(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are demanding that the university rename a building named after a leader of the Klu Klux Klan.
The rally on Monday outside Saunders Hall featured students wearing nooses around their necks and holding signs that read, “This is what Saunders would do to me,” according to a report by ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV.
Some historians argue former North Carolina Secretary of State William Saunders’ involvement in the Klu Klux Klan in the 1800s isn’t confirmed, but student Matt Taylor and other protesters have convinced the University Board of Trustees to review the matter.
“If UNC is as inclusive as it says it is, if it promotes diversity like it wants to, it needs to make us feel welcome as students while we’re here, not just give the appearance,” Taylor told WTVD-TV.
However, former UNC Chancellor James Moeser told the television station that the founders of the university were slave owners and are celebrated for their work towards the school.
“I don’t think the facts are all in about Saunders,” said Moeser. “We don’t really know whether he was a Klu Klux Klan. But let’s assume he was. Where do we draw the line?”
Students want the university to rename the building after African-American author Zora Neale Hurston, best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.
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