INSTITUTE INDEX: The high cost of protecting UNC's Confederate monument

After already having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect a Confederate monument that was toppled by protesters, the University of North Carolina is now proposing to construct a $5.3 million building to house the statue. (Photo by Anthony Crider via Flickr.) 

Number of years after the end of the Civil War that the University of North Carolina, working with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, erected on the Chapel Hill campus a statue of a Confederate soldier that came to be known as Silent Sam: 48

Cost to construct the bronze statue in 1913: $7,500

Among the statue's donors, rank of Julian Carr, a UNC alumnus, Confederate veteran, and wealthy North Carolina industrialist: 1

Date on which Carr delivered a speech at the monument's dedication in which he said that "100 yards from where we stand, less than 90 days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horsewhipped a Negro wench until her skirt hung in shreds, because … she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady": 6/2/1913

Year in which the first known protest against the statue occurred, in the form of a letter to the editor of The Daily Tar Heel student newspaper from student Al Ribak that said the monument's primary purpose "was to associate a fictitious 'honor' with the darkest blot on American history — the fight of southern racists to keep the Negro peoples in a position of debased subservience" and urged its removal: 1965

Date on which Maya Little, a UNC doctoral student of history, splashed a mixture of red paint and her own blood on the statue to, as she said, "provide the context that the chancellor refuses to":  4/30/2018

Date on which a group of protesters toppled Silent Sam, which has been in storage ever since: 8/20/2018

From July 2017 to July 2018, estimated cost to UNC of providing security for the statue: at least $390,000

Year in which the North Carolina legislature, responding to pressure to remove Confederate symbols from public places following the massacre of nine Black members of a historic South Carolina church by a white supremacist who celebrated the Confederate flag, passed a law that protects monuments on public property from removal: 2015

Citing the 2015 law, what UNC's Board of Trustees is proposing to spend to build a new history center to once again house the monument on campus: $5.3 million

Amount it would cost the university to operate the center annually: $800,000

As part of the proposal, additional amount the university would spend annually on a "mobile force platoon" to police student protests: $ 2.2 million

In comparison, percent of the costs of UNC-Chapel Hill's $9 million Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History that were covered by private donations: 95

Amount UNC spent constructing the Stone Center's building: $0 

Number of UNC teaching assistants and instructors who are withholding grades in protest as long as the university moves forward with plans to restore Silent Sam on campus: at least 79 

Number of grades that are being withheld as a result of the strike: over 2,000

Number of UNC alumni, students, faculty, and staff who have pledged to withhold financial contributions to the university until Silent Sam is permanently removed: over 2,000

Date on which the UNC Board of Governors is scheduled to meet and discuss plans for Silent Sam: 12/14/2018

(Click on figure to go to source.)