In Defense of Sam


To the editor:

Recently Orange County District Judge Scarlett compared Silent Sam to Hitler and by extension the human suffering of slaves to that of the Holocaust. Based upon her remarks, it is not clear how well Ms. Scarlett knew Sam or Adolf.

Statistically speaking, Sam had not celebrated his 21st birthday when he enlisted choosing loyalty to his home state over loyalty to the Union. He was one among 4,000 from the university: some fought for the North, most fought for the South. Even though he grew up in an agrarian setting, he probably didn’t own slaves even though he defended a culture that depended upon slavery: unlike his counterpart in Blue who defended a culture that depended upon indentured servitude. Sam never ran for office. He would never celebrate his 25th birthday. Sam’s mother would endure the loss of her son and 12 years of Reconstruction atrocities.

Ironically, using mobs that obliterate history in order to re-write it is not only a hallmark of Hitler, but every tyrant since the Exodus that would enslave their subjects. Judge Scarlett views history through the prism of neo-abolitionism and the fury it stokes. Nonetheless, as offensive as her remarks may have been, they were equally as chilling. God forbid Sam or his legacy ever appear in her courtroom.

Jo Exum

Snow Hill


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