This week, Kumars is joined by Maya Little, an anti-racist organizer and PhD student-worker at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, for a conversation about the ongoing TA and faculty strike to prevent the reinstatement of a Confederate monument on that campus. Maya describes in detail the openly racist origins of “Silent Sam,” the statue of a soldier dedicated under Jim Crow in 1913 to honor UNC students who fought for the Confederacy, and its continuing function as a gathering place for white supremacists and symbol of the racial hierarchies that persist on campus and in the broader community.
Maya explains the #StrikeDownSam campaign’s demands, and how it came together to block the UNC leadership’s proposal to reconstruct the statue after direct actions, including her unique own unique protest, finally resulted in its toppling on August 20th. As she once more faces charges for protesting in the wake of the university’s proposal, Maya describes how the backlash she’s experienced from the university has outstripped the legal ramifications of her protest, and how the UNC administration’s tacit support for open fascists points to the work of dismantling white supremacy that will remain to be done after the last statue falls.
A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.
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