Vandals who signed their destruction with “BLM” have again desecrated a monument honoring Confederate dead at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, The College Fix reports.
The statue, known as “Silent Sam,” has been the focus of student protest and Black Lives Matter vandalism for two years. This latest episode, discovered last Friday, concerned a message scrawled in black paint that read in part, “Love is understanding why others hate.”
The latest incident is the fourth time in two years that the statue has been sullied with graffiti. No one has taken credit for the defacement, but a former member of the inactive anti-monument group that called itself the Real Silent Sam Coalition extolled the vandalism as an “effective” way for students to register their disapproval of the statue. The UNC activists tried unsuccessfully to have the monument removed and fervor for the cause seems to be wavering.
The monument was specifically dedicated to UNC alumni who fought for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Vandals first struck in July 2015 with graffiti messages, after which the university installed security cameras to monitor illicit activity
The cameras recorded footage of a second graffiti incident only a month later but the video was not considered clear enough to use. A third episode did lead to an arrest in 2016.
Campus security is investigating the latest crime, confirming that “there are indeed security cameras which provide surveillance footage of that area,” and that the university is “encouraging members of the campus community to provide any information which might aid in the investigation.”
According to activists previously dedicated to the statue’s removal, protesting the presidency of Donald Trump has superseded all other progressive causes at the university.
The tide of anti-Confederate protest may have receded from its high water mark in 2015 when a black activist removed a Confederate battle flag from front yard of the South Carolina state house and current student activists may be less inclined to deface Confederate monuments than they were even two years ago.
“After protesting so much and seeing nothing happen, I think we start to realize that we have to get creative,” student activist and sophomore Dominique Brodie told UNC’s campus newspaper, The Daily Tarheel. “We have to find other ways to get the attention of administrators and other authority figures.”
The Real Silent Same Coalition has been uncommunicative since it retweeted some other’s group’s protest.
North Carolina, one of the last states to join the Confederacy in 1861, suffered the highest number of fatalities as a percentage of participating soldiers than any other Southern state.