In a racially motivated attack, two Virginia reporters, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, were killed this early this morning by former colleague Vester Lee Flanagan. Both the deceased worked for WDBJ7 in Roanoke. Flanagan was terminated from the station recently. Flanagan claimed that the victims made racist remarks toward him. The details surrounding the events that led up to this tragedy are murky, at best. There have been reports of Flanagan suing a Tallahassee station for racism in 2000, and another report made against WDBJ7 that were later dismissed by the EEOC. WDBJ7 reports that Flanagan “was a difficult person for a lot of people to work with,” and that he “was asked to leave the station”.
The allegations of racism that Flanagan says he endured as part of the working environment at WDBJ7 are too far reaching to ignore. This kind powder keg violence does not happen overnight, and simply offering a pat explanation is not enough to warrant the kind of violence that exploded this morning. For Flanagan to post the shooting on social media was utterly lacking in sanity or morality and clearly shows a complete disregard for his victims or their families. So what does it mean when a person can callously kill and then post the video for the general public to view?
I believe it means that The United States of America is in a dire state and its people are reaching a boiling point. It seems that everyone has deep rooted, seemingly immovable beliefs regarding the issue of racism. Keep in mind I believe there is no justification for what Flanagan has done. I am speaking to the larger social issues that are engulfing the U.S. threatening the social fabric of that nation. No more than a very minuscule percentage of people would ever commit this type of crime, but there’s no denying that is becoming more common. Society has become incensed, divided, and mistrustful over the issue of race relations in the United States and it’s tearing the nation apart.
ABC has made public that a document was allegedly faxed to them by Flanagan detailing a motive in the shooting. Global News obtained the document that in part reads,
“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15.”
“What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”
Reports of racial violence, racial profiling, racial discrimination, and retaliation are too numerous to ignore. I am in no way condoning murder, for it is always wrong! So is #racism. #WhereDoesItEnd?