The University of North Carolina secretly set up a $2.5 million “monument trust” with Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), a Neo-Confederacy group, to preserve and protect Silent Sam, the confederate statue that protesters ripped from its pedestal on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, where it stood for over a century, in August, CNN reports.
As ESSENCE previously reported, the university initially announced a plan to build a $5.3 million center of history and education to house the white supremacist monument, which did not happen.
SCV sued Chapel Hill for failing the restore the statue, reports InsideHigherEd.com, which under North Carolina’s monument protection law, the university had 90 days to do. Under the settlement reached November 27, 2019:
- SCV was declared the owner of Silent Sam.
- The university was ordered to turn over the statue to SCV.
- SCV will maintain the statue “outside any of the 14 counties currently containing a UNC System constituent institution.”
- Using $2.5 million in nonstate funds, the university “will fund a charitable trust to be held independently by a nonparty trustee … the proceeds of which may only be used for certain limited expenses related to the care and preservation of the monument, including potentially a facility to house and display the monument.”
Kevin Stone, leader of the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, tweeted about the group’s victory on Twitter:
According to Democracy Now, critics—including faculty, staff, and students—are calling out UNC subsidizing white nationalists.
For over 100 years, Silent Sam stood on the Chapel Hill campus, a stark reminder of white nationalism and treasonous confederate forces that fought diligently to protect white men’s right to enslave and brutalize indigenous African people kidnapped, stolen and sold from their native lands.
CNN reports that during the monument’s unveiling ceremony, a speaker spoke of how “he personally ‘whipped a Negro wench until her skirt hung in shreds’ and spoke of what the ‘Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race’ after the war.”