Racism cited as motivation for WDBJ-TV News Crew shooting

8-26-2015 12-19-59 PM

By Scotty Reid

Details are still being released about the shooting of two employees of WDBJ-TV News station who were killed on live television this morning. Reportedly the alleged gunman,  William Epperly Vester Lee Flannagan II reportedly fatally shot himself after being confronted by police in Moneta, Virginia.

According to Black Talk Radio media partners Tanya Free & Friends which broadcasts out of Richmond, Virginia, the area where the shooting took place is a confederate bastion of racism. This is the context in which corporate media is not reporting the story as the victims are described as innocent young people in loving relationships with their whole lives ahead of them. Mr. Flannagan has been reduced to a “disgruntled employee” who had problems keeping a job.

8-26-2015 4-08-23 PM

According to social media posts by Mr. Flannagan, reporter Alison Parker, 23, was a racist who made racist comments to him and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, filed a false report with HR after working with him just once. The racist angle of this tragic story is being played down and purposely so because as former US Attorney General Eric Holder said, America is a nation of cowards afraid to discuss racism openly.

The fact is, while not condoning the murder of two people suspected of being racists, many Black people can identify with the hostile racist work environment they have to deal with day in and day out as described by Mr. Flannagan. Perhaps if Mr. Flannagan had gotten treatment for his racism induced PTSD, he may have chosen a different course of action. Perhaps if his allegations had been taken serious, this killing could have been prevented. If employers used implicit bias screening in their hiring practices to provide a less hostile work environment for non-white people, then perhaps there will be a safer and less stressful work environment for all employees.

Mr. Flannagan sounds like a person pushed right over the edge and his frustrations with racism dictated his action. Now that three people are dead, will this nation confront the racist monster that is possessing far too many people or will they simply continue to deny that America has a serious problem with institutional racism. On a side note, lets see if the family members of Alison Parker and Adam Ward are asked by the media if they forgive Mr. Flannagan for his actions.

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