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UNC Students Protest One Racist Legacy On Campus But Not The Best Known One

It's time to reconsider the UNC nickname and logo.

100 years of a racist logo?
100 years of a racist logo?
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

As the rematch with UNC draws closer, we thought we'd take a minute to visit a movement in Chapel Hill, and that's the expressed desire to strike the name of Saunders Hall, which is named for William L. Saunders, who helped to organize the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.

They've got a point. The Klan is one of the worst, most despicable organizations in U.S. history, and certainly times have changed. It's a reasonable argument.

Aside from his efforts with the Klan, Saunders was also a Confederate veteran, having been wounded at Fredericksburg and also in The Battle Of The Wilderness.

The South argued that the war was about States' Rights, but no matter how you cut it, it was about preserving the evils of slavery.

So given that, given the logical argument against a building named after Saunders, why aren't students protesting the other notable example of petrified racism on campus?

We refer of course to the nickname Tar Heels.

There is some uncertainty about the origin of the name but there's no question that it really stuck to North Carolinians during the war, when people from this state were considered the backbone of the Confederacy. Soldiers from this state were referred to as Tar Heels, possibly even Saunders himself. The term was absolutely associated with North Carolina's efforts to preserve slavery.

So why is the building offensive but the nickname and logo aren't? The building at least is not much talked about outside of Chapel Hill; the logo is seen on television worldwide.

There is an emotional attachment to the nickname, but like St. John's, Marquette and other schools, UNC will eventually adapt and replace it with something less offensive.

If you have any suggestions for the new nickname, please let us know.