A stone chair dedicated to Confederate president Jefferson Davis has been used as a toilet after its owners, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), failed to meet the demands of the group which stole it.
White Lies Matter (WLM), who stole the monument from an Alabama cemetery in March, said they would safely return the chair if the UDC displayed a banner from Black Liberation Army activist Assata Shakur at their Virginia headquarters for 24 hours.
The banner reads: “The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives.”
A flyer from the group, published by the Montgomery Advertiser, said it would be returned unharmed if their demands were met, adding that “we’ll even clean it up for you”.
However, they warned that “failure to surrender” to the request would see the chair “being carved into a toilet”.
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“Jefferson Davis doesn’t need it anymore. He’s long dead.
“Like most Confederate monuments, it mostly exists to remind those who’s 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,” an email from the group, published by The Associated Press (AP), reads.
WLM wanted the banner displayed from 1pm local time on Friday, the anniversary of the date the Confederacy surrendered in the American Civil War.
Yet last Wednesday, the group said the UDC had given them “every indication that they had no intention of hanging the banner”, prompting them to alter the chair prematurely before returning it.
Patricia Godwin, a member of the UDC, previously told the AP: “They need to return the chair. It’s grand theft.”
Photos of the chair being used for its new purpose accompanied WLM’s statement.
Speaking to AL.com, WLM said: “[We] will contact them directly with coordinates indicating where the chair is located. The chair will not be returned to the cemetery.”
Local law enforcement have expressed their disbelief at the whole saga, too, with District Attorney Michael Jackson saying Selma, the area in Alabama, is “like The Twilight Zone” and that there’s “never a dull moment here”.
After hearing the news last Wednesday that the chair would be returned, Jackson said: “This is getting stranger and stranger.
“Hopefully they will clean and sanitize it before they return it.”