A letter sent Wednesday to UNC system President Margaret Spellings and UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt and their governing boards from lawyers Hampton Dellinger, Stacey Grigsby and Samuel Hall:
We write on behalf of UNC Chapel Hill students to request that you immediately remove the monument of an armed Confederate soldier, known as Silent Sam, from the middle of campus. Silent Sam should go for many reasons including its incompatibility with the “inclusive and welcoming environment” promised by UNC’s non-discrimination policy. We are providing legal notice of an additional reason why Silent Sam must come down now: the statue violates federal anti-discrimination laws by fostering a racially hostile learning environment.
As UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office acknowledges, federal laws guarantee a series of rights to members of the UNC campus community. Among the applicable laws are Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which forbid racial discrimination at UNC as an institution of higher learning and a recipient of federal funds. Because Silent Sam violates the rights guaranteed by these and other federal laws, we request that you authorize its immediate removal in order to avoid needless litigation.
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