- Julia Wall/Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
- The University of North Carolina System and its Board of Governors are paying the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans $2.5 million to preserve a statue of a Confederate soldier nicknamed Silent Sam.
- The statue was toppled by students during demonstration in August 2018. Students had long criticized the statue, saying it was a symbol of white supremacy.
- The North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans sued over ownership and the preservation of the statue in November, but a settlement had been going on behind closed doors for months, according to a report from the school’s student-run paper, the Daily Tar Heel.
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The University of North Carolina is giving a Neo-Confederate organization $2.5 million to preserve a Confederate statue that was toppled by students in August 2018.
The North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) sued UNC’s Board of Governors over the preservation of a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier nicknamed Silent Sam in November, according to the school’s student-run paper, Daily Tar Heel, which initially reported the story.
According to court documents, the settlement gives the SCV ownership of Silent Sam. The university and board must also set up a $2.5 million trust funded by university money to be used for “the preservation and benefit of the Confederate Monument.”
The decision allows the statue to be preserved without the university system taking an active role in its maintenance.
Silent Sam was toppled after years of protests
Silent Sam was a point of contention on the Chapel Hill campus. Some people viewed it as an iconic monument representing Southern history, but others saw it as a symbol of white supremacy and propaganda. After years of protest, it was topped by demonstrators in August 2018.
Kevin Stone, the commander of the North Carolina SCV, said in a statement to the group that he was “ecstatic” they were taking hold of Silent Sam, calling it a “major strategic victory.”
- Gerry Broome
He told fellow SCV members that there had been “months of confidential negotiations and eventual legal arbitration” before a decision was reached.
Stone’s letter was made public on Monday, by T. Greg Doucette, a local attorney, former Board of Governors member.
In a statement about handing the statue over to the SVC, James L. Holmes Jr., a member of the UNC board of governors, told the Washington Post in November that there were “safety and security concerns” about Silent Sam staying on campus.
“We believe this consent judgment not only addresses those concerns but does what is best for the university, and the university community in full compliance with North Carolina law,” he said.
UNC did not immediately respond to UNC’s request for comment.
- Read more:
- 6 simple reasons the North won the Civil War
- Schools named after Robert E. Lee are renaming themselves after other famous Lees to avoid spending money on new signs
- An Alabama judge has overturned a law protecting Confederate monuments from being taken down
- There are hundreds of Confederate monuments across the US – here’s when they were built