A man carrying a Confederate flag has threatened to vandalize a UNC memorial dedicated to enslaved and freed African Americans.
Tweets from “UNC Anti-Racist Alerts” say this happened Saturday at the Unsung Founders Memorial.
Videos show two men walking around the memorial carrying Confederate flags.
One man says “It’d be nice” to have “a couple of slaves,” while making a whipping motion.
He then says he’d like to spill acid on top of the memorial.
The Unsung Founders Memorial was dedicated in 2005 as a way to “honor the countless enslaved and free African Americans who contributed their labor and service to the campus,” according to UNC’s virtual museum.
One large source of funding for UNC was the Bennehan-Cameron family, who owned the largest plantation in the state. Respectively, the Cameron and Bennehan families, related through marriage, owned the Cameron plantation in Raleigh – located on the land that became known as ‘Cameron Village’ – and Stagville plantation, which stands today as a historic site. An in-depth version of that history is written in an article on UNC’s media hub.
Among other contributions from the enslaved or freed Black communities, the Unsung Founders Memorial is meant to represent the hundreds of enslaved individuals whose work directly led to the wealth that grew the university.
This is not the first time the memorial has been targeted. In 2019, it was vandalized with hate speech and racial slurs.
UNC police said they “remained to observe the two individuals until they left campus after about an hour.” Because UNC is a state agency, they said they must allow free speech and demonstrations, even if they do not allow with the values of the campus.
Officers did not witness the vandalism of the memorial.
Messages from UNC Anti-Racist Alerts are not sent by the university or university administrators.
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