We know some things about the coward who executed a Virginia TV news reporter and cameraman during a live interview, while capturing the images on his cell phone and then posting them to social media. We know he was black, we know he was “gay,” and we know he was a nightmare employee.
But that just scratches the surface.
Vester Flanagan II, a.k.a. “Bryce Williams,” a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ, a Roanoke, Virginia, CBS affiliate, gunned down Alison Parker and Adam Ward, and wounded another woman during an attack Wednesday.
Flanagan had been warned he’d be fired if he didn’t curb his angry outbursts. Finally, several years ago, the inevitable happened. Jeffrey Marks, general manager of WDBJ, recalled, “Eventually after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him. He did not take that well.”
It’s not uncommon for businesses to be wary of firing black employees, for just that reason.
In a 23-page manifesto faxed to ABC News just after the shootings, Flanagan noted the Charleston church shooting of black congregants by a young white man:
“Why did I do it? … 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!!!!”
What created the “human powder keg?” If we as a society really want to prevent these kinds of horrific tragedies in the future, then we need to know.
I blame the media for covering up the high incidence of black-on-white violent attacks, while highlighting the far fewer white-on-black attacks, which creates a false perception that blacks are under attack from whites.
I also blame racist black leaders like Obama, Farrakhan and Sharpton for building up Flanagan’s sense of grievance against whites. But Flanagan’s issues go deeper.
Many – including Alison Parker’s father – reflexively jumped to gun control as a solution to senseless shootings. Yet we know that something ails modern society that is causing a sharp rise in violent behavior.
Documents unearthed by the New York Daily News detail Flanagan’s parents’ bitter breakup when he was 8 years old.
Vester Lee Flanagan Sr., now 76, filed for divorce and a restraining order in the early ’80s, claiming his wife Betty’s behavior toward him and the kids had been “extremely menacing and threatening” for months.
“She has also repeatedly threatened my life, a least on one occasion threatening to shoot me in my sleep, and the children have heard these threats and are understandably upset.”
Betty, who died in 2008, apparently did not respond to the claims.
A judge granted the father’s request and awarded him physical custody of the kids. The court also ordered Betty to move out of the family’s home, stay 50 yards away from Vester Sr.’s workplace and not “attack, strike, threaten or otherwise disturb the peace of the three minor children.”
Yet this same woman taught high school in Oakland for 37 years, and neighbors recalled her as quiet and polite.
Likewise, her son was seen as “very polite” by those who knew him and a “shy gentleman,” according to his high-school junior-prom date.
I have said over and over for the past 25 years that if you’re raised by an angry parent or parents, it corrupts your spirit and causes you to become like the parent.
Based on the court report, it’s clear to me that Vester Flanagan took on his mother’s identity by resenting her. She literally recreated her son in her own image. She too, no doubt, took on her mother’s identity through her hatred of her. The spirit of anger is thus passed down generation to generation.
All angry people are mentally ill, to one degree or another.
I deal with these issues in my forthcoming book, “The Antidote: Healing America from the Poison of Hate, Blame and Victimhood.”
Ultimately, Vester was an adult, and it was his responsibility to overcome the anger that was passed down to him.
Yet Vester excused that anger and was encouraged to do so by the media and black leaders. Had he looked, he would have seen that his mother and father did not have love to give him, due to their resentment toward their own parents. This is why Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
I urge every reader of this column to examine your own heart. You may not be as extreme as Vester or his mother in your anger, but if you harbor it even a little, it is harming your spirit, clouding your mind and corrupting the souls of your children. Just be willing to see the anger inside you without resenting what you see, and God will remove it from your heart.
If parents were to forgive and pass on love, these horrific shootings would end tomorrow. But if we refuse to deal with the root causes, we will continue to find ourselves at the mercy of society’s “leaders” and their false solutions.
Media wishing to interview Jesse Lee Peterson, please contact [email protected].