I am still dumbfounded and disgusted by the recent on- air shooting of Miss Alison Parker and Mr. Adam Ward. I have no words that would fully describe or give voice to my grief and the inability to remove myself from such horror since the killer turned the cameras against us as it were. Like so many others, I watched their senseless murder in disbelief and felt trapped. The Washington Post called it the “ultimate selfie” but I don’t want to see that again.
Mr. Vester Flanagan, who later died of a self- inflicted gun shot wound and is believed to be the shooter, was a disgruntled former employee of WDJB of Roanoke, Virginia. Flanagan thought that he was fired due to racial discrimination and not only left us to grieve a very public death but he left a twenty- three page manifesto.
Questions of why he murdered two of his former colleagues were quickly answered. On social media, Flanagan alluded to the belief that he had been wrongfully fired from his job at the station. He also said in the manifesto that he purchased the murder weapon two days after the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church. Perhaps, in addition to the perceived wrongful termination of his employment at WDJB, the murder of two of his former co- workers was in response to Dylan Roof’s murder of nine believers at Mother Emanuel AME Church. Roof had hoped to start a race war; Flanagan had joined the fight.
Race war. If there is a pairing that makes me physically sick, it is this one. These two words should never be seen or said together. The attempt of cultural groups to annihilate each other for the prize of supremacy is a “fool’s errand.”
But, we accept the war of the races, falsely linking it to the Bible or allowing the assumption of duty to defend to continue unchallenged and unchecked. Genocide is not God’s will and a race war is not the determinant for those chosen by God to reign supreme as it were.
There have been too many lives lost, too many inexcusable atrocities committed and it has gone on for too long. I will not enlist my son in this war. It’s not acceptable in my home to fight with or to murder people based on the social construct of race. Is this the presumption under your roof?
The murders of Alison and Adam should not be lost to the news cycle. No, their deaths should make us turn off the television, put down the remote control and turn to our family members to express our love for all people, regardless of culture or kinship. Because there is only defeat when we fight each other. Let the race war end with you.