Update 4:14 p.m.: University Communications sent a school-wide emailing regarding a potential rally occurring at McCorkle Place or in Chapel Hill Saturday.
"We do not know for sure what groups may attend, but we are mindful that the current atmosphere is highly charged, and protests that begin peacefully do not always remain that way," the email said. "For this reason, we urge you not to attend."
The email also said that the University is working with town officials and law enforcement to prepare.
"For those that do attend, please know that we will do all we can to protect and keep everyone safe," the message said.
An individual claiming to be David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK, emailed multiple UNC departments following Silent Sam’s forced removal, claiming that he will be at the University with other “pro-Western groups” on an upcoming weekend. It is unclear whether Duke is referencing this weekend or the weekend after in the email obtained by The Daily Tar Heel.
“I find the events of last weekend very troubling,” the email said. “The destruction of another one of our great monuments is yet another attempt by neo-marxists to erase this country’s noble history.”
UNC Media Relations said the authenticity of the email cannot be confirmed, or the identity of the person who sent it. Duke has tweeted about the toppling of Silent Sam.
“We are aware there have been conversations on social media discussing a possible demonstration in Chapel Hill but have no confirmation at this time,” Media Relations said in the statement. “Public safety for any event of this nature would be closely coordinated with the town, local and state public safety officials. As always, the safety of our campus community is our highest priority.”
According the email, given to The Daily Tar Heel by an anonymous faculty member, Duke asked to interview a representative from the departments for his live podcast this weekend, on Aug. 22 or 23. UNC Media Relations said while they are aware of the emails, they do not have a list of every UNC department that received the email.
“I am reaching out to inform you that I plan on making a trip to the university with several other pro-western groups that plan to protest there next weekend,” the email said. “I would like to have a representative from your department answer some questions for my live podcast I will do this weekend.”
Only a handful of members in respective departments received the emails. There does not seem to be reasoning behind which faculty received the email.
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