In the wake of the August 20 toppling of Silent Sam, a monument to North Carolina students who volunteered to become Confederate soldiers in 1861-65, our television screens were filled with images of scraggly, rough-bearded Millennial men and unkempt women screaming profanities and shouting imprecations about racism, white supremacy, and the dangers of “fascism.” Which is to say, they were “demonstrating for peace and justice.” Silent Sam, a symbol of courage, sacrifice, and duty, has stood on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for over 100 years. News accounts showed the figure lying on the ground, as members of the mob took turns kicking at it and spitting on it, and taking selfies while doing so.
Behind those fierce images of anarchy lurked a darker, scarier truth.
Admittedly, some members of the mob of August 20—a number of whom came back to demonstrate again on Saturday, August 25—were not really students. They were professional itinerant militants from Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other Marxist groups.
But many indeed were enrollees at that institution—students who are by most accounts receiving the finest public education that money (and Mommy and Daddy) can buy from one of the most prestigious universities in the South.
There was, for example, Margarita Sitterson, a Chapel Hill...