Confederate Statue 'Silent Sam' Could Return to UNC Chapel Hill but Protesters Have Other Plans

Photo: Activist Maya Little stands near the “Silent Sam” Confederate statue on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. “There is no Silent Sam without black blood, without violence towards black people,” the Ohio native said recently as she sat in the statue’s shadow, campus security guards hovering behind nearby trees and columns. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is hell-bent on having a Confederate statue on campus. Unfortunately for them, 26-year-old graduate student Maya Little is equally as committed to stopping them.

As such, according to NPR, she was arrested, charged with inciting a riot and assaulting a police officer after spearheading a rally against this racist ass monument on Monday night.


Her protest was in response to the university’s recommendation that a statue of Confederate soldier “Silent Sam”—the same “Silent Sam” that got his wig split and his edges snatched in August—make its unceremonious return to campus.

In a tweet unofficially titled, “Dear UNC Chapel Hill, I’m With The Shits, Little let ‘em know what time it is:

“Today I was charged with two bs misdemeanors including ‘inciting a riot’ and trespassing from a major area of the campus I work and study on,” she wrote. “UNC and its police are continuing to silence, abuse, and retaliate against activists. I’m not back down, join me #strikedownsam”

University Chancellor Carol Folt, who proposed that the statue make its return to campus in a new multimillion-dollar history and education center, also took to Twitter to address the situation:


“I understand there are strong emotions about this proposal,” she wrote. “As the nation’s first public university, Carolina has a long and complicated history we must tell.”

However, what she fails to mention is that the same proposal includes plans to invest $2 million annually on a “40 person system wide mobile force” that exists solely to impede future organizing efforts from UNC Chapel Hill students.

Screenshot: @BennOttenNC (Twitter)
Screenshot: @BennOttenNC (Twitter)

Unsurprisingly, Folt’s proposal was “overwhelmingly approved” by trustees. So according to The Associated Press, the next step is for the state’s Board of Governors to assess the proposal at a Dec. 14 meeting.

The “Silent Sam” was gifted to the school by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1913. And according to the university website, “Sam is silent because he carries no ammunition and cannot fire his gun.”


In a statement, Folt said that her preference would be to move the statue off-campus to the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. But due to state law, the transfer, altering or removal of monuments of public property are prohibited without approval from North Carolina’s Historical Commission.

But Little calls bullshit. Because according to her, Folt could’ve removed the statue prior to that legislation being passed in 2015.


“Imagine walking past a statue that glorifies the sale of your ancestors, their mutilation, the beating of them, the enslavement of them,” she told The News & Observer. “He’s covered in black blood.”

Earlier this spring, she coated the statue with red ink and her own blood in an act of protest. But Little, who has been on the receiving end of death threats for her decision to stand up against White Supremacy, refuses to relent.


During her protest on Monday, she challenged school faculty to demonstrate their commitment to her cause by withholding assignments and final exam grades for the fall semester.

“The university works because we do,” she told the crowd. “If we don’t get it, shut it down.”

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Jay Connor

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.