Yesterday was Father’s Day. It was the first Father’s Day since our father passed away and the day was touched by the poignancy of fresh loss. NPR had some wonderful, sad, funny and touching stories on Friday night. They made me laugh and cry. Life may end but love does not.
Yesterday, Chancellor Folt sent a message that former Chancellor William Aycock had passed away at age 99. Our family got to know him a bit when our parents lived at Carolina Meadows. He was such an inspiring, decent and accomplished man who approached the last stages of his life with great dignity. The Chancellor’s message included: During his 40-year association with the University, Chancellor Aycock earned many recognitions and honors: first recipient of the UNC School of Law’s McCall Teaching Award, a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece, recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award, an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Distinguished Alumnus Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from the UNC Law Alumni Association, the William R. Davie Award from the UNC Board of Trustees, the University Award from the UNC Board of Governors, and the Liberty Bell Award from the North Carolina Bar Association. In 1998, the School of Medicine created the William B. Aycock Distinguished Professor of Family Medicine position. A Carolina Alumni Review story has more.
Once again, we were confronted with the senseless killing of innocent people by a young man with a gun who invaded a Bible study group and turned it into a massacre. Hate and guns are a fatal combination, and it is inexcusable that we, as a country, have not acted to control this dangerous cocktail. What happened in Charleston goes beyond hate to extreme racism. We should stand together as Americans and say “Enough. Enough of guns, hate and extreme racism.” Will we continue to be outraged, horrified and disgusted by these events and yet not act to restrict access to guns? Our schools, places of worship and health-care institutions should be places of safety and fellowship. This tragedy should not have happened. My heart goes out to the people of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Charleston community. The apparent solidarity of people, across class, racial and ethnic divides, is gratifying. The image of 20,000 people marching together across the Ravenel Bridge is inspiring and a reminder that decent people want similar things. The Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, calling for the Confederate flag to be taken down from the Capitol grounds, was a statement that needed to be made.
Why, you might ask, put lesbian music with love and hate? Well, for one thing, I support the right of gays and lesbians to love and marry, just as the majority of Americans do. Too often, they’ve borne the anger and hatred of people who see them as threats. That’s wrong. We should not merely tolerate people’s individual choices; we should accept them.
The real reason I’m mentioning lesbian music here is because Saturday afternoon, after working all day, I just wanted to spend a Saturday night away from my office, with my husband, and listen to music. Apparently, I missed the signals that the concert at the Carrboro Arts Center, We’re aren’t dead yet, included three musicians who talk and sing about their lives, loves, losses and experiences being lesbian. So we found ourselves the sexual minorities in a room of women, many clearly in same-sex relationships, who enthusiastically appreciated the music and the messages. It reminded me how much one loses when we stay in our silos, whatever they are. Bernard was one of two men, but no one seemed to care. We had a great time. Barbara