Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sympathy for The Devil

Yesterday morning I was at work , surfing the net while drinking my coffee and I happened upon the MSN news feed...It said "BREAKING NEWS:  Two reporters shot live on TV"...It kind of got my attention...Here was something different...but yet here was just yet another mass murder in a country that has had several this year.....Think the Charleston Massacre and the Theatre Shooting in Louisiana...and now this...

Surprisingly,like a lot of Americans...I have become numb to this senseless violence...Until about an hour later....My co-worker in the cubicle behind mine called me....She said "Hey Keith check this out."

There to my horror was a young , attractive Blond White woman doing an interview...If you looked downward you could see a gun aimed at her....It was obvious that she didn't see it...The next thing you know...Shots fired out...She looked like she was trying to run...but it was obvious, she was being lit up with bullets...Then you see the second victim fall and a ghostly image of the gunman firing at point blank at the cameraman....

Sounds like something out of one of my stories on my fiction and poetry blog, ESCAPADES (Shameless plug)

I'm thinking the killer is some deranged ,lone white male....Like in the other killings....I wasn't prepared for who the killer actually was...That gentleman in the photo above...Vester Lee Flanagan,also known as "Bryce Williams" on the air....A disgruntled former anchorman who had recently been fired from the same station that the two murder victims worked at and had unsuccessfully sued the station, claiming racial discrimination....

He had a history with both of the victims too....He claimed that the white woman once made racist remarks when she was an intern at the station....There is also a story of him having words with the cameraman too....All of this is a bit sketchy ..but one thing is true...He was a man at the end of his rope and he shot who he meant to shoot...

This wasn't random...this was personal......Unlike Jordan Roof ,who killed nine Black churchgoers who he had never met before....This guy knew both of his victims.....Which doesn't make either killings justifiable or any better...

The conversation is going to come up about gun control...AGAIN.....The politicians from both sides are going to pontificate and in a week from now when something else has topped the news, nothing will be done and nothing more will be said...AGAIN!....

They're going to talk about mental health...and how crazy people shouldn't have access to guns.....Does the man in the photo above look crazy?  He looks like and overweight middle aged ,middle class Black everyman.....And plus...He bought both of his guns legally!   So Gun Control???
For what???  He didn't have an illegal weapon...

Truth is....There really is nothing we can do...No warning we can get about these incidents...


Who was our killer?  What led to all of this?

Vester LeeFlanagan was hired by WDBJ7 as a multimedia journalist in 2012 and was fired in 2013.
"Vester was an unhappy man. We employed him as a reporter and he had some talent in that respect and some experience," a general manager at the news station said in an on-air interview. "He quickly gathered a reputation of someone who was difficult to work with. He was sort of looking out to people to say things he could take offense to. Eventually, after many incidents of his anger, we dismissed him. He did not take that well. We had to call police to escort him from the building."

According to reports, this wasn't Vester Lee Flanagan's first run-in with employees at a news station. In 2000, while working at WTWC-TV in Tallahassee, Fla., Flanagan filed a lawsuit alleging that "he and another black employee were referred to as 'monkeys' and that a supervisor once told him that 'blacks are lazy and do not take advantage of free money' for scholarships and economic opportunities," the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

His lawyer in that case was on CNN last night and she said that he was very upset about his treatment at that station....She won an undisclosed settlement for him in that case...but he was scarred....White people in this country have no understanding of how racism and discrimination scars and dehumanizes a lot of African-Americans....Latinos as well...They don't understand because they will never be the victims of it...

I am in no way trying to justify what this man did...but he clearly could have used some help,psychiatric and otherwise after this first lawsuit....

There are many Blacks...myself included , who are upset over recent events...Ferguson, Sandra Bland, The Charleston Massacre and other racially charged events......The frustration level of the average thinking African-American is at the boiling point at any given time in America....If you are not outraged....you need serious psychiatric attention as Malcolm X so famously said once...

Take that frustration and add a little bit of mental unstableness and you have Vester Lee Flannagan aka Bryce Williams...

Again...There is no justification for murder....What he did was wrong and the fact that he filmed it and downloaded it on Facebook and Twitter was equally wrong and horrific....But we should be looking at what drives people to these acts of desperation....

Mental Illness is easy to say....But This guy was a functioning human being for 40 years...He had friends...He had family...Just like the two victims...He had people who loved him and are shocked that he could do something so horrific...He didn't start out like this...

Maybe we need to look at how we treat each other in this society.....I know what I'm writing is unpopular and will be viewed by some as justification for a killer...Sympathy for the Devil as you will...Believe me..it's not....It's taking a look at a difficult solution that you can't legislate and you can't throw a pat label on....

We need to stop being lazy and be human!

6 comments:

Sean said...

Damn...Well written Keith!

Captain Jack said...

You are giving it to the people

James Perkins said...

Racism is rampant. It is deeply ingrained here in the U.S. I don't know this guys history, but we all know the history of white society in America, so... Stop looking for approval, employment, and success from white people. We are fortunate that they finally (in the last three generations) started halfway honoring their own laws in regard to us. When we seek their version of success we pay for it with our soul, our self esteem, and our sanity. He probably was an awesome reporter. Tragedy all around. We will never know.

George S. said...

I think this wacko does a disservice to those who died in Charleston by claiming that was the tipping point for him. He wanted to do what he did and would have done it now, a month from now, a year from now. As he described himself, "I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!!!!”

Anonymous said...

Smh. I keep telling these people that one of these days, they are going to mess with the wrong Negro. Not everyone just grins and bears it. Some folks snap and some folks crazy. Best to treat others the way you want to be treated and leave it at that.

Newy said...

Very well said. And one thing I have said and continue to say is that everyone has a breaking point. Not everyone is going to shuck and jive and do the jig to appease the masses. I too thought it was a lone white gunman, then when I learned he was black, my first thought was "What did they do to him?" It may seem racist, but most black people who become murders usually kill people who they feel have wronged them in some way. whether a real or imagined wrong, from the perception of the killer, they have justified the murder. I have become so desensitized that it frightens me. But what frightens me more is not knowing how many others like him are walking around like a grenade...pin ready to be pulled so they can explode.




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