As is clearly noted on the bronze plaque attached to his base, Silent Sam is a memorial to the students and faculty of UNC who answered the call of duty to defend the state of North Carolina in the Civil War and who died for their state. Ironically, one explanation for the name “Tar Heels” is the soldiers from North Carolina were given the name during that conflict by Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, because of their unwillingness to retreat during a battle and standing their ground “like they had tar on their heels.”
Therefore, Silent Sam is a representation of the original Tar Heels, and as such, he represents the entire Tar Heel brand. Should Silent Sam’s bronze image ever be removed from its location in McCorkle Place in order to appease the feelings of a tiny minority of current students and faculty, the university will, in effect, no longer have the right to use the Tar Heel brand and its logo or anything else related to the Civil War conflict or the citizens of North Carolina who fought in it for the Tar Heel State. It could be said that Silent Sam is the only true Tar Heel on campus.
Those who wish to destroy the history and heritage of the university by removing the images and names of people that represent that history and heritage must be prepared with money and recommendations for a complete replacement of everything on campus that relates to the Tar Heel brand and the Civil War, because the two are inextricably bound together. Both Silent Sam and the ground on which he stands belong to all the citizens of North Carolina, the vast majority of whom want him to remain in place.
F. Marion Redd, ’67
ACP ‘no hero’
J. Peder Zane misses the boat in his Dec. 5 column “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would be a modern lifeline.” First, he touts natural gas fracking as a “hero” in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, but ignores the fact that the production and delivery of fracked gas results in the leakage of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas. Fracking is no “hero” when it comes to combating climate change.
Second, while Zane vaguely describes fracking as a “godsend” for the economy, he ignores the fact that the proposed pipeline will produce very few permanent jobs in North Carolina, unlike the exciting opportunities presented by the State’s fast-growing renewable energy sector.
Third, Zane unfairly dismisses the very real threats, including but not limited to air and water pollution, posed by the construction and operation of a pipeline that would cross eight counties and more than 500 N.C. waterways. Particularly given the absence of any clearly articulated benefit to the state, and the fact that any negative effects would disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color, it makes good sense for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality to take a cautious and deliberative approach to this proposed project.