Flanagan was black. Alison Parker and Adam Ward, his victims, were white. Now, however, based on a fax sent to ABC News by Flanagan, it's undeniable that race sent him over the edge -- though there's clearly more going on than that:
In the 23-page document faxed to ABC News, the writer says “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS” and his legal name is Vester Lee Flanagan II.” He writes what triggered today’s carnage was his reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting:Note: Flanagan's Twitter makes clear that he was a Jehovah's Witness, at least as a child.
“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."
... He continues, “As for Dylann Roof? You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!” He said Jehovah spoke to him, telling him to act.
But we can see from this manifesto that Flanagan has been thinking about mass shootings for a while, that he was psychologically unhealthy by his own admission, and that he felt personally discriminated against as a gay man, not just as a black man.
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.'"He really does seem to have been "a human powder keg" -- and it's possible that some of the discrimination he's describing didn't happen as he claimed it did. The New York Times tells us:
... He says has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work
He says he has been attacked by black men and white females
He talks about how he was attacked for being a gay, black man...
“The church shooting was the tipping point…but my anger has been building steadily...I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!!!!”
The Twitter account of Mr. Williams, who is black, referred to a complaint he had filed against the station with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming to have been subjected to racist comments in the workplace.This may well have been a pattern in his life. An on-air host for a San Diego TV station has tweeted this ("ND" = news director):
Jeffrey A. Marks, president and general manager of the station, confirmed that the complaint had been filed, but said it was dismissed as baseless. Of the racist comments, “none of them could be corroborated by anyone,” he said. “We think they were fabricated.”
... Mr. Marks described Mr. Williams as someone prone to angry outbursts without much provocation.
“Eventually, after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him,” he said. “He did not take that well, and we had to call the police to escort him from the building.”
And there's this:
The Tallahassee Democrat published this story on Flanagan's lawsuit in 2000:Could he have been a victim of discrimination and racist remarks at every place he worked? It's possible. But I think the tell is the word "bizarre" in that tweet -- it's a word people use to refer to behavior that's incomprehensible, not merely angry. Also see the reference to "angry outbursts without much provocation" in the Times story.
A local television anchor-reporter, slated to lose his job with Tallahassee's NBC affiliate in two weeks, has filed a racial discrimination suit against the station --- alleging that news producers and other managers made offensive remarks about blacks and fired him for complaining about it....
Vester Flanagan, who has reported for WTWC-TV since last March, said 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. He said when he cited his own background of nearly seven years in television, going back to internships at San Francisco State University, the supervisor told him he was an "exception."
And I wonder about this, from the suspended Twitter feed:
Worker's comp? For what? WDBJ let him go two years ago, for unstated reasons:
Flanagan was fired from the station, though the reason was not made public, the ex-employee said.More, from Adweek's TVSpy column:
"Two years ago, we had to separate him from the company. We did understand that he was still living in the area," WDBJ General Manager Jeff Marks said.
TVSpy spoke with former WDBJ reporter Orlando Salinas who said Williams often complained about racial discrimination at the station.He was unemployed as of this morning, according to his now-suspended LinkedIn page.
Salinas said that on Williams’ last day -- in February of 2013 -- he created a “ruckus” by berating people in the newsroom. Salinas said employees were put in a room for their protection and police were called. Police then escorted Williams from the station. Salinas said the station provided security for station employees for an unknown time after the incident.
I suspect he had anger issues, possibly as the result of schizophrenia. I also wonder if he'd internalized the Witnesses' disapproval of his homosexuality. He said he'd been discriminated against as a gay man, but he also said Jehovah told him to commit the murders -- if you're a Jehovah's Witness, you're not supposed to act on homosexual impulses. He was killing in response to discrimination, but he was also killing on behalf of a God that discriminates.
But, as Media Matters notes, Breitbart wants to make this all about race:
Breitbart News reacted to reports that two Virginia journalists were shot to death on-air by a disgruntled former co-worker by publishing an article with the headline, "RACE MURDER IN VIRGINIA: BLACK REPORTER SUSPECTED OF EXECUTING WHITE COLLEAGUES - ON LIVE TELEVISION!"Actually, the headline was still up at the Breitbart homepage when the Media Matters item was published; the current headline is "‘RACE WAR’: MANIFESTO RELEASED OF VIRGINIA MURDERER."
... The piece was widely condemned by other members of the media, many of whom pointed out Breitbart News' lengthy history of racially charged reporting and commentary. The headline has since been changed.
This is going to be the right's takeaway from this incident. The reaction is going to be overwhelmingly racial, to judge from what I'm seeing at Free Republic:
He was a protected class. Of course he’s not going to be prohibited from purchasing a firearm.The "polite" version will be that, yes, he needed mental-health treatment, but he was driven to act on his unhealthy impulses by the liberal culture of victimization. Bet on it.
The classy lady he murdered probably shunned his disgusting advances.
This is one of the first shots of a slow motion race war that has been fanned from the fruits of Ferguson and Baltimore by the liberal academic/media/government/shakedown complex.
When do the riots begin?
When does the REVERUND Al Sharpton show up?
When does the Justice Department being their phishing expedition and witch hunt for racism at WDBJ in rural redneck southwest Virginia?
A highly privileged member of a government-certified victim class has everything handed to him free. He then sets his reptilian eyes on on a beautiful woman, but can’t have her.
UPDATE: Breitbart tops itself.
This headline -- wow: pic.twitter.com/uWfu950T2G— David Saleh Rauf (@davidSrauf) August 26, 2015