As the nation — and especially, the victims’ families and friends — reel over the unbelievably horrific murder of two innocent souls this morning, something else very disturbing is happening. Mere hours after the tragic on-air murder of reporter Allison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, are some suggesting the murders may have been JUSTIFIED??? Are some daring to suggest these innocent victims in some way deserved to die???How. Dare. They.
As has been widely reported now, gunman Vester Lee Flanagan, aka Bryce Williams — now dead — claimed to have been a victim of racism, as well as suffering discrimination for being gay. Tweets posted just before his death suggest Mr. Flanagan believed Ms. Parker to be “a racist,” and appeared to be angry at Mr. Ward for going to Human Resources after working with him. (Other reports suggest Mr. Flanagan’s history of being “difficult to work with” due to “anger.”)
Now, as people take to social media to process this tragedy, some are suggesting that because the victims “may have been racist,” perhaps this somehow justifies the gunman’s horrific act.
The above post, from a Gawker-owned site, has now been removed due to heavy backlash, though it’s a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.
Another tweet conveys a similar sentiment:
@stephenstephan if you’re a racist and u push people to the brink of insanity. Events like this WILL HAPPEN— Aj Lyn (@RealAdrianLyn) August 26, 2015
Are we to understand that a heinous act like gunning two innocent people down can possibly be JUSTIFIED?
As outrageous as it is, the sentiment taps into what appears to be an ugly — and extremely dangerous — trend we’ve seen building in our nation of late. Is it justifiable — and even possibly encouraged in some cases? — for some people to commit crimes, even murder, as a way of compensating for grievances they may have suffered? Is the culture of progressive victimhood — in which certain groups, due to their “victim” status, have a “right” to commit criminal acts and (perhaps even literally) get away with murder — taking over our country?
Just weeks ago, as we reported here, US Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan issued his latest call for black Americans to “rise up” and “kill those who kill us” if the federal government fails to “intercede in our affairs.” He added, “stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling.” You might expect such a hateful incitation to violence to receive attention from the media — oh, and maybe even law enforcement. Yet, the liberal progressive media appeared to look the other way.
And we all remember Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s instruction to police to give space to those “who wished to destroy” in the violent aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death. The message from the mayor seemed to condone the acts of demonstrators who looted and damaged innocent businesses and injured police officers in their protests in the name of their victim Freddie Gray.
We even have the ludicrous suggestion now, from the University of Wisconsin Madison, that prosecuting shoplifters and thieves is “over policing.” Via Media Trackers:
At a University of Wisconsin Madison panel dealing with “Best Policing Practices,” UW Director of Community Relations Everett Mitchell recommended that police stop responding to shoplifting and theft at Wal-Mart and Target as a way to reduce what he refers to as, “over policing” of the community.
To an approving murmur from the audience, Mitchell advocated,“I just don’t think that they should be prosecuting cases or [unintelligible] up cases for people who steal from Wal-Mart. I just don’t think that, right? I don’t think Target or all them other places, them big box stores that have insurance. They should be using justification, the fact that people steal from there as justification to start engaging in aggressive police practices, right?”
In other words, we wouldn’t want these “innocent” shoplifters — who, in case it needs pointing out, are committing a crime — to become victims of police reprimand, would we?
The common thread in all of these situations is an attempt to turn the perpetrator of a crime into the victim, somehow justifying the crime. It’s not only disturbing, but also quite dangerous.
Is this progressive culture of entitled victimhood actually partially at fault in situations like this morning’s murder? As gunman Vester Lee Flanagan wrote in his manifesto, as reported by ABC:
“Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am. And I have every right to be.“
While everyone has their own right to feel however they feel, acting on it by murdering two innocent people is another story altogether. Were messages from the likes of Louis Farrakhan and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake doing their part to fuel this murderer’s righteousness and self-justification in such a heinous act?
There is NO justification for murder. And yes, people — not guns — are the ones who commit the act. We are only left to ask why.