Guest Op-Ed: Silent Sam from a historian’s perspective

As someone who has systematically read, researched and published extensively on the American Civil War since 1978, I find the plan to prosecute the students for pulling down Silent Sam deeply troubling. The Board of Governors and the UNC administration have announced a desire to arrest and perhaps suspend individuals who broke the law by pulling down a statue, even though that statue was erected to intimidate African-American citizens and was dedicated to honor individuals who broke the law by seceding from the United States in violation of the Constitution, and in their efforts to make good on that secession took the lives of over 360,000 United States soldiers and sailors! The irony of that horribly misguided policy should escape no one….

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