Protesters in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, have pulled down a statue of a Confederate soldier on the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill campus known as “Silent Sam” on Monday evening, according to reports from local TV news station WRAL, the Daily Tar Heel, and accounts on Twitter.
The statue, sculpted by John A. Wilson and dedicated in 1913, has long stood in McCorkle Place, one of the university’s picturesque quads. In addition to symbolizing the racism of the Confederacy and serving as a reminder of white supremacy still rampant in the South, the statue, according to a long-held student legend, fires its gun when a virgin passes by.
Silent Sam has been the center of recent debate on the Chapel Hill campus; students and faculty have protested the statue, student Maya Little was charged with violating the school’s Honor Code for throwing ink and blood on Silent Sam, and university Chancellor Carol Folt has stated she would like to see it removed. (The school has been restricted from taking action by a 2015 state law banning the removal of Confederate monuments.) It appears that on Monday evening, protesters took matters into their own hands, pulling down the statue and placing a baseball cap on his butt, reading, DO IT LIKE DURHAM—a reference to the protesters who pulled down a statue of Robert E. Lee in the nearby city in August 2017.
As of this writing, the Wikipedia page for Silent Sam notes that the statue “was torn down on Monday, August 20th, 2018 by snowflakes.”