Nonetheless, in a Twitter exchange, CNN commentator Sally Kohn insisted that despite his mental instability, Flanagan “appears to have acted out of sense of victimization I have no reason to believe not justified.” This bizarre statement reflects a common assumption in progressive circles that white people should virtually always defer to a person of color’s perception of racism. (In today’s lingo, challenging such claims is “whitesplaining.”)
The major media have treated the issue of Flanagan’s racial paranoia with tangible skittishness, often downplaying it as much as Breitbart downplayed the white supremacist aspect of the Charleston shootings by Dylann Roof. ABC News still hasn’t released the full contents of the 23-page suicide manifesto he sent to the network promising to unleash the “race war” Roof had wanted. Yahoo News, which ran an Associated Press story on Flanagan’s history as a “professional victim,” later replaced it with another story under a title that focused on the victims and barely mentioned Flanagan’s grievances.
The troubling fact is that Flanagan’s story points to the dangerous underside of hyperawareness of racism being championed by a large portion of our progressive elites. Racism can poison and kill; sometimes, so can racial anger. Cultivating rage, portraying “white America” as a collective oppressor, and promoting the notion that perceptions of oppression are infallible is irresponsible and wrong.