As news outlets were shutting down for Thanksgiving, the University of North Carolina quietly gave white nationalists $2.5m to settle a lawsuit that hadn't even been filed

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/12/01/klan-museum-by-unc.html

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This is how one might launder money to terrorists.

I hope the same level of sleuthing will take place with the Deleware incorporated LLCs awarded contracts for the planning, construction and management of this so called museum.

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So this is UNC funding to keep the Confederate statue safe for future generations, in order to maintain racist history and “culture”?

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I’m not sure what the big deal is about the suit being settled before it was technically filed. I would think this kind of thing happens pretty regularly, when a party is aware they are about to be served, and make a decision to do a settlement? The extra indignation about that point doesn’t make much sense to me, but I could be missing something.

$2.5 Mil directly or indirectly to an organization that seeks to positively promote the pro-slavery rebellion that occurred in the USA, on the other hand, seems kind of ridiculous. Donate the statue to a museum, and call that shit a day.

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racketeering/Collusion or whatever applies should be leveled at those involved.

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Settling a lawsuit before it is filed means zilch. Nobody is held to any legally binding agreement. It is a nice way of saying they paid blackmail or money laundering. There is nothing keeping the people from initiating the suit even after the settlement.

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Hot take: someone has dirt on somebody or something that would be an even bigger scandal.

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pay them $2.5m of “non-state funds” (donor money, royalty money from university patents, etc) to use to build and maintain a permanent home for the statue

I’d like to think that the prospect of their money going to support white nationalists would put off future donors. Unfortunately, a lot of them will be indifferent to if not supportive of this application of funds.

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Well, for example: “But the Sons of Confederate Veterans don’t own the Silent Sam statue, so it’s difficult to understand how they’d even have standing to sue the university.”

Giving money to a group that doesn’t have standing to sue, before they actually filed a lawsuit? That, I believe, is known as a “gift.”

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There was a lawsuit, but it was filed and served just after the settlement was approved, which makes it smell like an after-the-fact-Cover-Your-Ass move.

The University also didn’t describe this payment as a preemptive legal move to stave off a potential lawsuit. Their press release was specifically worded to imply they were settling an actual, existing lawsuit—presumably filed by a party that had some kind of standing to sue.

https://www.northcarolina.edu/news/2019/11/UNC-System-reaches-settlement-allowing-disposition-Silent-Sam

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Hope someone sues UNC for this fiscal waste. I’m not so sure this was a legitimate disbursement.

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I’d guess they’re really trying to buy off protesters and the associated cost of extra security. fails the sniff test though.

Also: Is this coming from an alternate timeline? Since when was there an East Carolina?

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The supposed basis is detailed in this thread:

tl;dr –

  • In 1913, the United Daughters of the Confederacy presented the Silent Sam statue to the University of North Carolina. In a speech marking that presentation, a UDC official expressed the wish that it should “stand forever as a perpetual memorial”.

  • The UDC says this was a condition of the gift, any breach of which would cause ownership of the statue to revert to the UDC. It holds that such a breach occurred in January 2019, when the university removed the statue from its plinth.

  • The UDC subsequently transferred its purported rights in the statue to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

  • Bingo, lawsuit!

Mr Muller calls bullshit on the above, mostly because gift conditions of that sort typically have to be made crystal-clear in writing, rather than in a throwaway comment in a speech; but also because it seems the sculptor who created the statue was contracted directly by the university, not the UDC.

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That’s not quite accurate. 99.999% of the time, a settlement agreement (whether pre- or post-suit) contains a release that binds both the parties.

That said, nothing about this makes sense, from the timing to the lack of clarity on what the allegations against the school supposedly were (i.e. what their potential liability could even be in theory) so who the hell knows in such a clusterfuck.

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The problem comes in enforcing such releases. Many of them pre-suit easily fail from being overbroad. Without the confines of a Complaint to define the nature of the claims being alleged, it can easily go into unenforceable territory.

This sounds like a payoff that they were unable to successfully hide.

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Doucette also notes that UNC’s general counsel is Tom Shanahan, who was also implicated in a coverup of serious misconduct by East Carolina University chancellor Dan Gerlach that ended with Gerlach resigning in disgrace.

Let’s hope that Tom Shanahan is a successful in this situation as he was in covering up Dan Gerlach’s stuff.

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installing the “traitors’ flag” of the Confederacy

Hey now, call it what it really is. A losers flag.

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“East Carolina University” doesn’t seem any stranger a concept than “University of Southern California,” which is generally accepted as a legit institution (unless you’re a Bruins fan).

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This is pretty much the only thing needed to be said.

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Offer a free trip to the firing squad, because that’s how we deal with traitors and terrorists.

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