Posted March 17, 2008
Updated March 19, 2008
In the news business, we are called upon to be unbiased. We are asked to exercise the utmost diplomacy in every situation to the point where we sometimes bend over backwards to highlight the point that we disagree with the most.
Clearly, we have opinions; we just don't share them publically. But as I get older, I realize that some situations, even in the world of journalism, warrant an opinion.
The tremendous value of Eve Carson's life is one of these situations. I was discussing this issue with a local elected official the other day who said quite perceptively: "Her life had no more value to her parents than it did to the parents of anyone else who is was killed, but it had more value to society than other lives because of what she would have accomplished."
He finally gave me the words to express what we had all been dancing around throughout this emotional and tragic week.
Clearly, the pre-med student who had already volunteered in four foreign countries was destined to do great things in her life. Her involvement in student government and causes that reached out to the disadvantaged were a testament to her dedication to civic participation and the community at-large.
Eve Carson's legacy is multiplied by the number of people she touched on UNC's campus and beyond. There's is no doubt in my mind that she was an exceptional person and had accomplished all of this at a very young age.
It is for this reason that so many people have been drawn to this story. Unfortunately, random violence happens every day in this world, in this country, in this state, in our counties and towns. But it is not every day that the victim is the caliber of Carson.
On Tuesday the entire UNC community will say goodbye to Carson at a campus memorial service. There will no doubt be remembrances of her from friends, colleagues, and maybe family.
But maybe her legacy demands something more of us. Maybe, just maybe, what has transpired will cause us to take a long hard look at the world we are becoming and help us to to figure out a way to curb the violence, to intervene and prevent it before it happens, to reach down into the roots of the problems, the reasons young people become so disconnected and so disillusioned that they somehow see violence as the answer.
I didn't know Eve Carson, but somehow I suspect that's exactly what she would have wanted from us...