UNC’s Silent Sam statue defaced, again

The statue has been a target of protest and vandalism in recent years.
The statue has been a target of protest and vandalism in recent years.

Someone again defaced the Silent Sam statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Photos making the rounds on social media show slogans across the base of the statue in black spray paint.

The Confederate soldier statue has been the target of protests, vandalism and calls for removal for years.

The graffiti on the base reads, “Love is understanding why others hate,” “Love>Hate” and “BLM,” a common acronym for “Black Lives Matter.”

A photographer with the Daily Tar Heel, Nicholas Bafia, shared photos on Twitter at about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Bafia said in an interview that he had been walking home and heard there were police around the statue, which faces Franklin Street.

Acy Jackson, an editor with the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper, said the graffiti had been cleaned off by midday Saturday.

Jackson reported in 2015 that the university had installed security cameras to look over the statue. It was vandalized several times in 2015, including one incident where both “Black Lives Matter” and “KKK” were painted on the statue on the same day.

The statue, originally installed in 1913, has become a flashpoint for campus debate. The statue has been vandalized a number of times in recent years and several groups have proposed moving the Confederate soldier to a less prominent spot on the campus.

Duncan: 919-829-4880; @duncanreporting