Education, Higher Ed

Silent Sam lawsuit dismissed, statue returned to custody of UNC-Chapel Hill

A Superior Court judge has dismissed the Sons of Confederate Veterans lawsuit over the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill, bringing to a conclusion the latest chapter in a decades-long controversy over the statue.

In an order filed Friday, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour said the court is satisfied that the statue has been returned to UNC by the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization along with the the $2.5 million that was part of the settlement — or the portion the organization did not spend before the judge scrapped the original settlement between UNC and the SCV.

Nearly $90,000 was ultimately found to have been spent on legal costs and administration of the trust set up as part of the settlement. The Sons of Confederate Veterans will not have to return that money, Baddour said last month.

Elizabeth Haddix, attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said it was “regrettable” that the organization did not have to return the money it spent on a lawsuit the court ultimately found to be without merit.

Haddix’s organization represented a group of students and one professor at UNC-Chapel Hill who sought to legally intervene in the case. Though Baddour did not allow them to enter the case, he did allow them to prepare an amicus brief on the question of whether the Sons of Confederate Veterans had standing.

That action led to a movement to overturn the settlement that came to include 88 prominent UNC alumni filing their own amicus brief in the case. Among them were 14 members of the UNC Black Pioneers, a group of students who broke the color barrier at UNC-Chapel Hill between 1952 and 1972.

“Our clients are focusing on their exams this week, but will be issuing a statement in the coming weeks,” Haddix said. “As their lawyers and as alumni of UNC Law ourselves, we are glad that, thanks to our clients and the distinguished alumni who joined as amici, we are celebrating the victory that this fictitious and collusive lawsuit has finally been dismissed and that most of the $2.5 million has been returned to the University.”

“It is regrettable that even after the court determined that the lawsuit was groundless, the UNC Board of Governors supported paying $89,000 — money that could be used right now to support students and faculty during these difficult times — for lawyers that collaborated to benefit the Sons of Confederate Veterans and their white supremacist mission,” Haddix said.

Though the statue has been returned to the custody of UNC-Chapel Hill, the school’s chancellor has joined the UNC System Interim President and the chairman of the UNC Board of Governors in saying the monument should not and will not be re-erected on the campus.

 

One Comment


  1. Karl Burkhalter

    May 5, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Lincoln led Republicans controlled both houses of the 37th Congress. One of their select committees was the “Committee on Emancipation and Colonization.” The following resolution from that committee explains exactly what motivated Northern “anti-slavery.” Anti-slavery meant nothing more than “anti-black;” and to rid the country of an “inferior race” to prevent amalgamation. It was this kind of immoral racism that led to Southern secession in the first place. Is it any wonder that the MISSISSIPPI Declaration of Secession laments that the North “seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.” If this is why the South was “pro-slavery,” in order to protect their black neighbors from Northern racism, what else are we not being told about the cause of secession and war?

    37th Congess.
    No. 148. REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON EMANCIPATION AND COLONIZATION,In the House of Resentatives, July 16, 1862:

    “It is useless, now, to enter upon any philosophical inquiry whether nature has or has not made the negro inferior to the Caucasian. The belief is indelibly fixed upon the public mind that such inequality does exist. There are irreconcilable differences between the two races which separate them,
    as with a wall of fire. The home for the African must not be within the limits of the present territory of the Union. The Anglo- American looks upon every acre of our present domain as intended for him, and not for the negro. A home, therefore, must be sought for the African beyond our own limits and in those warmer regions to which his constitution is better adapted than to our own climate,and which doubtless the Almighty intended the colored races should inhabit and cultivate.

    Much of the objection to emancipation arises from the opposition of a large portion of our people to the intermixture of the races, and from the association of white and black labor. The committee would do nothing to favor such a policy; apart from the antipathy which nature has ordained, the presence of a race among us who cannot, and ought not to be admitted to our social and political privileges, will be a perpetual source of injury and inquietude to both. This is a question of color, and is unaffected by the relation of master and slave.

    The introduction of the negro, whether bond or free, into the same field of labor with the white man, is the opprobrium of the latter… We wish to disabuse our laboring countrymen, and the whole Caucasian race who may seek a home here, of this error… The committee conclude that the highest interests of the white race, whether Anglo-Saxon, Celt, or Scandinavian, require that the whole country should be held and occupied by those races.”

    General Lee exclaimed:”The best men in the South have long desired to do away with the institution of slavery, and are quite willing to see it abolished. UNLESS SOME HUMANE COURSE, BASED ON WISDOM AND CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES IS ADOPTED, you do them great injustice in setting them free.”
    CSA Governor Henry W Allen Jan 1865

    “To the English philanthropist who professes to feel so much for the slave, I would say, come and see the sad and cruel workings the scheme.–Come and see the negro in the hands of his Yankee liberators. See the utter degradation–the ragged want–the squalid poverty. These false, pretended friends treat him with criminal neglect. William H. Wilder, He says the negroes have died like sheep with the rot. In the Parish of Iberville, out of six hundred and ten slaves, three hundred and ten have perished. Tiger Island, at Berwicks Bay, is one solid grave yard. At New Orleans, Thibodaux, Donaldsonville, Plaquemine, Baton Rouge, Port Hudson, Morganza, Vidalia, Young’s Point and Goodrich’s Landing, the acres of the silent dead will ever be the monuments of Yankee cruelty to these unhappy wretches. Under published orders from General Banks, The men on plantations were to be paid from six to eight dollars per month, In these orders the poor creatures after being promised this miserable pittance, were bound by every catch and saving clause that a lawyer could invent. For every disobedience their wages were docked. For every absence from labor they were again docked. In the hands of the grasping Yankee overseer, the oppressed slave has been forced to toil free of cost to his new master. I saw a half-starved slave who had escaped from one of the Yankee plantations, he said “that he had worked hard for the Yankees for six long months–that they had ‘dockered’ him all the time, and had never paid him one cent!” The negro has only changed masters, and very much for the worse! And now, without present reward or hope for the future, he is dying in misery and want. Look at this picture ye negro worshippers, and weep, if you have tears to shed over the poor down-trodden murdered children of Africa.”

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