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Regulator Bookshop defaced with pro-Silent Sam, anti-Marxist graffiti

Courtesy of Sara Schwartz
Courtesy of Sara Schwartz

The Regulator Bookshop, a mainstay of Ninth Street and just blocks from East Campus, was defaced with Silent Sam-related and anti-Marxist graffiti that was found Sunday morning.

One window was marked with “Sam was silent. We aren't,” and the other was covered with “Marxists get out.”

Sara Schwartz was one of the employees opening the store Sunday around 11:30 a.m. when they found the writing on their windows.

“It made me upset and angry,” Schwartz said.

The defacement came after the Silent Sam statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was pulled down by protesters last week. Since the incident, confrontations among demonstrators have resulted in several arrests. 

Additionally, a racist slur was found written on Duke’s campus Saturday, when a sign at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture was defaced with “n*****” written in pen. As of Sunday afternoon, the slur appeared to be covered by a piece of blue paper.  

The graffiti found at the Regulator Sunday morning was “pretty amateur,” said Elliot Berger, one of the store’s owners, and some Windex did the trick to wipe it off. 

Schwartz noted it appeared to be written in some type of white paint pen.

“They were nice enough to do it on the windows and not the brick,” Berger said.

The store owner said that he was not surprised by the timing of the incident, considering current events in the area. 

Berger thought that the store was targeted due to the Regulator's reputation as a communist bookstore. He said that is not the case, as it is not an expressively communist bookstore and sells books from all types of viewpoints.

The only other time an issue like this has come up that Berger knew of was in the 1970s, when he heard that anti-communist pamphlets circled around Ninth Street after the Greensboro killings.

The bookstore owners have not contacted police, but plan to release a statement on their social media about it to let people know what happened, Berger said.

“It was shocking, but basically we don’t care,” he said. “We’re going to do our thing and support intellectual activity in all forms.” 

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