About fifty antiracism demonstrators gathered on Chapel Hill’s Peace and Justice Plaza Tuesday evening to celebrate Chancellor Carol Folt’s resignation and the removal of Confederate memorial Silent Sam’s pedestal from campus. The demonstration came hours after the UNC Board of Governors announced that Folt’s resignation would be effective January 31 rather than May, as she originally announced.
Folt announced at 5:00 p.m. Monday that she was resigning as chancellor after spring commencement. She announced her decision to remove Silent Sam’s pedestal from campus at the same time—a move that Board of Governors chairman Harry Smith said “undermines and insults the Board’s goal to operate with class and dignity.” Removal crews descended upon the pedestal just six hours later, and the statue was gone by Tuesday morning.
While Tuesday night’s festivities were noticeably less tense than previous demonstrations—the ten pizzas that activists brought to celebrate Folt’s resignation outnumbered police officers and pro-Sam counterprotesters—activists were careful to note that their fight against white supremacy on UNC’s campus is not over.
Organizer Lindsay Ayling called for the outstanding charges against antiracism demonstrators at previous protests to be dropped.
“The struggle against racism is not limited to McCorkle Place,” Ayling said. “The people who have been arrested and who have been putting themselves on the line will continue to stand up against white supremacy.”
UNC professor Dwayne Dixon, who called Silent Sam’s fall “biblical” in an August interview with The Daily Tar Heel, urged activists not to slow down their efforts against white supremacy.
“What I fear is that, once this flashpoint, this focal point has now been demolished, that the administration will think that they have now dissipated our energies,” Dixon said. “White supremacy is insidious like that.”
For now, though, activists were ready to celebrate.
“It’s a damn good day to be a Tar Heel,” said one student, drawing loud cheers from the gathered demonstrators.
“It’s a damn good day to be a Tar Heel,” said one student, drawing loud cheers from the gathered demonstrators.”
YAY ! GO HEELS !
You broke the law, created a near-riot, cost the school & the town big bucks……
To get rid of A STATUE.
An inanimate object.
O`….You are such ‘activists’ !
I`ld like to see half of you put half the energy you put into this feel-good crowd gestalt quest into something like feeding the hungry or housing the homeless during winter….
But you can`t very well parade down Franklin and then hang at ‘Linda`s’ or hit the courtyard at ‘He`s Not’ for Blue Cups after something like that, can you?
It would have been interesting to see how many …’activists’… would have shown up if the demonstration had been scheduled during a UNC/Duke game.
But what the heck….That nasty ol` statue will not hurt anyone else now, no longer standing up on that pedestal, just waiting to cause pain to anyone who happens to look up from their smart phone (I know there must be someone who looks up..sometime…right?)
(sigh)…Such an age of progress! Inanimate objects can no longer exert their power over us !
(pssst!…Let`s go after The Weeping Angels next! They are really creepy, and I am sure they are up to something!)
Whatever. While you cheer this feeling of ‘accomplishment’, try NOT to look the other way when you pass the next TRULY disadvantaged person on a street corner.
Activism counts for so much more when it actually benefits someone.
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