UNC-Chapel Hill ends Bell Award

Today’s edition of the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer contains a number of letters in response to the recent decision by the University of North Carolina to retire its Cornelia Phillips Spencer Bell award. Perennial graduate student Yonni Chapman convinced the UNC administration that Spencer was a "racist," despite opposition from the UNC Center for the Study of the American South. Chapman’s response is included in the letters below.


Regarding the Dec. 17 article "UNC-Chapel Hill ends Bell Award," which carried the subheadline "Charges of racism against the woman the award commemorates lead to its demise":

When King David is resurrected along with the 12 Apostles who will reign under him over the 12 tribes of Israel, I guess all the liberals, if they could, would protest to God against David’s appointment because he did not set the slaves free during his reign over Israel and was way too macho by today’s standards. Yet God said that King David was a man after His own heart.

Racism was/is just a political tool to try and destroy the old South. The North played the race card against the white Southern people back in the 1860s and it hasn’t stopped yet, and probably will not stop until this nation is totally destroyed because of all of our personal and national sins.

I don’t see any King Davids today. I see political wimps who bow down to pressures. The South needs to rethink its past. Slavery is not condemned in the Bible, whereas adultery, homosexuality and abortion
(murder) are condemned and are death penalty crimes.

Don Wheatley


I am uncomfortable with UNC-Chapel Hill’s ending of the Bell Award commemorating Cornelia Phillips Spencer, based on her "white supremacist" sentiments.

In the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Abraham Lincoln, in Charleston, Ill., on Sept. 18, 1858, stated: "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about, in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to inter-marry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."

Happily, history has proved Lincoln’s statement dead wrong but this is to demonstrate that Spencer had good company in her time. Let us hope we will not now have to blow up the Lincoln Memorial or change the name of Nebraska’s capital city.

J. Allen Adams