You want to know what someone really thinks? Read their emails.
That’s how the world found out what one University of North Carolina Chapel Hill trustee really feels about students who have continually protested and vandalized a war memorial on campus.
For years, the “Silent Sam” statue, erected in 1913 to memorialize the Chapel Hill students who left college to fight for the South, has been a target of ire, accused of representing white supremacy and institutionalized and current racism on campus.
Repeated protests, sit-ins and vandalism of the statue has plagued the campus for the last several years.
Allie Ray McCullen, a member of the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, is sick and tired of it, and told the campus police chief to nip the issue in the bud with more security measures.
And he didn’t mince words. Inside Higher Ed reports:
In the emails, Allie Ray McCullen, a member of the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, asked for greater security around Silent Sam and called for protesters, whom he referred to as “criminals” and “entitled wimps,” to be arrested.
Jeff McCraken, the chief of police at UNC Chapel Hill, replied on behalf of university chancellor Carol Folt.
“I agree that an arrest and successful prosecution would go a long way in curtailing this kind of activity, in fact the arrest that was made last year for the same offense may have contributed to the fact that this in the first vandalism of the statue this school year,” McCraken wrote.
Frustrated by the lack of working surveillance cameras, McCullen wrote back asking what he could do to help provide better ones.
“Also, I am sure the Entitled Wimps will strike again,” he added. “It would be in their best interest to be stopped before they enter the real world.”
A protest is planned for Aug. 20, to continue to agitate for Silent Sam’s removal and stand in solidarity with a student who is facing charges for pouring paint and her own blood on the statue.
Right now there’s a ton of pressure on UNC leadership to drop the charges against the student, Maya Little, who last spring defaced the statue “with paint and blood.”
Will leadership draw a line in the sand, or prove McCullen’s point that protesters are “entitled wimps” who can deface public property without repercussion?
As the police chief points out: “I agree that an arrest and successful prosecution would go a long way in curtailing this kind of activity.”
And McCullen is right: in the real world, breaking the law has consequences. UNC leadership should convey that message to students to help prepare them for that world and help deter future incidents.