What does Silent Sam have to do with Anti-Immigrant Sentiment? A few resources for this Sunday’s Discussion.

News & Observer Video on Silent Sam and UNC Support for the Statue

Student Response to UNC’s gift to the Sons of Confederate Veterans

WUNC Report on the Gift


Sunday, December 8

This Sunday will be our last time together for this semester.

I had originally scheduled the class to be about Ephesians 2:17-20, and we will read that passage, but a lot has happened this week, and it would be wrong not to address those issues as well.

Our local university (the one in Chapel Hill) announced over the Thanksgiving break that it is giving $2,500,000 to the neo-confederate organization, The Sons of Confederate Veterans. While the university tried to portray the gift as an effort to avoid a costly legal action, even the recipients have acknowledge that the amount is astonishing. This unprecedented support by a major university for a white supremacist group speaks volumes for the racial climate that still exists in our area.

The New York Times broke the story on Tuesday. The Washington Post followed up with an article on faculty response on Friday.

Are current attitudes toward immigrants at the level of our federal government any surprise if such a respected institution as UINC can provide such support? Current mistreatment of the poor and minorities—including immigrants—is not a recent development, but somethings rooted in centuries of prejudice and abuse.

Student at UNC have been speaking out against actions by the university’s administration to protect Silent Sam—a monument paid for by the Daughters of the Confederacy and major UNC donors—for a long time now. The monument was erected in 1913, at the hight of Jim Crow, and one of the speakers at it’s dedication bragged of having horse-wipped a black woman “until her skirts hung in shreds” for ‘disrespecting’ a white woman. The intent of placing a bronze confederate soldier with a rifle at the top of the monument was clear.

The scriptural passage we will read does not address the issue of Confederate monuments, but I hope our discussion of it will inform our understanding of christian responsibility in the face of such disturbing action by powerful people in our region.

The presentation for this class is already online. You can find it here.