On Dec. 11, someone used a noose to hang what appears to be a sculpture of a white body dangling from a tree. The display is clearly intended to depict a lynching. According to an email that UNC Charlotte sent to all students and staff, the Department of Police and Public Safety conducted an investigation and determined that the display was a end-of-semester art project submitted by a student of color. It is still unclear whether the student was permitted to publicly display the art project and why the student chose to do so. The hanging object has since been removed.
Although conceivably unrelated, the display came a day after the Student Government Association released a statement regarding the “Silent Sam” statue. The SGA sided with the UNC Chapel Hill Student Government in condemning the Board of Trustees’ decision to reinstall the confederate statue after it was toppled by students last year. UNC Charlotte Student Body President Niayai Lavien wrote, “Silent Sam was not simply a statue, but a source of harm and discomfort for students of color through its history on their campus.”
UNC Charlotte stated, “The representation of a figure being lynched is hurtful, threatening and offensive.”
This article will be updated as more details are revealed about the situation.