And it's a lot uglier than we thought:
Internal conflict has intensified within the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Inc. since its questionable settlement with the UNC System weeks ago. The settlement accrued the organization ownership of Silent Sam, as well as $2.5 million in UNC System money to fund the Confederate monument’s “preservation and benefit.” Kevin Stone, the state chapter’s commander, called it a “major strategic victory” for the pro-Confederate movement.
But multiple current members of the SCV chapter led by Stone, who spoke to The Daily Tar Heel and were granted anonymity based on personal safety concerns, are taking a far different tone.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts, I just wanted to comment on how very common this situation is, when petty tyrants move into positions of authority. It happens on condo boards, homeowners associations, committees and commissions, and even political party sub-groups (county, caucuses, etc.) These people will inevitably play upon your prejudices, in an effort to create an aura of conflict that doesn't exist (yet), and once placed in power they make that conflict a reality. Needless to say, when you see one of these people, run like the wind. Back to the confederacy of dunces:
Disgruntled members are expressing desires to squash the deal and give the money back. A common fear they shared is that the current deal will empower what they see as the SCV’s most problematic wing: the mechanized cavalry, a nationwide special interest group of motorcycle-riding members which Stone has helmed for around 10 years.
The Silent Sam settlement could lead to UNC System money funding a new headquarters and museum that one member predicts will have “racist overtones” and further enable a nefarious transition.
“Kevin Stone is no more interested in Silent Sam and what it stands for than the man on the moon,” the member said. “He sees this money as a pot of gold to build himself and his biker gang a massive headquarters.”
I keep seeing BOG members quoted with naive nonsense like, "The agreement doesn't allow for the money to be abused, there are strict guidelines blah blah blah..." Here's a clue: If you can't stop these racists from marching down the middle of the street next to the campus, while armed and dangerous, WTF makes you think they will abide by the agreement? They can build a fancy new biker headquarters to hang out in, and stick Sam in the corner as their mascot, and they've pretty much met the requirements. And this part should really stick in the craws of UNC faculty, students, and alumni:
The motorcyclist subgroup has “taken over” the SCV’s state chapter, he said, something he thinks the UNC Board of Governors members who negotiated the settlement aren’t aware of. “They have no idea what they’re dealing with here,” he said.
Members described suspicions about the mechanized cavalry, one concern being its rising exchange of members and activity with the Hells Angels and the Outlaws, two globally-present “outlaw motorcycle gangs,” a term designated by the SPLC, with a rivaling presence in North and South Carolina. SCV members said the mechanized cavalry has become a back-and-forth recruiting ground with the two motorcycle clubs.
“In order for the clubs to survive, other than to do the illegal stuff that they do... they need members to join that can’t do that kind of work to keep paying their membership dues,” he said.
In a Facebook post responding to SCV member criticism, Bill Starnes, a mechanized cavalry member and close affiliate of Stone, responded, “We do have some Outlaws in the SCV. We also have some Hell’s Angels in the SCV. Nobody is pissed about it... They know us, they know who we are, they know what we stand for. They support us.”
In emails to members, Starnes has defended the interactions — calling critics “cowards,” “chicken shit” as well as homophobic slurs.
Typical bullying tactics of groups like the Hell's Angels. And the sources for this story are not being paranoid about violent retribution; the HAs are known for "disappearing" members who can't be trusted.
The UNC BOG has a lot to answer for in giving these folks millions of dollars.