• 55°

Margaret Young: Toppling of statue won’t end debate

Author

East Rowan High School graduate Margaret Young is in the class of 2020 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

By Margaret  Young

Special to the Salisbury Post

CHAPEL HILL — The first time I saw Silent Sam was when I was only 5 years old. My grandmother, a UNC-Chapel Hill alumna, told me that Silent Sam had no bullets in his gun. She explained the history and told me the statue was a monument to those who died fighting for the Confederacy.

Now I am a 20-year-old UNC-CH student, and Silent Sam has become one of the most divisive issues on our campus. According to The Washington Post, a speech by Julian Carr resurfaced in 2009, sparking the controversy in recent years. The speech spoke of Carr “horse-whipp[ing] a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds.”

As one could expect, many demanded the statue be removed or placed in a museum. Due to laws regarding historical monuments, UNC-CH has been unable to do so.

On Aug. 20, the night before the first day of classes, protesters irresponsibly tore down the statue. By Friday, the UNC Board of Governors announced that the statue would be replaced within 90 days.

I, as well as many of my peers, believe rioting and pulling down statues is never the way to bring about real change. Breaking the law is still breaking the law.

However, many of us also empathize with others and understand why such a statue could be considered offensive. The main quad at a public university might not be the best place to display such a controversial statue.

Nevertheless, Silent Sam represents the broader issue of lack of political respect and communication. Both sides so fiercely defend their stance that there is no common ground and no compromise. Those who want the statue down have no respect for the opinion of those wishing to preserve Confederate heritage and vise versa.

Instances like that Monday evening only further exacerbate our divisive political climate. Instead of fighting, yelling and rioting, both sides need to take a step back and have a constructive conversation about what can be done to alleviate the situation. Political civility goes a long way in finding compromise.

UNC-CH is one of the most diverse and accepting campuses in the country. We all need to be more accepting of the other side and try to understand their beliefs, even if they do not align with our own.

East Rowan High School graduate Margaret Young is in the class of 2020 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Comments

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards