As more details regarding the $2.5 million Silent Sam settlement between the Board of Governors and Sons of Confederate Veterans are brought to light, it has become abundantly clear that the BOG has cemented their support and complacency in upholding white supremacy.
Last month, The Daily Tar Heel published an article describing the secrecy and backdoor dealings that enabled the University to settle with the SCV and give them $2.5 million, as well as an additional $74,999. The months-long process involved secret planning and jumping through legal loopholes. And ultimately, it only confirmed what we have always known — that white supremacy still has a chokehold on this campus.
The BOG made an agreement to give the SCV $74,999, $1 less than the amount requiring approval by the North Carolina Attorney General. The BOG originally claimed this money was given to the SCV to limit its ability to display flags and banners on UNC System campuses, however, The Daily Tar Heel’s reporting shows that this was not their actual intent.
We now know that the $74,999 was intended to give the SCV enough funding to purchase the rights to the statue from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, giving them the justification to pursue a lawsuit against the University. This ultimately led to the BOG’s creation of a $2.5 million trust for the organization.
The willingness of the BOG to side with organizations that overtly support white supremacy is damning. Pursuing deals behind closed doors that meet the demands of Confederate groups is wholly unacceptable, and it’s repugnant that the governing body of public higher education in North Carolina is willing to bend to their whims.