Protesters toppled a Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina. The school is putting it back.

Demonstrators rally for the removal of a Confederate statue, coined Silent Sam, on the campus of the University of Chapel Hill on August 22, 2017 in Chapel Hill North Carolina.
(Image credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

A Confederate statue known as "Silent Sam" at the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina will be reinstalled after it was toppled by protesters this month, a member of the university's board of governors, Thom Goolsby, has announced. The monument's restoration will happen within 90 days.

Meanwhile, three of the protesters who downed the statue have been charged with misdemeanor rioting and defacing a public monument. "The Hammer Is Coming Down on Outside Criminal Agitators Who Prompted the Destruction of 'Silent Sam,'" Goolsby added on Twitter Friday evening. "Expect more arrests with FELONY charges."

Silent Sam was erected in 1913, the occasion marked by a speech from Ku Klux Klan supporter Julian Carr featuring a fond recollection of "horse-whipp[ing]" a black woman until "her skirts hung in shreds." Carr described his own brutality as a "pleasing duty" and praised Confederate soldiers for helping to ensure "the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

"I watched it groan and shiver and come asunder," said UNC professor Dwayne Dixon of the statue's fall. "I mean, it feels biblical. It's thundering and starting to rain. It's almost like heaven is trying to wash away the soiled contaminated remains."

Another protest of the monument is expected in Chapel Hill Saturday.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.