Thursday, March 20, 2008


There has been plenty of press coverage of Eve Carson and how she made a difference in this world. As the president of the UNC-CH student body, as a scholar, as a volunteer helping numerous causes, as a friend - in every instance folks have portrayed her as truly special person with a big heart.

The cause of her death and all of the specifics are still not known, but we at least have been able to identify two suspects. Sadly, because of the suspects, some in our community see this case in terms of black and white and want to portray it in only those terms.

UNC-CH Chancellor James Moeser had some fitting words about this when he spoke at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Banquet in January. In his remarks, he told the audience the Cherokee legend of the “Two Wolves”

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

So, when I read a letter like the one in the 3/19/08 Chapel Hill Herald by a local resident, I have to wonder if he realizes which one he’s feeding:

Our real crime problem

It certainly appears that Eve Carson of the University of North Carolina and Lauren Burk of Auburn University, both white females, were cheerfully murdered by black males.

Will the editorial pages of major news" papers demand that hate crime charges be appended to the indictments? Will the Justice Department nullify the constitutional protections against double jeopardy and order that the Alabama defendant stand trial for civil rights violations if the' first jury returns a verdict of not guilty? Will a Chapel Hill white mob riot and loot black businesses if the Orange County district attorney treats the black-on-white crime as a misdemeanor complaint?

Umm ...maybe not.

The simple fact is that if the United States did not have a black violent crime problem, the United States would not have much of a violent crime problem.

Now, back to our obligatory Black Studies coursework, and another recitation of real or imagined white-on-black offenses that occurred in nineteen-aught-something.

Frank Hurley
Chapel Hill

There’s probably not much point in responding to Mr. Hurley, but I think he best be real careful about that well-fed wolf he he’s got. How about the rest of us?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PATIENCE (WCHL Commentary)

All our lives we told that patience is a virtue, it makes us better people when we are able to tolerate delay and exercise self-control. We must understand that we can’t always get what we want, when we want it. We learn and typically relearn the folly of our ways after we have jumped to conclusions.

We as a community find ourselves in the midst of an investigation of a tragic murder of a truly outstanding and popular woman who was the Carolina student body president. I want this to be as it is on that TV show – the perp is apprehended before half after the hour, convicted before the top of the hour, and then we get see the cops and the DAs reflect for a minute or so on their success.

Well, real life is not like that TV show. In real life, we have to be patient, and that’s really hard, especially for us TYPE A’s! I’ve been very impressed with the way UNC, the town leadership and our police chief, Brian Curran, have handled the case thus far, but I still want speedy answers. We know that a rush to judgment based on the released photos isn’t right, but it’s hard to await the facts.

Shock, fear, dismay, sadness, revulsion, and anger work against us being patient, in spite of us knowing what’s right. And getting this right is an important thing our community can do to honor the memory of Eve Carson. Hopefully, it will also help the healing process for her loved ones and all who care about this appalling and horrific crime. So we need to draw on our well of virtue, tolerate delay and exercise self-control. Let’s all be patient.