In an August 26 column nearly as “rambling” and incoherent as the manifesto Vester Lee Flanagan left behind, The Washington Post editorial board pointed to the gun as the central problem and cited racial tensions, Flanagan’s admitted admiration for mass killers, and his “pathological grudge-[holding]” as contributing factors to the murders of Allison Parker and Adam Ward.
Missing from the list of contributing factors was one thing Flanagan spoke to loud and clear in his manifesto–the ramifications of being gay.
When excerpts of Flanagan’s manifesto became available on August 26 Breitbart News reported that he described himself as a “human powder keg” that was set to explode. He said his attack had been coming for some time and that the tipping point was the June 17 attack on the church in Charleston.
In fact, he said he went and put money down on his gun two days later, on June 19.
But he said something else that was very important; namely, that he faced “discrimination” from “black men and white females” and that “he was attacked for being a gay, black man.”
All these things welled up inside him.
Yet the WaPo column does even mention the fact Flanagan was gay or that he was distressed over how “black men” and others received him for being so. Instead, they cite his anger, his apparent willingness to “help alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof start the race war,” and his obsession with mass killers, then moved on to talk about how unbelievable it is that Congress and state legislatures will not act to address the real problem–the gun.
They suggested addressing gun control loopholes, “high capacity” magazine bans, and studies that circumvent Congress by letting federal agencies treat guns as a health issue. And they praised Governor Terry McAuliffe’s relentless push for more gun control as “the most productive response” to the Virginia shootings.
They even reminded us that “guns are not noble instruments of freedom.”
But they did not mention that Flanagan was gay.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.