The Austin Plane Crash: White Man’s Anger, Black Man’s Death

No need to understand Joe Stack. He was a killer.

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What connects the two is their extreme hatred of the government. This sentiment plays well at a time when anti-government sentiment among conservatives has run rampant at the tea party convention and the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Von Brunn and Stack were both domestic terrorists with dark fantasies of death. Stack wrote, “Nothing changes unless there is a body count.” There’s precious, little empathy and a lot of callousness in that ominous remark. Johns and Hunter became the two black men who died from the wrath of angry, white men.

Vernon Hunter’s son, Ken, interjected some badly needed perspective when he told a television station, “There was just too much going on about what the guy did and what he believed in, and enough’s enough. They don’t need to talk about him. Talk about my dad. You know, some people are trying to make this guy out to be a hero, a patriot. My dad served two terms in Vietnam. This guy never served at all. My dad wasn’t responsible for his tax problems.”

Newly created Web sites and Facebook pages celebrate the death of Stack, the angry, white Man and tax-dodging deadbeat who imitated the Sept. 11 terrorists as a “patriot.” Notably absent are the celebrations of the life of Vernon Hunter, the invisible, black man and Vietnam War veteran, whose life is trivialized as nothing but a faceless extra in the wretched hallucinations of Joe Stack.

If Cullen wants to dig through the dung heap of Joe Stack’s twisted, little life with the hope of finding an understandable reason, feel free. I’ll be the guy standing downwind with his hands in his pockets, not applauding.

Jeff Winbush is a freelance journalist and blogger. He is a contributor to The Columbus Post, The Daily Voice and All About Jazz.

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