Orange County News

Woman arrested after defacing UNC's 'Silent Sam'

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) - A woman was captured on camera Monday defacing the Confederate monument on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus known as "Silent Sam." 

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Maya Little released a statement after the incident saying she threw her blood and red ink on the monument in protest of the monument. 

"The statue, a symbol of UNC’s commitment to white supremacy, has been defaced and protested since 1968. Yet the statue remains on campus 50 years later," Little's statement reads. 

Little, who is listed as a Ph.D. candidate in history at UNC,  said she has been an organizer of the Silent Sam Sit-In since September 2017.

She is expected to appear in court on May 7.

"It is also our duty to continue the struggle against white supremacy that countless others have led since black students have been on this campus," Little wrote. 

Little claims UNC Chancellor Carol Folt has "not taken a single step towards removing Silent Sam" but instead attempted to silence Little's group. 

A 2015 state law generally prohibits the removal of Confederate monuments without legislative approval.

"Chancellor Folt will order Silent Sam to be cleaned immediately. But she should clean my blood and the ink off Silent Sam, not campus workers," Little wrote. 

UNC said Little was taken into custody and will be charged with vandalism.

The paint was removed by UNC Facilities Services

 

According to UNC's website, the North Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned the memorial in 1913 to honor UNC alumni who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.

"Silent Sam," which faces Franklin Street in UNC's upper-quad, has often stirred debate on campus especially over the past few weeks following the Charleston Church shooting and calls to remove Confederate flags from government buildings. 

The controversy surrounding the statue was reignited following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. 

 

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