The “Confederacy happened” and “we owe it to the future to leave history as it existed undisturbed,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Tuesday night on “The Ingraham Angle” during an analysis of Monday night’s student protest at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) over a Confederate monument.
Since 2015, more than 100 Confederate statues and monuments across the nation have come down following public outcry.
The “Silent Sam” statue on the north side of campus honors UNC students who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
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But liberal student protesters tore down the statue in August, claiming it was racist and represented white supremacy.
The protesters marched again Monday after the university board proposed moving the statue to a newly constructed $5 million building on the outskirts of the south side of campus, where it could be properly contextualized.
The student demonstrators also viewed this proposal as unacceptable — and they urged the board to remove the statue from campus entirely.
Authorities arrested two protesters.
But a 2015 state law forbids the permanent removal of state-owned memorials or statues without express permission.
“There’s a movement, particularly among the young, to hate the past and eradicate anything they find objectionable or troubling,” Ingraham warned. “The Confederacy happened. And we owe it to the future to leave history as it existed undisturbed.”
“Continue to debate it. Have conversations about it. But why not allow future generations the opportunity to mark this history, process it and come to their own conclusions?” Ingraham asked. “Put up another statue commemorating the slaves who were abused and killed adjacent to Silent Sam.”
“But to destroy instead of engage, to defy the law instead of respect it, is no way to honor the past or the future or to highlight all the gains America has made,” Ingraham added.
Two current UNC students appeared Tuesday night on “The Ingraham Angle” to debate the statue’s existence on campus and the protesters’ actions.
Alana Edwards, president of UNC Young Democrats, is opposed to statue’s presence anywhere on campus.
“I think with ‘Silent Sam’ down, it is time to start contextualizing the past of the monument,” Edwards told Ingraham, noting that it was erected in 1913 at the height of the Jim Crow era.
Although Edwards said she values history and is a “proud southerner” whose ancestors fought on both sides during the Civil War, she said that she sees this monument “as destructive and a symbol of a different era entirely.”
“And while there’s no clear-cut solution, I do think [the] state law is very restrictive,” Edwards argued. “I think that it deserves a place off-campus where it can be placed within the proper context of which it was erected.”
But Magdalene Horzempa, a student who supports the statue’s continued presence on campus, lamented that moving the statue from the north side to the south side won’t placate the liberal protesters.
“I feel that only placing the monument on the south side of campus in a building allows UNC administration to ignore the problem that’s going on [now] on campus, and that’s liberal students feeling that they can run the university … trying to encompass and overthrow the opinions of the majority and only allow the public to see the vocal minority that’s taking place,” Horzempa said.
Any kind of “mob rule” cannot be condoned, Horzempa argued.
“And for these students to feel that it was OK to take this statue down in the very beginning in August was — that’s absolutely not OK,” Horzempa added.
Check out the discussion of the issue in the video below: