Opinion: A Partial Eclipse of Bad News

Celestial event didn’t blot out Confederate statue stain

Hundreds Protest Against Silent Sam Statue at UNC-Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A few hundred people rallied on the campus of North Carolina’s flagship university to demand the removal of a Confederate statue there. The gathering Tuesday night at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill focused on a statue known as “Silent Sam.” People chanted “tear it down” while police officers watched from behind temporary metal barriers surrounding the statue, depicting a Confederate soldier. “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. This racist statue has got to go,” the crowd also chanted. The protest was largely peaceful, but at least three people were arrested.

Governor Roy Cooper says the university has the authority to take immediate action if it believes the statue is posing a risk to public safety. However, the university says it does not have the legal authority to remove the statue.

The weird racial politics of South Carolina

South Carolina, the cradle of the Confederacy, is represented by African-American Sen. Tim Scott, and has an Indian-American governor, Nikki Haley – both conservative Republicans. Yet any idea that the state is progressing on the racial conflicts that have defined much of its history took another hit on Sunday. That’s when the Haley for Governor Grassroots Advisory Committee, her grass-roots political organization, asked for and received the resignation of one of its 164 co-chairs after his statements on racial purity came to light.

Civil-rights groups and Democrats had been pressuring the Haley campaign, which initially stood by Roan Garcia-Quintana, a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens. But his defense of his beliefs didn’t work out so smoothly. In an interview last week with The State explaining his position on the board of directors of the council, Garcia-Quintana denied that he and the group are racist. The council “supports Caucasian heritage,” he said. “Is it racist to be proud of your own heritage?” he asked. “Is it racist to want to keep your own heritage pure?”