An activist group is threatening to turn a monument to Confederate President Jefferson Davis into a toilet unless the United Daughters of the Confederacy hangs a banner to mark the South’s surrender in the Civil War, according to an AL.com story.
The news outlet said in a story Monday that the group White Lies Matter sent a letter to the AL.com office claiming it was behind the March theft of a chair from a Selma cemetery. The chair, which is valued at $500,000 and weighs several hundred pounds, was originally presented by the Ladies of Selma in 1893 to honor Davis’ last visit to the city.
The letter from White Lies Matter said the group will return the chair intact if the banner is hung. The banner, which the group claims to have delivered to the UDC office in Virginia, has a quote from Black Liberation Army leader Assata Shakur: “The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives.”
White Lies Matter wants the banner hung at exactly 1 p.m. on Friday, which will be the anniversary of the South’s surrender in the Civil War.
“Failure to do so will result in the monument, an ornate stone chair, immediately being turned into a toilet,” the White Lies Matter letter to AL.com reads. “If they do display the banner, not only will we return the chair intact, but we will clean it to boot.”
Selma Police and District Attorney Michael Jackson confirmed to AL.com that the chair had been stolen and that they were aware of the ransom demand. The city had previously offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the chair.
“Like most Confederate monuments, it mostly exists to remind those whose freedom had to be purchased in blood, that there still exists a portion of our country that is more than willing to continue to spill blood to avoid paying that debt down,” the letter states. “We took their toy, and we don’t feel guilty about it. They never play with it anyway. They just want it there to remind us what they’ve done, what they are still willing to do.”