UNC Chancellor Carol Folt resigned yesterday—and took the remnants of the campus’s Confederate monument out the door with her.
While the UNC system’s Board of Governor’s met in an emergency session to discuss “Chapel Hill leadership,” Folt stole a march on them, announcing her resignation and her order for the removal of the toppled statue’s still-standing pedestal to an undisclosed location, before the Board’s meeting ended.
Campus work crews had dismantled the pedestal and hauled it away by midnight last night.
Good on her.
The Chancellor has now committed her own act of civil disobedience. I wonder if there will be calls to prosecute her. To the best of my knowledge, the law that forbade removal of monuments did not specify the sanctions for those who broke it. The Gordian knot of the statue was always there to be undone by Folt; it always seemed it would be a trade of her breaking the law in return for losing her job. She waited a long time–perhaps until the very last moment–to take that step. But surely there will be those on the right who think her losing her job is not punishment enough.
Now is not the time, it seems to me, to repine over what could or should have been. Instead, we should accept where things currently stand and, as a campus, stand braced to fight back against any retaliatory actions coming from the BOG. Reviling the BOG or speculating about what it has or will do is also not very useful in my view. But we should be clear that BOG is not in our corner and that its actions must be carefully monitored and steadily resisted.
In the meantime, all honor is due to Maya Little and her many allies. They forced the issue. Resolute action triumphed over dithering. What a lovely, perfectly expressive, word: dithering.