Two weeks ago, the Editorial Board published a piece called, “UNC is complicit in white supremacy.” The complicity, we argued, was caused by the nonchalant attitude UNC Police and administration had toward white supremacists marching on campus. In this case, one member was armed on a college campus, breaking North Carolina law, and published online that he was willing “to kill” for his beliefs.
In the wake of that editorial, things have only gotten worse as the University continues to enable racist and illegal behavior — at least one member of the same group is believed to have vandalized the Unsung Founders Memorial. They drenched the monument, dedicated to the nameless African American slaves and labor of UNC’s extensive history, in urine and graffitied racial slurs, some directed toward anti-Silent Sam activists. These vandalizers, quite literally, pissed on people of color. They have made their attitudes toward minorities clear and we’re not sure what else they need to do for the University to realize they are a threat to the students and faculty on campus.
By refusing to hold white supremacists accountable, by making them believe their presence is not triggering to students and faculty, the University and those in power have emboldened them. Emboldened them so much, in fact, they had the audacity to pour urine on a monument that for years stood in the shadow of a Confederate statue and UNC’s longstanding tokenization of the word “diversity.”
After protesters pulled down Silent Sam in August, UNC said they would not condone “mob actions” and would instead encourage “peaceful and respectful” demonstrations on campus. And for months, UNC Police kept a watchful eye on Silent Sam to ensure that the monument, a literal tribute to the dehumanization of Black people, was safe from harm. The Unsung Founders Memorial remained overshadowed by Silent Sam, and only received attention once it was urinated on. UNC has shown it sympathizes more with white supremacists than with marginalized communities.
The Editorial Board has addressed this before. We wrote about the misinterpretation of the Unsung Founders Memorial. We wrote about UNC Police allowing an armed white supremacist to roam around campus. We wrote about the removal of the James Cates memorial. We wrote about past fraternity members posing in blackface and KKK robes for the yearbook.