April 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
By Alex Karsten
The problem with the blog post I am responding to is not that the author is a racist. The problem is two-fold. First, this post is trying to capitalize on the death of Eve Carson, which it misunderstands. Second, this post proves that the Trayvon Martin tragedy did not become the teaching moment it should have been.
As far as the misunderstanding of Eve Carson’s death is concerned, the title is the strongest piece of evidence. “Eve Was Unarmed. She Wasn’t Wearing a Hoodie. She Was Murdered. Are You Angry?” clearly implies that there are people who weren’t angry about Eve Carson’s brutal murder. If such people exist, I have yet to find them. The post seems to be outraged at the lack of attention directed towards Eve’s murder, which was in fact a national news story.
The author is right, there were no “protests, marches, and outraged politicians.” Instead there were scholarships being funded, events organized, and inspiration being immortalized. It is as if the author thinks it is unfair that Eve’s friends didn’t have to deal with the media zoo, or that Eve’s parents didn’t have to stare down Geraldo Rivera. Frankly, it’s unfair that Trayvon’s do. Eve didn’t need to become a nationally trending hashtag to become a constant reminder to the entire UNC community of how good a student can be and how fragile that goodness is.
But there is a more sinister side to Eve’s memory that this article brings to light. Because Eve’s name has become a sort of buzzword on UNC’s campus, the use of it has become any easy way to grab attention. This title, as long and awkward as it was, made anyone in the UNC community stop and take a second look. I don’t know if this post went viral anywhere other than UNC, but even that is too much.
Beyond all the ethical reasons not to use Eve’s death to get more hits, there is the simple, more important, fact that it is a bad example. Regardless of who was used to make the author’s point, the point remains the same: “Why is it only about race if the victim is black?” The post-race message of the blog post is that we should regard all violence with an equitable color-blind disgust, but Eve Carson was killed by men who sought to profit from her and Trayvon Martin was killed because only because of how he appeared to his murderer. The murders were equally senseless and awful, but they are very different. You cannot claim that Atwater and Lovette were equally motivated by race as Zimmerman was without claiming that race is synonymous with socio-economic status. Unfortunately, the author is all too willing to make that claim. To make this claim is not racist—that is a word that is much too easy to throw around—it is proof that the biggest problem with race right now is how hard it is to prove it is a problem.
I only wrote this response because of how clearly the post in question proves that, despite the moment of reckoning presented by the horrible death of Trayvon Martin, everyone has left feeling like they were proved right. Those who believe that race plays a major role in injustice in our country were given another tragic example. Those who believe that race would be an issue of the past if it weren’t for a few loud radicals on either side were given the indignant noise they could have predicted. No one has left with a changed mind.
 This essay is a response to the post below. I am linking it despite my hesitations because, frankly, I hate to give it any more views: http://lettersfromawhoremongerswife.com/2012/03/28/eve-was-unarmed-she-wasnt-wearing-a-hoodie-she-was-murdered-are-you-angry/
 Here’s a CNN article from the time of the killing: http://web.archive.org/web/20080310234431/http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/03/06/unc.student.killed/
 Certainly most of this post’s readers found the long and detailed description of who Eve Carson was unnecessary.
March 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The Youth Angst Society hosts monthly readings in the Bull’s Head Bookshop thanks in large part to the Bookshop’s generous support.
This reading features The Salad Days contributors Katherine Proctor, Alex Karsten, and Peter Szulc as MC. This reading also features Duncan Culbreth, Kyle Rosko, Meredith Jones, Ben Miller, Maria Carlos, Madison Bakalar, and Davis Muma.
For more information, check out the YAS Facebook page.
March 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
By Tom Macarte
not West End for wine but i’ll have a
belgian beer at Milltown then we can
walk round the back of Carr Mill Mall
to get groceries. meet me at Silent Sam
to head back from campus, Silent Sam being
the Daughters of the Confederacy monument to
the Confederacy opened by the carr in Carrboro
general Jule who gave the address ‘Unveiling
of Confederate Monument at University’. you
can read choice extracts in the Carrboro
Centennial Commemorative which says unveiling
or horsewhipping blacks weren’t his legacy but
the town named for electric power.
[after an essay by David Otto]
February 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
By Alex Karsten
A few degrees separate the rain
from a unique romantic opportunity
that the couple I’m walking past
can’t wait to take, but does so anyway.
I should hurry, look at my phone,
give them some sign it’s all right,
go ahead, instead of trying
to share their soggy velvet night.
They take turns watching me,
each other, and fielding soft fly
balls on the slushy sidewalk
near the empty dormitory.
It might only snow once this year:
one chance for them to kiss
with each individual snowflake
once again rain on their face.
February 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
An improvised, full-length radio movie originally aired February 22, 2012 on WXYC Chapel Hill.
Produced by Reilly Finnegan. Directed by Alan Smithee, Knox Harrington, and Ellis Driver. Starring Reilly Finnegan, Peter Szulc, and Ellis Driver. Special thanks to Nicolas Cage.
February 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The Youth Angst Society hosts monthly readings in the Bull’s Head Bookshop thanks in large part to their generous support
This reading features The Salad Days contributors Katherine Proctor, Tom Macarte, and Peter Szulc. The reading also features Greg Halloran, Emily Palmer, and Ben Miller.
For more information, check out the YAS Facebook page.
February 22, 2012 § Leave a Comment
By Peter Szulc
Early June, enough beer sweating
in amber bell jars for everyone as we
hide under the gazebo from our
common enemy, the burly Pennsylvania heat. We
don’t talk, heaped together
among moist wood with initials or worse
carved into it, until the haze outside unspools a cyclist.
She’s trying harder than any woman I’ve ever seen
to ride a bike sidesaddle.
Intrigued, we cluster as far from the fan as we
dare, watching her dismount by the baseball diamond below our
hill, joining a crowd of men sweating into dark hats.
Her hands pluck at the chain-link fence like harp strings.
My uncle says the Amish call us
the English, and my aunt says they
treat their horses like machines,
working them until they break down
and when they do,
you can’t just
order new parts from two towns over.
But she rode a bike, my father says.
Their men are taking the field and my brother quotes
that line from The Simpsons about “shifty Mennonites.”
Their pitcher unlatches his body with each pitch,
and their women stare, like stunned moths in white dresses
while Mennonite bicycles humbly thread
the needle on narrow roads
and the Amish, their buggy a squat Cyclops
with its unblinking reflector, stick a chin
out at the cars passing on their left
driven by the English.
Lunch is served and I go to our
car to get our plastic cups and plates.
Early June, enough people
being called the same name that you
could call this a reunion.