The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had a Confederate monument called “Silent Sam”. It needed to go. They needed a solution to allow “the University to focus on its core educational mission”. So they came up with an amazing plan.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of those groups that idolizes past treachery, wanted the statue. It seems to me that the obvious solution would be to simply sell it to a private organization like that so that they would haul it away and take on the guilt and obligation. The UNC Board of Governors does not think that way, and had an alternative plan.
They would pay the SCV millions of dollars to take possession of the statue that they wanted.
The state’s monuments law prevents the removal of a public statue but there is an exemption for private ownership. The SCV arranged to acquire all property rights of the monument from the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). We reached an agreement with the SCV to settle the threatened litigation with the following terms:
- The SCV owns the monument;
- The monument will be transferred to the SCV;
- The UNC System and the Board of Governors will fund a separate charitable trust administered by a neutral, independent trustee in the amount of $2.5 million; the funds will come from interest on the university endowment fund, not tax dollars or tuition and fees.
- The separate charitable trust is to be used only for the preservation of the monument, as determined by the trustee; and
- The monument cannot be located in any of the 14 counties currently containing a UNC System constituent institution.
We also agreed that the SCV would sign a separate agreement limiting its ability to display flags and banners on university campuses, in exchange for a payment of $74,999. This agreement addressed the possibility that the consent order might not be approved, in which case the SCV agreed that it would not sponsor events on any of our campuses for five years.
Wow. That’s an interesting way to get rid of something. I have an alternative: pay me half that amount, $1.25 million, to take it on. Since I am in a Yankee state, we could call it spoils of war. I’d install it in my front yard and spit on it every day as I walked to and from work, which is all it deserves.
Or it could just be melted down and recast in a more appropriate form.
Or you could do as Greg Doucette has done, and sue the SCV for $2.5 million, to be turned into a scholarship fund for African-American students.
Man. I wish I was at a university that was so rich they could afford to pay off white nationalists to protect their “educational mission”, so we could jump down their throats and instead force them to pay for, you know, education instead. UNC just has funny priorities.