Wilmington attorney weighs in on Silent Sam decision

Thom Goolsby is a member of the UNC System Board of Governors

Wilmington attorney weighs in on Silent Sam decision

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington attorney and member of the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors disagrees with UNC’s recommendation to construct a building for a Confederate statue that was torn down on campus this year.

Thom Goolsby, the owner of Goolsby Law Firm, posted a statement and video on Facebook calling the UNC trustees “cowardly” for agreeing to spend $5.3 million to build a development for the statue known as Silent Sam.

In the Facebook post, Goolsby calls for the statue to "be placed back on his stand and that appropriate fencing be erected to protect this historical monument!"

UNC Trustees Cowardly Response to the Destruction of Silent Sam The UNC Board of Trustees has adopted an illegal plan to built a warehouse in which to hide our state's history. The estimated costs of the "storage locker" is $5,300,000 to construct and $800,000 in yearly salaries and expenses. State law NCGS Section 100-2.) specifically DISALLOWS the relocation of a historic object like Silent Sam to a museum (Section (b)). The illegal excuse given for relocating the statue is that it poses a "dangerous condition." NCGS 100-2.1 defines such a condition in Section (c)(3): "An object of remembrance for which a building inspector or similar official has determined poses a threat to public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition." The reason cited deals with unsafe conditions related to the physicality of the object and in no way is related to property destruction and threats from the outside radicals who tore down Silent Sam. Clearly the law does not contemplate allowing criminal actors to dictate the placement of historic objects. If you wish to assist in the resurrection of Silent Sam in keeping with state law, here is what you can do: Call the NC General Assembly's switch board at 919-733-4111. The operator can direct you to your local Senate and House members, even if you do not know who they are. Demand that your legislators call each member of the UNC System Board of Governors and the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and DEMAND that Silent Sam be placed back on his stand and that appropriate fencing be erected to protect this historical monument!

Posted by Thom Goolsby on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

UNC said it wanted to move the statue off campus, but state law requires it be put back in a similar location to where it was brought down.

Goolsby countered that the school's "illegal excuse for relocating the statue is that is poses a 'dangerous condition'" per North Carolina General Statute 100-2.1.

"The reason cited deals with unsafe conditions related to the physicality of the object and in no way is related to property destruction and threats from the outside radicals who tore down Silent Sam," Goolsby wrote. "Clearly the law does not contemplate allowing criminal actors to dictate the placement of historic objects."

The school's plan is to house Silent Sam in a $5.3 million development called Odum Village.

Goolsby implored people to call each member of the UNC Board of Governors and Board of Trustees demanding Silent Sam’s return to its original place.

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