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Virginia Shooting, Victim Blaming & Societal Scapegoating

Anchor Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot and killed on live television this morning by ex-coworker, Vester Lee Flanagan II, more popularly known by his anchor name, Bryce Williams. Williams recorded the shooting himself on a go-pro and uploaded it online, though he was promptly suspended from Twitter and Facebook thereafter. To my knowledge, this is the most up-to-date screenshot of his account before it was no longer viewable.

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Remember when the Charlie Hebdo shooting happened, and everyone was saying “they didn’t deserve to die but-”? Remember when Pamela Geller held a Mohammed drawing contest, and everyone was saying “the gunmen weren’t right but-”? People condemned Charlie Hebdo and Geller for daring to offend. For daring to be politically incorrect. For daring refusing to accept terms and conditions to their free speech. The fact of the matter is that nowhere in the world, especially the developed world, especially America of all places- should an opinion be a death sentence; no matter how backwards, controversial or unsavory. Let’s forget the growing emptiness of accusations of “racism,” as SJWs continue to trivialize and exploit the word seemingly without shame or boundaries, and assume that what Bryce Williams called racism actually was racism. His victims could have made jokes about fried chicken or Trayvon Martin and it still wouldn’t have been an excuse or justification for his actions.

Everyone likes to pretend that while they’re condemning the actions of the victims, they aren’t condoning or rationalizing the tragedy that took place. Then what exactly are you doing? When you say “RIP the victims, though they may have been racist,” how can you doubt that you are a part of the problem?

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When black people are killed by white people, no one wants to hear about anything the victim may have done that could have contributed to their untimely death. No one protesting or hashtagging #BlackLivesMatter thinks that a criminal record or uncooperative behavior or even pointing a gun at a cop justifies their deaths. Obviously, law enforcement is to be held to a higher standard. But why the doublethink?

Remember the Charleston shooting, and how people insisted that the Confederate flag was at least partially responsible for that catastrophe? Think what you will, but my guess is that Bryce Williams found much more solace in the hyper polarized racial rhetoric that has become so prevalent in our country than Dylan Roof ever found in a flag.

My point is that people have choices. When they choose hate, they, and they alone should be held accountable. Instead of scapegoating society or intellectualizing and analyzing every heinous act committed to a point of willful delusion, we should be able to come together regardless of race, religion or political persuasion, and recognize evil for what it is.

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