten until 2009, when Adam Domby, then a student of history, came across him in the university's archive.

Now an Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston and the author of an upcoming book entitled "The Wrong Cause: Fraud, Fabrication and White Superiority in the Confederate Remembrance," Domby told The Washington Post on Monday night that the speech remarkable about the white superiority of the speech.

Carr made it explicitly clear that it was about using violence, "he said.

In 2011, Domby wrote a letter to the editor, which was published in the Daily Tar Heel, quoted from Carr's speech in the hope to bring a historical context into the debate, activists picked it up and used it to run, he said, making the racist language at the 1913 address an important issue in the campaign to remove the statue.

The events of Charleston and Charlottesville sparked a national controversy over the adequacy of displaying Confederate symbols.The statue was repeatedly attacked with protests and destroyed more than once.

Although Domby says he remains largely at the edge while the UNC is debating whether the statue "I think that my opinion ultimately matters much less than the communities that are there," he explains – he also has v heard on people who say that reading Carr's speech forced them to really understand what the monument means.

"There is a difference between history and celebration," he said. "It's not that we will not stop teaching the Civil War just because we do not have this monument."

He added, "I can teach them about Jim Crow in the classroom, but I need them to make them feel comfortable. I went to my class."

On Monday night, the mood among African American alumni was "solemn," said Hilary Green, who holds a Ph.D. in the history of UNC-Chapel Hill. As a history professor at the University of Alabama, Green told The Washington Post she teaches the history of Silent Sam in her classes.

"For me, as Tar Heel and especially as African American Tar Heel, I'm glad," she said, "I know what that monument means. I know what symbolism means to students.

Not everyone on campus was happy Zachary Kosnitzky, a student in the class of 2020, described the fall of the statue as a "mob rule."

"I understand why they want what they want" He told the Washington Post, "I think it's a reasonable goal. I just think that the way they handle it is inappropriate. "

The students who appeared for the protest represented a small minority of the campus, he said, and most students, he believes, are ambivalent to Silent Sam.

Others oppose the protests around Statue around, but they are "too afraid to express their opinion publicly," he said.

"Many students I think that they are suffered by professors and colleagues when they get in the way of this group of students [who want to remove the statue,] ", he said." Honestly, it's disappointing. That weakens the discourse.

In a statement released early Tuesday morning, Chancellor Carol L. Folt confirmed that the monument was "divisive" and "a source of frustration for many people not just on campus but throughout the community.

However, she wrote that ripping the statue down was "unlawful and dangerous, and we are very happy that nobody was hurt.

The University investigates vandalism and assesses the full extent of the damage it

According to WRAL, a person was arrested during the protest and charged with resistance to concealing their face during a public rally.

Several alums said told the Washington Post that they had accused the UNC administration of not having last removed Silent Sam when North Carolina governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, told university officials that the statue could be removed if they believed that "it was a The public said the ne ws and Observer were not in agreement with Cooper's legal analysis and believed that removing the statue would violate a 2015 law prohibiting public monuments without knocking down the approval of the North Carolina Historical Commission.

End, "said K aren Cox, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and author of "Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture." "

" When people feel them "If you're not heard, when people have no room at the table, that's the result," she said.

Cox, following the protests from home, wrote that the removal of Confederate monuments to The Washington Post and other outlets said they feel like a new generation. Monuments reflect the generation she set up, she said, and Silent Sam was a reflection of the Jim Crow generation and its celebration of white supremacy.

"This generation of Southerners, by students, says otherwise," she said. "They say that does not represent us."

Both Cox and Domby said it was gratifying to see the story of the protests.

"This was probably the most important investigation I've made my life, far more than any peer-reviewed publication," Domby said. "I tell my students, do not underestimate what your research can do."

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