“VESTER FLANAGAN, POSTER BOY FOR LEFTIST ‘MICROAGGRESSION’ CULTURE:” At Big Government, Ben Shapiro writes:
According to The New York Post, Williams took nearly everything as a racial insult. Trevor Fair, a cameraman at WDBJ, said Parker would say, “The reporter’s out in the field,” and Williams would respond, “What are you saying, cotton fields? That’s racist.” When a manager brought in watermelon for employees, Williams reportedly said, “You’re doing that because of me… You guys are calling me out because I’m black.” He even accused 7-Eleven of racism for selling watermelon-flavored Slurpees.
Bryce Williams may have been mentally ill. But he was the ultimate product of the left’s microaggression society, seeking offense everywhere and then lashing out at others based on a perceived sense of victimization. Some victimization is objectively true, but that doesn’t mean that all claims of victimization are. The notion that subjective self-assessment of victimization should take precedence over objective fact is deeply dangerous.
Jim Geraghty dubbed Flanagan a “Grievance Collector:”
There are disturbing ramifications if media discussions are indeed driving us to become a more grievance-minded society. Willard Gaylin, one of the world’s preeminent psychology professors, writes about the dangers of “grievance collecting” in his book Hatred: The Psychological Descent into Violence:
Grievance collecting is a step on the journey to a full-blown paranoid psychosis. A grievance collector will move from the passive assumption of deprivation and low expectancy common to most paranoid personalities to a more aggressive mode. He will not endure passively his deprived state; he will occupy himself with accumulating evidence of his misfortunes and locating the sources. Grievance collectors are distrustful and provocative, convinced that they are always taken advantage of and given less than their fair share. . . .
Underlying this philosophy is an undeviating comparative and competitive view of life. Everything is part of a zero-sum game. Deprivation can be felt in another person’s abundance of good fortune.
At the heart of the grievance collector’s worldview is that he is not responsible for the condition of his life; a vast conspiracy of malevolent individuals and forces is entirely at fault. There is always someone else to blame, and the Virginia shooter quickly finds ways to excuse his actions and deflect the responsibility to others.
For decades, the media has given “grievance collectors” plenty of fuel for their paranoia. In a fawning 1990 profile of Bryant Gumbel, then co-host of NBC’s Today Show, a New York Times journalist off-handedly wrote:
The writer-producer Allison Davis, who is also black, notes that Gumbel does many subtle things on the air to help change images. One example, she says: “Bryant Gumbel does not say ‘Black Monday’ when talking about the stock market. He’s constantly qualifying and looking at stories where the issue of race may or may not be germane.”
And every November, like clockwork, someone in the media sees racism in the phrase “Black Friday.” In 2012, the words “golf” and “Chicago” were deemed racist by a division of NBC.
In 2011, Democrats in the media instantaneously seized on Sarah Palin’s clip art as a cause for the shooting in Tucson. When it was obvious that the shooter never saw Palin’s clip art or its concurrent use by Democrats (it’s the nature of elections that everyone is being “targeted” for defeat by someone) this was followed by lots of trolling leftist articles demanding a new civility from politicians and the media on both sides of the aisle.
Naturally, nothing changed; don’t look for the media to stop providing rhetorical ammo to grievance collectors anytime soon, either.
(Of course, as long as the violence is merely rhetorical, it’s fascinating to watch the grievance collectors devour each other — such as the left turning against leftist house organ Salon for describing Trinidadian-born American rap star Nicki Minaj as “savage” in a tweet.)
UPDATE: Joe Scarborough: Cable news has put lives at risk, including MSNBC, for “a few ratings points.”