The Confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled in August by protesters on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Last month, protesters toppled a Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. University leaders say they will present a plan to protect and preserve the statue — which was hauled away after it fell — by Nov. 15. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said last week she does not believe the statue belongs at the “front door”; it had stood for more than a century at a prominent location of the state flagship school. Here, a group of black faculty members offer their perspective in a statement on what the monument means and why it should not have a place at UNC. — Susan Svrluga

As UNC black faculty, we occupy a unique position relative to the Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam.”

When the Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned the monument for the University, when University donors offered resources to support its completion, when the University paid the remaining balance, and UNC Board of Trustees member Julian Carr delivered his racist remarks at its dedication, we doubt any envisioned Black faculty as vibrant and necessary members of the University’s intellectual, cultural, and social community.

In 1913, the Confederate monument did not stand in opposition to the stated values and mission of the University.

In 2018, it most certainly does.

It has done so since the University chose to admit the first Black student or offer the first Black faculty member a contract for employment.

We have witnessed a monument that represents white supremacy in both the past and present be venerated and protected at the same time that we have been asked to serve as examples of diversity and inclusion. That is a demoralizing burden.

A monument to white supremacy, steeped in a history of violence against Black people, and that continues to attract white supremacists, creates a racially hostile work environment and diminishes the University’s reputation worldwide.

For us, arguments of moral equivalency are extremely problematic; there are not two morally valid sides to the history the monument represents nor to its current significance. Without brave acts of civil disobedience that changed the moral character of the nation and advanced the cause of justice, Black faculty, staff, and students would not be here.

To reinstall the Confederate monument to any location on UNC’s campus is to herald for the nation and for the world that UNC is not a welcoming place for black people.

We, the undersigned faculty, urge the Chancellor, Provost, Board of Trustees, and Board of Governors to permanently remove the Confederate statue and its pedestal from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There is no way to re-erect the statue without valorizing an incomplete version of history.

A symbol of racism, violence, and white supremacy has no place on our 21st century campus often called the “University of the People.”

1. Elizabeth A. Adams, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

2. Anna Agbe-Davies, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

3. Michele Tracy Berger, Associate Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

4. Maya Berry, Assistant Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

5. Cedric Bright, Associate Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine

6. Antonio A. Bush, Assistant Professor, Eshelman School of Pharmacy

7. Kia Lilly Caldwell, Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

8. Eileen R. Carlton Parsons, Professor, School of Education

9. Claude A. Clegg III, Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

10. Shauna M. Cooper, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

11. Renee Alexander Craft, Associate Professor, Department of Communication

12. Crystal Wiley Cene, Associate Professor, School of Medicine

13. Deen Freelon, Associate Professor, School of Media and Journalism

14. Livis James Freeman Jr., Teaching Assistant Professor, School of Media and Journalism

15. Samuel Ray Gates, Assistant Professor, Department of Dramatic Art

16. Amelia Gibson, Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science

17. Keisha Gibson, Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

18. Rachel W. Goode, Assistant Professor School of Social Work

19. Taylor W. Hargrove, Assistant Professor, Sociology

20. Sherick Hughes, Professor, School of Education

21. Jerma A. Jackson, Associate Professor, Department of History

22. Meta DuEwa Jones, Associate Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature

23. Joseph Jordan, Stone Center

24. Jacqueline Lawton, Assistant Professor, Department of Dramatic Art

25. Derrick D. Matthews, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior

26. Rahsaan Maxwell, Associate Professor, Political Science

27. Sean McLean, Associate Professor, School of Medicine

28. Trevy A. McDonald, Associate Professor, School of Media and Journalism

29. Kenya McNeal-Trice, Professor, Department of Pediatrics

30. Terence McIntosh, Associate Professor, Department of History

31. Genna Rae McNeil, Professor, Department of History

32. Fabian Monrose, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Department of Computer Science

33. Carlton Moore, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

34. Enrique Neblett, Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

35. Donna L. Nixon, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Law

36. Terence Oliver, Reese Felts Distinguished Associate Professor, School of Media and Journalism

37. Patricia Parker, Associate Professor, Department of Communication

38. Kathy Perkins, Professor Emerita, Dramatic Art

39. Charlene Regester, Associate Professor, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

40. Dana Rice, Assistant Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health

41. Liana Richardson, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

42. Michelle Robinson, Associate Professor, Department of American Studies

43. Lillie Searles, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

44. Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights

45. Tanya L. Shields, Associate Professor, Department of Women's and Gender Studies

46. Karla Slocum, Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair, Associate Professor, Anthropology

47. Deborah Stroman, Clinical Associate Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health

48. William Sturkey, Assistant Professor, Department of History

49. J. Michael Terry, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics

50. Brendan J. Thornton, Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies

51. Kimberly P. Truesdale, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition

52. Karolyn Tyson, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor, Sociology

53. Anissa Vines, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health

54. Candis Watts Smith, Assistant Professor, Public Policy

55. Eric King Watts, Associate Professor , Department of Communication

56. Becky L. White, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

57. Kathryn Williams, Teaching Associate Professor, Department of Dramatic Art

58. Lyneise Williams, Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History

59. Erika K. Wilson, Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair, Associate Professor, School of Law