Earlier today, a judge vacated the $2.5 million settlement between the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the UNC Board of Governors. The settlement, approved in November following months of secret negotiations, was widely disliked by students, faculty, alumni, and anyone else with firing neurons the moment it was announced.

But for now, let’s say good riddance to the whole damn thing. Here are some tunes to set the mood.

August 20, 2018 — Silent Sam, the Confederate monument that plagued the UNC System’s flagship university since 1913, comes crashing down thanks to protesters. These actions follow hundreds of student protests since 1965.

December 3, 2018 — Former UNC-CH Chancellor Carol Folt proposes a $5.3 million facility to house the statue. Students are pissed, and the UNC Board of Governors rejects the plan 11 days later.

January 14, 2019 — Folt resigns and removes Silent Sam’s base that night. Although she planned to step down at the end of the academic year, she is ousted at the end of the month by the BOG.

September 14, 2019 — A Carolina Connection reporter says she found the remains of the statue, the pedestal, and the base in a UNC storage yard. UNC officials wouldn’t confirm that, although it sure did look like ole Sam.

November 5, 2019 — UNC releases a report absolving campus police of any bias. A few days later, video surfaces of police on campus threatening violence against anti-racist protesters.

November 27, 2019 — At 10:00 a.m., the BOG has a closed teleconference meeting. At 11:00 a.m., the North Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans serves a lawsuit to the BOG. Eleven minutes later, the BOG settles the lawsuit, giving $2.5 million to the SCV. Later, it’s revealed the BOG also gave the neo-Confederates an additional $74,999 to (supposedly) keep them from protesting on campus. SCV President Kevin Stone sent a letter to members saying that despite knowing they didn’t have the standing to sue, they did anyways.

December 6, 2019 — UNC-CH interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz sort of says Attorney General Josh Stein approved of the settlement.

December 12, 2019 — Stein (more or less) says, “No I didn’t. You just asked if it was legal.”

January 7, 2020 — The Daily Tar Heel’s parent company sues the BOG for violating the state’s Open Meetings Law and the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act.

January 10, 2020 — The Daily Tar Heel reports that the SCV potentially violated federal tax laws and created an unauthorized political action committee. 

January 14, 2020 — The National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announces that it would appeal the Superior Court’s decision to block its attempt to intervene in the SCV settlement on behalf of students.

January 28, 2020 — We learned that Judge Allen Baddour, who approved the settlement, was texting with the BOG’s lawyer about the case before the impending court date.

January 29, 2020 — Eighty-eight UNC-CH alumni file an amicus brief with the Superior Court. The same day, the SCV files its own brief on the standing issue. That Friday, the Daily Tar Heel reports that the SCV used the $74,999 it was given by the UNC system to pay the United Daughters of the Confederacy for the rights to the statue, which the UDC had given to UNC 107 years prior.

February 12, 2020 — Baddour sides with the Lawyers’ Committee and rules that the SCV did not have standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place—which is exactly what SCV Commander Kevin Stone admitted to his men in November. The UDC had given the statue to UNC, which meant it belonged to UNC, which meant the UDC had no rights to sell to the SCV, which means the SCV had no claim on the damn thing, which means this was a pointless exercise that only heaped more shame and humiliation on this state. 

Contact digital content manager Sara Pequeño at spequeno@indyweek.com.

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