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Silent Sam Protester Vows To Continue To 'Contextualize' Confederate Monument

The base of the Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill known as Silent Sam was doused in red Monday, April 30, 2018
Courtesy of Will Partin

A UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student has made her first court appearance after dumping red paint and some of her blood onto a Confederate statue on campus.

Maya Little was arrested April 30 at the monument known as Silent Sam, which has been the site of semi-regular protests. Little was in court Monday morning to face charges of defacing a public monument. 

In a video posted Monday to Facebook Live, she said her protest was meant to add historical context to the statue.

"We challenge white supremacy and we will continue to in Chapel Hill, in Durham and every place in this country that has a Confederate monument that glorifies white supremacists and allows them to march on our homes and our schools. We will stand up and fight back," she said.

Little released a letter last week directed at Chancellor Carol Folt, saying Little's protest was meant to show that many view the statue as a symbol of slavery and racism.

"Chancellor Folt, if you refuse to remove the statue, then we will continue to contextualize it," the statement said. "Silent Sam is violence; Silent Sam is the genocide of black people; Silent Sam is antithetical to our right to exist. You should see him the way that we do, at the forefront of our campus covered in our blood."

Folt has not responded to Little's demonstration. She previously said state law prevents her from removing Silent Sam.

Little has been the subject of ridicule and death threats via social media since her demonstration. She is due back in court later this summer.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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