A neo-Confederate activist who is depicted making racial slurs in a video circulated by antiracists is no longer employed by Koury Corp., a prominent Greensboro real-estate development company.
Janet Spainhour Pate maintained the Facebook page for Confederate Memorial Tour, a kind of scrapbook chronicling visits by Pate and a friend to various Confederate memorials across North Carolina and Virginia. The page, which was categorized as “just for fun,” had increasingly become a magnet for violent and racist comments over the past 12 months by people angered by the removal of Confederate monuments.
As previously reported by Triad City Beat, a post about UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Maya Little’s act of civil disobedience to re-contextualize the Silent Sam Confederate monument in April 2018 unleashed a stream of invective from commenters, including “Mindless virtue-signaling communist is worthy of stoning,” “Hang the b**** on the courthouse square so everyone can see what is going to happen to the next person!” and, “Gut her.”
After hearing about the decision by then-UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt to remove the remnants of Silent Sam on Jan. 14, Pate showed up at the scene and live-streamed the event with a running monologue to express her disgust. At one point, after midnight, she referenced Little’s April 2018 act of civil disobedience.
“There you go, y’all,” Pate told her viewers. “All these years that sat there and then some n***er comes up and spreads paint all over it, and the liberals go mad.”
Pate’s profanity-laden spiel also included derogatory comments about antiracist students suggesting their commitment to removing Confederate memorials stemmed from loose morals, and suggesting that police involvement in removing Confederate memorials is the cause of violence against law enforcement.
Pate told her viewers she would turn around the camera “so you can see all these little whores at UNC, queers, celebrating, taking pictures. I guess they don’t have to go to class. Like I say, it’s easy to go to class here. They can stay up all night, get drunk, screw around, have abortions.”
Later, she continued, “Just to let you know, the desecration of a memorial to the dead only proves this school’s going to turn into a ghetto, that’s all it is. It’s the ghetto. All these kids study, it’s partying, tearing up shit, raising hell. That’s what it is at UNC, y’all, making their own rules, mob rule.”
She also accused UNC Police of breaking the law by complying with Folt’s order to remove the remnants of the Silent Sam monument.
“And they wonder why cops are getting shot,” Pate said. “’Cause of this shit right here.”
Some of the video was edited down and circulated by an anonymous antiracist Twitter account @Move_Silent_Sam, drawing attention to Spainhour’s connection to the neo-Confederate group Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, or ACTBAC. In a subsequent video released on Feb. 24, the anonymous antiracist activists warned Winston-Salem residents to be on the lookout for Pate as the city prepares to remove its Confederate monument. Circulated through a tweet entitled “Janet Spainhour: Armed & racist,” the video includes images of Pate posing with a high-powered rifle and a footage of her dropping the N-word on a second occasion.
As Pate films herself giving commentary in front of a neo-Confederate parade to celebrate Lee and Jackson Day in Lexington, Va. on Jan. 19, YG & Nipsey Hussle’s “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)” can be heard blasting in the background, apparently from a campus residence hall along the parade route.
“I’m gonna tell you, people, it’s next to a war [sic],” Pate said. “But here you go. All right everybody, that’s about all I want to hear of that bullshit. But this is what we’re up against. Gonna sit back and take it? But they think they’re being funny. You hear that? And them n***ers are able to come to school here because of Donald Trump. Yay.”
The campaign to shame Pate didn’t truly take off until Thursday, with the release of a third video and the unidentified antiracist activists’ disclosure that Pate worked for Greensboro-based Koury Corp. The footage was picked up by the Atlanta Black Star newspaper, which circulated it on Facebook and Twitter, resulting in upwards of 32,000 views. By the end of the day, the Confederate Memorial Tour page and Pate’s LinkedIn page identifying herself as the payroll manager at Koury Corp. had been taken down. On Friday, the company declined to confirm Pate’s position.
Koury Corp. acknowledged in a formal statement that on Thursday the company “was made aware of personal behavior by an employee that is abhorrent to our values, standards and policies.
“Koury Corporation does not condone racism, hatred or bigotry of any kind,” the statement continues. “It is unfortunate and misleading that the Koury Corporation name and logo has been associated with this disturbing behavior. We have already taken appropriate personnel action in response to the activities of this one employee, and we remain focused on the positive contributions that our nearly one thousand employees make in our community every day.”
And around noon, Monty Hagler, a public relations specialist handling the controversy for Koury Corp. said in an email to TCB: “I can share with you that the phrase ‘taken appropriate action’ includes the fact that the employee [is] no longer employed at Koury Corporation.”
Pate declined to comment for this story.