“Silent Sam”? I think you mean “Shady Sam”

An interesting development in the Silent Sam saga. Silent Sam was a Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina that was toppled by protesters, which prompted the university to immediately and generously hand over $2½ million to a sleazy racist organization, the Sons of Confederate Veterans to lovingly care for the beloved statue of a racist traitor. It was weird. The SCV had scarcely declared their intent to sue when the university immediately handed over millions of dollars to this shakedown by a low-rent gang of nobodies.

Well, never mind. A judge just voided the whole arrangement.

A judge has overturned a contentious settlement that the University of North Carolina system reached with the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam.

The November 2019 agreement required the UNC system to give Silent Sam to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with $2.5 million for its preservation and display. It was announced within minutes of a lawsuit filed by the group.

There’s something going on at that university, and it’s not to be trusted. The board of governors apparently has so much power, and certain biases, that they can just cavalierly fling huge sums of money at a mob of Confederate rats who just ask for it.

After the statue came down, it was put into storage. The university system’s board of governors gave no indication about what they planned to do with the monument before a sudden announcement that the system had reached a deal with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

As NPR reported in December, “The university system insisted it was settling a lawsuit, but court records show the board of governors’ chairman agreed to the deal before a lawsuit existed.” Baddour signed off on the deal just seven minutes after the lawsuit was filed.

The UNC system’s Board of Governors never held a public meeting to discuss options for what to do with the statue.

UNC is a state and federally funded institution that needs to have its money management policies closely scrutinized. No matter what side of this decision you favor, there is something seriously wrong with how the board decides to spend money.


  1. ikanreed says

    Scrutinized by whom? They’ll investigate themselves and find no wrongdoing.

    The state powers that be engineered this situation on purpose. The intent of the North Carolinian republican party to tear down the UNC system into a series of functionally private schools goes all the way up to the general assembly, who put a bunch of partisans on the UNC system board on purpose. Those people in turn replaced every administrator position they could get away with.

  2. wzrd1 says

    So, let me get this straight.
    The daughters of the Confederacy requested a statue, the school agreed and alumni, the school and the daughters of the degeneracy paid for it and donated it.
    And the sons of the degeneracy sought relief after the statue was damaged during a protest.

    OK, perhaps I should sue the federal government for there being no statue of Benedict Arnold in front of the Constitution Center.
    I have equal standing, as I never served under him, am in no way related to him and never even served in any unit historically under him.
    Yeah, they need their books examined with an atomic force microscope.

  3. sqlrob says

    that they can just cavalierly fling huge sums of money at a mob of Confederate rats who just ask for it.

    I’m a cynical SOB. Did they ask for it, or were they told to ask for it by the board.

  4. stwriley says

    It’s slightly more complicated than that. The statue was donated way back in 1913, during the height of Jim Crow, by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, as were many other Confederate monuments. It was part and parcel of the white supremacist tenor of that time. The statue has been the subject of protest at the university since the 60s. The whole current nonsense was justified because the Sons of Confederate Veterans claimed that the UDoC had transferred ownership to them and that they could claim it back from it’s “loan” to the university after the toppling, using the state’s monuments law. This is how they finagled the deal that was just overturned, because the judge ruled that this was all a pretense and that the SCV had no legitimate claim to the statue (nor does the UDoC.) Both the current UNC Board of Governors and the monuments law are products of our heavily gerrymandered state legislature (GOP, of course) and do not represent the university community itself (or the surrounding town of Chapel Hill/Carrboro) which are quite liberal and don’t want the damned thing. Fortunately, after the toppling, the UNC Trustees investigated and concluded that the statue represented a “significant danger to public safety”, which allows them to not put it back up under the monuments law. So that’s where we are now.

  5. says

    Well, there is another part of the story, the state “Monuments Law.” Apparently the university was under legal compulsion to preserve the statue. I expect that’s what their lawyers told them. Agreed, however, they should have made every effort to get out from under it and acted only under clear compulsion. This looks like they were eager to hand over the dough. Do read the whole story however, because the monuments law is actually a bigger problem than the UNC board.