By now we’ve all heard about the terrible tragedy that happened in Roanoke, Virginia, where former WDBJ newscaster Bryce Williams, real name Vester Lee Flanagan II, shot and killed fellow newscaster Alison Parker, 24, and her cameraman Adam Ward, 27. Flanagan faxed a manifesto to ABC News before taking his own life while being pursued by police. In it, Flanagan said that he committed the murders because of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina…
“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.”
“As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!”
Of course the Facebook knee-jerkers went off in their usual outraged state asking why weren’t more people upset that Flanagan wasn’t being labeled a racist like Dylann Roof is. The answer is simple because in reality this shooting had nothing to do with race. Much like others who commit atrocities like this he was just another entitled loser who thought the world owed him something. The church shooting wasn’t a catalyst it was just an easy way for Flanagan to justify his cowardly actions to himself. He was already plenty dangerous.
In his manifesto he proclaimed admiration for not only the Columbine shooters but also the Virginia tech gunman…
Later in the manifesto, the writer quotes the Virginia Tech mass killer, Seung Hui Cho, calls him “his boy,” and expresses admiration for the Columbine High School killers. “Also, I was influenced by Seung–Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got…just sayin.'”
Doesn’t sound like he’s too racist if he admiration for two white kids and an Asian guy but I digress. He has a lot in common with those 3 cretins. All three of them were cowards who were jealous at the fortunes of others whether it be monetary, social status, or some other perceived indicator of success. Flanagan was no different. He made complaints against Parker and Ward claiming discrimination and racism. Parker and Ward were white while Flanagan was black and gay. However the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed these claims. So instead of thinking his poor job performance could be anything but his own fault he shifted the blame to imaginary discrimination. Also just like his cowardly heroes he took the coward’s way out too by taking his own life rather than facing prosecution.
It’s also my belief that if it wasn’t the church shooting it would have been some other peripheral event that would have set him off. He was the proverbial powder keg waiting to go off…
He continues: “I can remember one day in particular… leaving the courthouse… feeling overwhelmed… confused… even some fear. But by golly I knew I HAD to fight. … They truly f—-d with my life and caused an awful chain of events.” He says he even killed his cats in a forest “because of them.”
Tragically it seems that Flanagan was almost destined to commit some kind of violent act against those he perceived as persecuting him. If it wasn’t a gun it would have been a knife, or a bomb, or a car or any other implement of violence he could have gotten his hands on.
Instead of focusing on race we should be focusing on the two young lives that held so much potential that were selfishly ended by a violent coward.
Thanks to Aaron for the tip.