Hatly Jar Hrrl
Book Forces Southerner to Reconsider His Heritage
Like many freshmen starting at UNC this
week, I spent part of my summer reading
“Confederates in the Attic” by Tony
Horwitz. As I read, Horwitz seduced me into
reconsidering questions about my
“Southemness” that I skillfully had been avoid
ing for years. How should I think about my
Southern heritage? Are we really still fighting
the war? I didn’t get to these questions over cof
fee at Starbucks one morning.
No, they go back 22 years to when I was a
12-year-old visiting my grandparents in
Florence, S. C. Much of my Southemness was
shaped by my grandparents, Charles and Mae
O’Neil. like folks in most small Southern
towns, they spoke when they passed others on
the street, carried their well-wom Bibles to
church and, immediately after, headed straight
to the K&W Cafeteria for Sunday dinner.
My grandfather taught me about my family’s
connection to the Civil War. I couldn’t count
the times “Da-da” told me the story of how his
granddaddy, Eli King, had been shot in the arm
with a little lead ball. 1 learned that his two
great uncles died, probably from dysentery,
after having signed their “X" on Confederate
Make Your Mom Happy;
Find Mate at Sangam
My dad grunts happily as he
dumps the last of my 24 plastic
crates on my dorm room floor,
but my mom shakes her head disapprov
ingly at me, because she has realized
that there is only one Indian prospect on
my hall, and not only is he considerably younger than me,
but, more importantly, he is not a pre-med.
“Why the South?” she lamented. “Why not University of
Maryland at College Park, there are 10,502 Indians there.”
(Trust me; she’s done detailed research on this subject)
“You could find a nice Indian boy, in computer science,
or business or medicine.” And the loving tirade continues,
as it always has.
Mom began her requests subtly and early - we’re talking
prenatal. She would casually weave marriage into the dinner
table conversation, commenting on how much easier life
would be if I found someone with the same cultural and reli
gious background as myself. “Think of the kids,” she’d say.
Meanwhile, all I could think was I wasn’t adult enough to
watch “90210” or “Baywatch" without their supervision.
I’d quickly retort that I was just looking for love -be it
black, white, Himalayan or Cajun. That never went over
well. But after time, and an Italian and Jewish boyfriend, her
attempts became a little less subde. i
She invited Indian med students from John’s Hopkins
over for dinner, hoping to gendy shove me in the right
direction. Soon after, she decided it was time for me to take
a “vacation” to India, during which she conjured up PRO
JECT DESIS: Date(s), Engagement and Setde Indian Style
and prompdy e-mailed her specifications to my relatives.
Though in the larger picture, my mom is fairly tame: She
hasn’t asked me to attend any Indian conventions yet
Imagine, if you will, 5,000 Patels, Shahs or Jains, basically a
super-sized family reunion in which various Indian families
attend lectures and cocktails and meet and greet all in the
hopes of finding an eternal, or at least rich, Indian mate.
Unfortunately for the vast majority, the only thing attached
Pride Sweetens Time at UNC
Rule Number 1 is, don’t sweat the small
Rule Number 2 is, it’s all small stuff.
And if you can't fight and you can’t flee,
-Robert S. Eliot
This is for all you freshmen out
there about to begin your first
full week of classes as Tar Heels.
It was only three short years ago
that I began my career as a Carolina
student. Common to most freshmen, I
was wide-eyed and full of optimism.
Like you, I was embarking on some
thing new and exciting. I envy you.
Remarkably, and to my amazement,
through it all, I’ve been able to retain
that wide-eyed, optimistically hopeful
view of life. As I now prepare for my
final year in Blue Heaven, I reflect
back over three years and offer you,
the class of 2004, my two cents worth.
There are going to be some bad
days here at Carolina. You, as a college
student, will encounter those times
when you really don’t have the will or
the wish to get out of bed because
there are three papers due that day in
addition to that damn biology lab.
There will be lonely days, and
stressful days, and in-between days,
and the line at Lenoir will only get
longer while the food gets older. You’ll
inevitably walk past a Pit preacher on
one of those bad days, only to be
UPKM Tfil Ml-
Sa% ®ar Hrrl
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POINT OF VIEW
The Confederacy even occupied a place in
my grandparent’s home. “The Last Meeting” is
a print that portrays the parting of two
Confederate generals, Robert E. Lee and
Stonewall Jackson, before the Batde of
Chaneellorsville. Horwitz refers to it several
times in his book. My grandparents proudly
displayed it in their living room.
I loved that picture, too. Soldiers, horses,
ghosts - what wouldn’t a young boy love?
The fall after I turned 12, my grandmother
rather nonchalandy posed to me a haunting
question. “Pat-pat, what would you like from
our house when we die?” The average 12-year
old might not have responded so coolly when
asked such a horrifying question. But I had
heard it many times before and watched as my
older cousins, brothers and sister claimed the
bounty of their home like pirates taking a
galleon on the open sea.
POINT OF VIEW
glorified personal ad stating only the vital statistics (name,
age, sex, fertility rate, education, salary and green card sta
tus), is posted in newspapers, on the Web, and in all moth
ers’ wallets - where it can be easily whipped out as soon as
any pre-med student enters within a five mile radius of her.
Lucky for me, there weren’t any prospects for her to
approach on that day, but she has heard about the mad
Sangam mixers and has instructed me not to leave without a
cute South Asian, preferably someone from Gaam (the vil
lage in India where my parents were bom).
As the final goodbyes are being said, she not-so-casually
leans towards my ear and whispers, “Just one nice Indian
boy; is that so much to ask?” And I begin the quest all in the
name of my mother - or at least 90 percent in her name.
Come learn more about interesting and quirky South
Asian traits, foods and culture at the Sangam general body
meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Forest Theater
(Union 208-209, in case of rain). Eoeryone is welcome.
You can enjoy some refreshments, entertainment and
learn how you can impact the South Asian community in
and around Chapel Hill. And don’t forget your bindis to
throw down at the Sangam Welcome Back Mixer on
Saturday, September 9 at 8 p.m., at the Hideaway.
Will you meet your mate? Who knows, but would you
want to miss the chance to make some fun-loving new buds
and be a part of an organization that brings its unique cul
ture and creativity to this campus?
Monica Modi is a junior business major from Columbia,
Md. To any of those who are interested in this crazy writer, e-mail
her your comments, questions or 810-DATA at
firstname.lastname@example.org - all requests will be considered, with
preference given to those with high fertility rates.
informed you are going to hell because
your skirt isn’t ankle-length.
Beware the ides of March
(Madness); Big Brother (the Carolina
Athletic Association) is watching.
You’ll finally get around to visiting
with your psychology professor, only
to find a note on the door saying office
hours are canceled that day. Your
adviser will only “advise” between five
and six in the morning on Monday.
You’ll have to pull some all-nighters
studying, and the next night will be
spent drinking, effectively canceling
out the study night. That’s pretty much
par for the course.
There will be times, as you walk
around the construction-ridden
Student Union, that you’ll miss your
hometown, your friends and your fam
ily. That remarkable human need for
companionship will invade your life.
You’ll go on some good dates, and
some bad dates, and you may even
have your heart broken.
But cheer up. You’ll come to realize
that it’s not all that bad.
When you do have one of those
days, which you are sure to have, get
up early and take a stroll through cam
pus, past the stone walls, and the Bell
Tower, and the majestic oak trees. Sit
on the steps of Wilson library, and
gaze out over the green that permeates
Polk Place. You might catch that faint
smell of a warm Southern rain
approaching, and all will be right with
the world. You’ll fall in love with the
Now it was my turn. To make a good show of
it, I thoughtfully surveyed the room, noticing
the antique roll-top desk, a fine bronze sculp
ture and various items of ivory, porcelain and
brass. But I knew exactly what I wanted and
staked my claim to “the two generals.”
Twelve years later, my grandparents had
passed away. The print
I didn’t give the picture
much thought until after I
moved to Chicago in
1993.1 hung the black
and gold-framed memorial
prominently in my apart
ment When I was home
sick I looked at it and saw
my grandparent’s house. I
heard the melodic drawl of
their Southern accents and tasted my grand
mother’s mouth-watering butter beans. Then,
the ghosts in the picture began to haunt me.
The ghosts whispered to my conscience and
gave me reasons for contemplation. They told
me that it is honorable to fight for what you
believe. Yet they reminded me that tens of
to them at the end of the conference is the
grease from overindulgence in samosas
(Indian-style egg rolls, minus the eggs).
Of if you don’t want to attend a con
vention, technology has come a long way
to help Indians find love. 810-DATA, a
place because, well, you just can’t help
it, and you will eventually call it home.
On one of those Carolina autumn
days, when the air is crisp, and the
leaves are bright crimson, and the sky
is especially Carolina Blue, take a
break under the Old Well, and you just
might think there’s no better place on
Earth to be at the moment
You are at one of the finest institu
tions in the world, and no matter what
happens, for the rest of your life, you
can always say, “I’m a Tar Heel.” Not
everybody can say that
Take a walk through the graveyard
on campus, and look at the people
who once graced this campus; those
ghosts of yesteryear adding to this
place that holds such grand mystique.
You are part of that now.
Treasure every moment of it Smile
a lot, and every now and then, stop
and smell a rose or two.
Meet as many people as you can.
Some of the people you come into con
tact here will become life-long friends.
That’s just not something you can find
around the comer every day.
By the time November rolls around,
and you are at your first basketball
game, you will have forgotten a lot
You will have forgotten many of the
problems you were faced with early
on. You definitely will have forgotten
whatever you learned prior to your
first midterms. You might even have
forgotten what I wrote in this column.
But when the lights go dim in the
building named after Dean Edwards
Smith, and the band starts playing the
fight song, and the boys with “North
Carolina” written across their jerseys
come running out the tunnel, don’t for
get the goose bumps.
Wesley White is a senior history
and economics major from Lenoir,
who hopes everyone's skies are
always Carolina Blue. Reach him at
thousands of men on both sides died for what
they thought was right - even though one side
was clearly wrong.
In 1996, the ghosts took me to Ghana, West
Africa. There they escorted me through die
remnants of inhumanity - the castle-like prisons
where many thousands died and through which
7 thought deeply ... In an
instant, 1 recalled that the war
ended slavery. I decided that no
family value or Confederate
pride could ever supercede
the basic rights
of freedom and truth. ”
wanted to become. But the ghosts still lingered
until Horwitz helped me put them to rest.
Four weeks ago, I was at the beach visiting
with my brother and his family, who now live
in Maryland. I was almost finished with the
book when my 10-year-old nephew, Stephen,
asked me what I was reading. I showed him the
Lieberman a Good Man,
His Party's Best Candidate
W’hat is this country becoming
when there is an Orthodox
Jew that might turn out to be
the most powerful man in the world -
What is this country doing giving this
morally justified, faithfully religious
and genuine human being an oppor
tunity to be the vice president?
You know what this world is doing?
We are realizing that it is time to
break the racist, segregationist walls
down and unite this culturally diverse society - like it or not
The last stained-glass ceilings in American life have been
Vice President A1 Gore’s selection of an Orthodox Jew,
Joseph I. Lieberman, as his running mate will be remem
bered as an enduring landmark in both American and
The selection of a man who, except in extraordinary cir
cumstances, does not work on the Jewish Sabbath from sun
down Friday to sundown Saturday and who has a wife
named Hadassah is an emblem of national openness, a sign
of cultural change -and a political gamble of the first order.
But it’s a gamble, nevertheless, worth taking.
Simply by appearing on the stage of the Italian Center in
my hometown of Stamford, Conn., Sen. Lieberman was
transformed instandy into a symbol of national diversity,
placing him in the ranks of Jackie Robinson, John F.
Kennedy and Sally Ride as a pathfinder in the search for a
new high ground in American life.
For Jews, the very top of political life always seemed an
Liebennan’s selection comes in an
age when political leaders of both par
ties are beginning to open the flood
gates to understanding and tolerance
Presidential nominee George W. Bush
vigorously courted a black man, retired
Gen. Colin L Powell, to be his running
Americans should celebrate the
breakthrough of a group that helps provide the American
stew with its richness and spice. The celebration, however, is
causing a stir - albeit an unnecessary one.
Gov. Alfred E. Smith of New York won the Democratic
presidential nomination in 1928, but it wasn’t for another 32
yean that a Catholic won the White House.
And to do so, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts had
to appear before the Greater Houston Ministerial
Association and argue that if the election of 1960 were
decided based on die day he was baptized, “then it is the
whole nation that is the loser.”
I hope Lieberman and Gore will not have to make that
plea to the local Baptist church any time soon.
Attention American people: No need to wony; Joltin’Joe
is the right and only man for the job. Of course, the position
in that big house on Pennsylvania Avenue would suit him as
soldier on the jacket cover and explained that
the book was about the Civil War. He paused
for a moment, turned his head quizzically and
asked, “We won that war, didn’t we?”
Startled by his question and fearful of my
answer, I thought deeply as if this child’s entire
life depended on my next words. In an instant,
I recalled that the war ended slavery. I decided
that no family value or Confederate pride could
ever supercede the basic rights of freedom and
truth. Without hesitation, I looked my nephew
square in the eyes and said, “Yes, we did.”
A couple of weeks ago I boxed up the two
generals and put them away in my attic. I imag
ine I’ll look at the picture from time to time to
remember my grandparents. And maybe I’ll
look at it just to say “thanks” to those ghosts.
Patrick O'Neil is a citizen of the United States
of America, native of Winston-Salem, N.C., a
descendant of Confederate veterans and a self
proclaimed connoisseur of chicken biscuits, bar
becue and sweet tea. He is also second-year
doctoral student in the School of journalism
and Mass Communication. You can e-mail him at
every African passed on
the way to becoming a
slave in America, their
ways of living destroyed
before a single shot was
ever fired on Fort Sumter.
The ghosts wouldn’t let
me display the two gener
als when I moved back to
North Carolina. The pic
ture no longer represented
who I was or who 1 had
brand of politics. He is a respected political figure, a credible
opponent to former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in
debate and in stature.
Forget that political mumbo jumbo for a minute. Mr.
lieberman, trading his political cape for khakis and a
Carolina cap (yes, he is a fan), is a good man. He is a man
who possesses that rarest quality which every Democrat
wants: distance from Bill, for during his impeachment, he
commented that his behavior was “not just inappropriate,”
He represents Stamford, the state of Connecticut and
soon the United States with dignity and honor.
The day Joe came to Stamford to speak to his hometown,
his campaign invited some community members who might
value a place in the crowd.
Sen. Lieberman invited my father -a man who is not
much of a political activist, but obviously is a person that
Sen. Lieberman respects.
The Senator gave me a nomination to the U.S. Military
Academy several years ago, an honor the Hoffman family
"... Sen. Lieberman was
transformed instantly into a
symbol of national diversity,
placing him in the ranks of
Jackie Robinson, John F.
Kennedy and Sally Ride as a
your attention for these brief minutes, know Joe for the man
he is, and understand he will benefit this nation to the nth
I saw a license plate yesterday that read, “Illinois, the
Home of Abraham Lincoln.”
Soon Connecticut license plates will read, “The Home of
Are these optimistic, fantasy-based ideas? Maybe.
But I know Joe is not a fake - he is the proverbial man in
this race, and Mr. Gore is lucky that Lieberman is his run
ning mate and not his competition.
Jon Hoffman is a sophomore political science and philoso
phy major from Stamford, Conn., and a member of The Daily
Tar Heel's editorial board. Reach him with questions and com
ments at email@example.com.
Monday, August 28, 2000
well as a pasta dinner does Don
Corlione. He has made Connecticut a
proud state for more than 12 years. Gore
has a running mate who has two Yale
degrees and has held public office for
nearly three decades.
He has led a political life with a
quiet walk and a big stick. Pushing
for proper legislation and constantly
concerned about what is right for the
American people, Joe is a robust
defender of the “New Democrat"
will never forget
lieberman took the time out of his
now more-than-hectic schedule to
invite a man who was more than grate
ful to be part of this fantastic moment
in U.S. history.
This Senator not only kisses the
babies; he makes sure (hey are taken
care of and will go to any extent to
ensure their health.
Joe is not an act; he will soon make a
righteous vice president
So to all you out there giving me