Will they file the lawsuit in Hawaii?
Via Campus Reform:
Students are threatening to sue the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if it does not remove a Confederate statue from campus.
According to The Daily Tar Heel, an attorney from the New York law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner—known for representing Vice President Al Gore in the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case—made the threat Wednesday in a letter sent to Chancellor Carol Folt, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, UNC President Margaret Spellings, and the UNC Board of Governors on behalf of the UNC Black Law Students Association (BLSA), its faculty advisor Erika Wilson, and 12 other student leaders.
The letter demands that UNC “immediately remove the monument of an armed Confederate soldier, known as Silent Sam, from the middle of campus,” arguing that it “violates federal anti-discrimination laws by fostering a racially hostile learning environment.”
Silent Sam, a 1913 memorial to Confederate UNC alumni, “holds a rifle,” but “is silent because he wears no cartridge box for ammunition.” The statue has long been the subject of controversy, and past vandalism has cost UNC “more than $40,000,” according to a spokesperson for the school.
Calls for UNC to remove Silent Sam intensified following the violence in Charlottesville, but state law requires approval from the North Carolina Historical Commission before removing, relocating, or altering “a monument, memorial, or work of art owned by the State.”
In an effort to live up to that obligation, UNC installed fences and security cameras to protect the statue in advance of a large demonstration in August.
Nonetheless, the letter sent on behalf of UNC students Thursday contends that the university is actually violating federal law by keeping Silent Sam in place.
“Silent Sam should go for many reasons including its incompatibility with the ‘inclusive and welcoming environment’ promised by UNC’s non-discrimination policy,” the letter begins, though it goes on to say that there is “an additional reason why Silent Sam must come down now: the statue violates federal anti-discrimination laws by fostering a hostile learning environment.”
Specifically, the law firm claims that the statue violates the prohibitions against racial discrimination outlined in Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, asserting that “any federally funded institution (such as UNC) that is deliberately indifferent to a racially hostile learning environment runs afoul of federal law.”