The words are a part of everyday conversation -- “swinging” by an address and going out in the “field.”So, according to the right, I guess we have to ban all calls for social justice -- just as, I suppose, we should have banned all calls for social transformation or racial justice, or simply banned all Beatle records, after the Charles Manson murders:
But in the twisted mind of Virginia gunman Vester Lee Flanagan II, they were pure racism -- and saying them became a death sentence for Alison Parker.
The 24-year-old white reporter, who was murdered on live TV along with her cameraman, used the phrases as an intern at WDBJ TV in Roanoke in 2012, according to an internal complaint filed by Flanagan, who was black.
“One was something about ‘swinging’ by some place; the other was out in the ‘field,’ ” said the Jan. 21 report by assistant news director Greg Baldwin, which refers to Parker as Alison Bailey (her middle name)....
Trevor Fair, a 33-year-old cameraman at WDBJ for six years, said that the words Parker used are commonplace but that they would routinely set Flanagan off.
“We would say stuff like, ‘The reporter’s out in the field.’ And he would look at us and say, ‘What are you saying, cotton fields? That’s racist,’ ” Fair recounted.
“We’d be like, ‘What?’ We all know what that means, but he took it as cotton fields, and therefore we’re all racists.”
So if Manson misinterpreted a double album's worth of songs -- though he more or less correctly interpreted "Piggies," which was about greed -- and the result was murder, then I guess we should have banned the whole Beatle canon. Right?