Black leader, author and commentator Jesse Lee Peterson is charging the mainstream media bears partial responsibility for the charged circumstances that allowed the on-air murder of a television reporter and her cameraman in Virginia this week. Peterson, an African-American civil-rights leader, talk radio host and WND columnist, believes the media has been stoking the fires of black-on-white racial hatred.
Pointing to the media’s coverage of the recent church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, Peterson argued the press is creating an uncontrollable sense of anger among many blacks.
“To understand how lethal this anger can be, it might pay to look at the phenomenon of the black mass murderer,” Peterson told WND. “You say, what? Black mass murderer? If you are like a lot of people, you think mass murder is a white thing. The media encourage you to do so. This is a riff you hear occasionally from black comics as well, but the perception results from the way the media treat black serial killers, not from the reality on the ground.”
Peterson, the author of the new book “The Antidote,” suggests himself that blacks turn away from anger and toward self-reliance and stronger moral values. However, he warns the media is deliberately steering blacks away from such actions and is instead providing the motivation for violent attacks on whites. He also alleges there is a double standard in how the media report racial violence and in how it ascribes political significance to certain crimes. He points to the two different narratives created for this week’s on-air murders and the recent massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.
In the killings on Wednesday, Vester Lee Flanagan, who worked under the professional name Bryce Williams, shot his co-workers to death during a live broadcast. He reportedly claimed his actions were revenge for the killings in Charleston and hoped he was going to start a “race war.” A “gay” rainbow flag was also found in the killer’s apartment.
After the shootings in Charleston, private businesses and local governments took down Confederate flags when photos circulated with alleged killer Dylan Roof posing with it. Several media outlets also charged white America was collectively responsible for the violence, with Chauncey Devega of Salon writing “white America must answer for” the killings. Barack Obama also spoke at the funeral of the pastor. However, thus far there has been no large scale effort to take down “gay” rainbow flags nor an effort to urge black Americans to take collective responsibility.
Several conservative commentators, including Dinesh D’Souza, have charged Barack Obama with hypocrisy for not speaking out against the crime as an act driven by hate.
Instead of pinning the blame on cultural, moral or racial problems, the father of slain reporter Alison Parker called for additional gun control in the wake of the tragedy.
But Peterson suggests the cause is far deeper. “An all-but-untold story is how black anger has been finding an outlet in unhinged acts of violence. Inevitably these killers blame white people for their rage. True to form, the media refuse to examine the deeper reasons for their rage, if they bother to discuss these crimes at all,” he said.
Peterson is not alone in charging the press with partial responsibility.
Jack Cashill, a WND columnist and the author of “Scarlet Letters: The Ever Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism,” went even farther than Peterson.
“The media own this tragedy,” Cashill stated bluntly. “For years, they have suppressed the ample news of black on white crime, trumpeted the rare news of white and black crime, and stoked a sense of grievance among black Americans.”
Cashill believes this week’s killing was only the latest in a long line of murders driven by racist hatred against white people.
“Vester Lee Flanagan is not the first black grievance-killer, and he will not be the last. In the last few years alone there has been Omar Thornton in Connecticut, Christopher Dorner in California, Aaron Alexis in Washington, D.C., Ismaaiyl Brinsely in Brooklyn, and more. Among them they accounted for close to 30 deaths, and none of the victims was black. “Yes, they used guns. Yes, they were all mentally unstable. But the common denominator was their media-inspired sense of grievance against the white man.”
Colin Flaherty, a reporter who has written extensively on racially motivated crimes against whites and the author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It,” agrees “it is absolutely fair to say the mainstream media enabled the black racial hostility that contributed to these murders.”
But Flaherty suggests the problem goes far deeper than simple media bias. He alleges nothing less than a widespread attitude of hatred against whites being pushed by a host of institutions.
“The reporters and editors are not the only guilty parties,” said Flaherty. “Black on white racial animosity is now mainstream and easy to find in churches, schools, homes, music and black websites. And liberal white websites too. Many people now think this attitude is normal. It is not.
“I expect to see more black racial resentment taught in schools, found in school books, preached from black churches, found in black music, and revered in black homes. That is growing — and it is already widespread.”
Flaherty predicts many media outlets will simply explain away black-on-white crimes as “random” or call it “workplace violence.” He cites a recent segment on Fox News in which Gretchen Carlson questioned a guest who maintained the crime was not about race. Flaherty asked rhetorically, “So if this is happening on Fox News, what do you suppose the rest of the clowns in the other media outlets were doing?”
Flaherty says much of the media have already settled on what narrative to push. “It was all about guns and workplace violence and not about race.”
Peterson, who works with African-American men with his nonprofit Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), says the ultimate solution to racial tension is for people to turn away from anger lest they let it cloud their moral judgment. Peterson cited the killer’s deeply held sense of victimhood and persecution as an example of how he believes anger can destroy a person. On his radio show, Peterson told his audience: “[Satan] presents things to your imagination, and if you have anger, you lock into it, and that’s it for you. And there’s nothing anyone can do to convince you that you’re wrong.”
Peterson urged his listeners not to give in to the anger he believes is being promoted. He counseled: “You got to let that anger go. Anyone who tells you that anger is good, that anger is power, that you need anger to motivate you, or that you can control anger, is lying to you. It’s a spirit that will destroy you. It retards you mentally and emotionally. There’s no truth in it. There’s no love in it. There’s nothing but blame and destruction.”