'It'd Be Nice to Have a Couple Slaves': Men Threaten to Vandalize UNC Memorial

Two men recently threatened to vandalize a memorial for enslaved and free African Americans on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus.

In several videos posted to Twitter by UNC Anti-Racist Alerts, the two unidentified men can be seen carrying Confederate flags and sitting on the Unsung Founders Memorial.

"It'd be nice to have a couple of slaves," one of the men said in the video while making a whipping motion. "It'd be nice. I wish I had about three or four. Mow the yard, clean the house."

The man then appeared to say that he planned to hire a Black maid "to piss off everybody."

When asked why he would display the Conf. Battle Flag at the monument, Thomas May (who participated in 1/6 insurrection at the Capitol) said it was to let people know “who’s the boss,” then laughed about his desire to enslave people himself and made a whipping motion. pic.twitter.com/N9kKsFrfRS

— UNC Anti-Racist Alerts (@UNC_Alerts) July 11, 2021

In a second video posted by UNC Anti-Racist Alerts, which is not affiliated with the school or law enforcement, the same man can be seen suggesting to pour acid on top of the memorial.

"I can't wait until this gets torn down...I'm not gonna do it, but I know some people who will," the man said according to the tweet.

In this clip May threatens to pour acid on Unsung Founders. Later he said, “I can’t wait until this gets torn down…I’m not gonna do it, but I know some people who will.” UNC Police walked by, did nothing, & stood far away for over an hour while community confronted the racists. pic.twitter.com/UH27vuGfIZ

— UNC Anti-Racist Alerts (@UNC_Alerts) July 11, 2021

In another picture posted by UNC Anti-Racist Alerts, the two men can be seen sitting on the memorial holding Confederate flags. One of the men can be seen flashing a "white power sign" with his hand. According to the tweet, "both used the n-word repeatedly, referring to both the Black people on campus and the monument.

According to UNC's virtual museum, the Unsung Founders Memorial was dedicated by the university in 2005 "to honor the countless enslaved and free African Americans who contributed their labor and service to the campus."

"A gift of the Class of 2002 and created by artist Do-Ho Suh, the piece features bronze figures holding a stone table surrounded by five stone seats," the university's virtual museum said. " The University chose to locate this artwork in McCorkle Place because of its importance to the history of the campus and the community."

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the University of North Carolina wrote, "On Saturday, July 10, UNC Police was notified of individuals carrying Confederate flags near the Unsung Founders Monument. Four officers responded and remained to observe the two individuals in the area until they left campus after about an hour."

"As UNC-Chapel Hill is a public university and state agency, we must allow demonstrations and free speech, in accordance with the First Amendment and North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act, even when it does not align with the values of our campus," the statement continued.

According to the spokesperson, police officers did not witness any vandalism of the memorial.

In March 2019, the Unsung Founders Memorial was vandalized with permanent marker and urine.

In a 2019 statement following the incident, UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said, "These events challenge not only our most fundamental community values, but also the safety of our campus."

A month later, two suspects were arrested and charged with vandalism and ethnic intimidation for defacing the memorial. One of the individuals also faced charges of public urination, according to the New York Times.

University of North Carolina
Two men were recently seen threatening to vandalize the Unsung Founders Memorial at the University of North Carolina Chapel HIll. Pro-confederacy protestors receive a police escort through a shouting crowd to their vehicles after protesting where the "Silent Sam" statue once stood before its toppling last week on the campus of The University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on August 30, 2018. Logan Cyrus/Getty

Updated July 12, 2021, 10:11 a.m. ET, to include a statement from a spokesperson for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.