I'll say it if no one else will. The murders of nine people by Omar Thornton was racially motivated.
According to Thornton's mother, he said in a phone conversation directly after the killings “He said, I killed the five racists that was there that was bothering me,’ ” and “'He said, The cops are going to come in so I am going to take care of myself.’ ”
After shooting his co-workers, Thornton hid as police moved in. He called his mother, who tried for 10 minutes to talk him out of killing himself, his uncle Will Holliday told reporters.
Relatives say Thornton, 34, finally cracked after suffering racial harassment in a company where he said he was singled out for being black in a predominantly white work force.
That appears to be not the case. Thornton was caught stealing. He didn't dispute the fact. He was caught on videotape stealing beer. After seeing the video of himself he did not dispute the claim. He signed the letter of resignation then stood up, went to the door, turned and started shooting.
According to other employees, Thornton was not singled out for harassment because he was black. According to the business owner there was no racial bias or discrimination of any kind at the distributorship.
Now comes the media, tut-tutting over how sensitive this issue will be.
I call bullshit. Chauncey DeVega at Alternet says we should 'handle this story with care'.
Nonsense. Thornton was a thief, he was black, he got caught red-handed, he decided to
"kill the five racists that was there that was bothering me." He packed two pistols in his lunchbox and made a lethal decision. It wasn't manslaughter. It wasn't accidental. It was premeditated murder committed by a black man who felt racially slighted. He knew there could be no possible redemption for his crime and took his own life.
It was a racially motivated crime. Pure and simple. Those of you who want to tap-dance around the glaring facts need to man up. Those of you who want to say "Nothing to see here, move along" need to stop giving black-on-white crime a pass. Those of you who want to shove this under the rug before the next news cycle should know: stories like this are no longer going to die quietly. In the light of recent racial tensions, this ugly, tragic story has legs. As it plays out, it can only get uglier.