UNC responds after the desecration of the little-known founders’ memorial
Photos and video, posted on Twitter by an account called UNC Anti-Racist Alerts (not affiliated with the university), show two men seated on the monument holding the Confederate flag, one of whom is holding a white symbol of power.
In one of the videos, one of the men can be heard saying, “It would be nice to have a few slaves. He then made a whip noise and a movement.
The Memorial to the Little-Known Founders, erected in 2005, in McCorkle Place as a counterpoint to the now-suppressed Silent Sam Confederate monument.
“The Class of 2002 honors the university’s unsung founders, the free and black people, who helped build the Carolina we cherish today,” the inscription on the stone table reads.
UNC police said four officers responded and stayed behind to monitor the two individuals until they left campus about an hour later.
Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and Risk Management George Battle released a statement on Monday saying: “As UNC-Chapel Hill is a public university and a state agency, we must allow protests and freedom of speech, according to the First Amendment and the North Carolina Campus. Freedom of Speech Act, even when it does not align with our campus values. “
There is no campus policy prohibiting gathering around the monument.
Vandalism of property is a Class 1 offense and carries a maximum penalty of 120 days in prison and a discretionary fine. However, it does not appear that the men damaged the property in any way.
“The Memorial to the Unsung Founders remains a high priority for the Commission on History, Race and the Way Forward. Chancellor Guskiewicz asked the commission to consider broader plans for the Memorial to the Unsung Founders in its charge. initial, ”said Vice Chancellor of University Communications Joel Curran. in a report. “Protecting the monument from vandalism and ensuring that the monument is treated appropriately and respected remains a priority for the University.”
Saturday’s desecration came hours before a pro-Confederate rally in Hillsborough – a town 20 minutes north of the school.
Over the past month, race relations on the UNC-CH campus have been particularly strained after acclaimed journalist Nikole-Hannah Jones turned down the position of Knight Chair after several weeks of internalized debate on behalf of university.
“What happened yesterday when racists desecrated the Unsung Founders monument makes it clear that UNC must act now to respond to demands by the Black Student Movement to improve the safety of black students, faculty and staff “UNC Anti-Racist Alerts tweeted on Sunday afternoon.
Members of the UNC-CH black community organized on campus Wednesday to list their demands for safety and fairness on campus. The group demanded leaders send anti-racist alerts to students, hire more full-time black counselors trained in racial trauma, and publicly accessible equity dashboards explaining the racial mark of departments and why faculty and staff blacks drop out of college.
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