Category Archives: Editorial

Heartache fills the air: Former News Anchor Kills WDBJ Anchor Alison Parker and Photographer Adam Ward

Heartache filled the air Wednesday as WDBJ News Anchor Alison Parker and WDBJ Photographer Adam Ward were tragically gun down by one of their own.  Former WDBJ News Anchor Bryce Williams approached the pair while conducting an interview with Vicky Gardner, who was also shot in the back and is currently recovering after surgery in the hospital.

adam ward alison parker vester lee flanighanABC News stated Williams sent a  23 page letter via fax stating his reasons for his actions.  Former employers reported that Williams was difficult regarding relating to co-workers.  Williams stated on his social media pages that racial slurs angered him and evoked violent outbursts which related to his being terminated from previous media news stations. In the letter to ABC News, Williams states the victim’s initials are on the bullets.  Williams cited the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Charleston  shooting by Dylan Roof on 06/17/2015 killing 9 people is what tipped his psyche over the edge and prompted him to put down a deposit for the legal purchase of a gun from a Virginia gun store.

Dylan Roof is the young white male that killed several black Christians in an attempt to set off a race war.  The family of the slain victims of the June 17, 2015 shooting decided to forgive Dylan Roof for his actions so the question  remains why would Williams take it upon himself to act?  Williams continues to write in the 23 page letter that Jehovah told him to act in violence.

alison interviewing vicky garner

This statement according the bible is incorrect in that God does not need man to act in violence.  God says to be happy and rejoice.  God calls for patience and understanding and to love one another.  God clearly says do not pay back evil for evil.  Williams and all those before him that committed acts of violence in retaliation is wrong.  You can read in the New Living Translation of the bible, Romans 12:11-21 how Jesus the son of Jehovah God does not call for man to act violently rather to act in love and peace,

” 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD .
20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Scriptures from Christianity, website a Salem Web network.

There were four lives altered and three lives lost on Wednesday.  The way that terminations are handled needs to addressed.  Conflict resolutions needs some changes.  Being aware that a person has some emotional issues and violent outbursts does not mean they should be abandoned.  Rather, treat the situation as if they were an alcoholic or addicted to drugs.  Require those involved participate in some sort of counseling so they so can positively express their feelings and reach a solution even if termination is the solution.  Pray for the souls of those lost and that the hearts of their families will be healed without violence or retaliation.

With regards to social media re-post being the cause of violence.  Lets take a look at it.  Social media are how we communicate in our current environment.  To ban those on social media from sharing what is occurring will ultimately alter how the truth is told.  It is not okay to reap joy from tragedy.   To blame those who re-tweet for the actions of another is not going in the right direction.  This is leading to a police state in the streets, on the internet and limits our rights to free speech.



Editorial: 20 questions asked of an Uber Driver


My name is Kathy Brocks, founder of ACAW  and  an Uber driver.  I began driving for Uber a while ago.  Like any other contract job or regular employee job that deals with the public and issues of safety, I completed a background check.  I was not allowed to drive or declare myself as an Uber driver until the investigation of my background was completed.  This was okay with me because I have worked at banks, applied for government jobs and worked in areas dealing with sensitive information.  A background check is the norm.

I say all because I was asked if Uber did a background check on me by a rider tonight.  There are many riders who use the Uber Application and many drivers driving for Uber.  There are many stories regarding Uber Executive Emil Michael’s behavior that creates a culture that is not satisfactory to females as the article by Sarah Lacy of Pando Daily, Gail Sullivan of the Washington Post Morning Mix  and Ben Smith of Buzzfeed.

There is also an article by Ari Ezra Waldman, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School, regarding data gathering and sharing in a large vacuum accessible by any government agency . Prof Ezra uses Uber as an example and states the medallion Taxi cab companies divulge much more information than Uber is being asked to release to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, TLC.

Sarah Lacy is the journalist Mr Michael had the misfortune of specifying in a private conversation with Ariana Huffington of the  Huffington Post and Edward Norton, an actor, that resources should be used to investigate reporters, namely Ms. Lacy in part because Ms.  Lacy made it her mission to tell as many investors of Uber about the sexually charged comments of the executive and how it creates a negative environment for women.

As a woman I understand the message Ms Lacy is putting forth regarding respect for women goes beyond not touching, its also in what you say about women whether public or private.  It should not matter whether a man is wealthy or a working class man speaking about a woman in a derogatory manner which promotes harm is never ok.  This is why I am writing this piece.   While I understand Mr. Michael’s comments appeals to a certain crowd like other single men, the guy made a mistake.  I am not apologizing for him.  I am just a driver.  But as I have to forgive Mr. Michael,  I have to forgive the drunk Uber rider that fondled me, the female rider that asked me flat-out if I was gay, began smoking in my car and stopped short of propositioning me.  If I forgive these riders then I also have to forgive the riders that ask me how much is my paycheck, what is my work schedule, how much does Uber Corporation charge me for being a driver, do I also drive for Lyft a competing car service,  why do I drive, do I have insurance, does Uber provide insurance, do I have any children, who do I take care of, do I drive all day, when do I get off work and the questions go on and on.

Uber drivers are independent contractors working hard to earn money to provide for the needs of their households.  We do not get to ask riders, “how much is your paycheck”.  Upon asking why the 20 questions the response is always the same “am just curious”.  Well, it’s not cool.  While executives have a foot in mouth problem from time to time, targeting drivers to ask them personal questions even like, where do you live, is way beyond the scope of reason and rider safety.

I never heard a rider ask a Taxi driver, where do you live.  In order to treat women, men, riders and drivers fairly, the respect must be equal.  Drivers do not know rider personal information.  Uber does not publish which rider was rude to a driver and was on bad behavior.  Everyone has a bad day and Uber does not penalize the rider by sending out bad reports across the network.  Never have I ever seen a bad report on any rider.  Never have I asked for any.  Riders should know that Uber does protect their privacy and the privacy of the driver.

When riders become aggressive as in sexually harassing drivers it is reported and Uber deals with that rider as an individual and does not distribute the incident.  This is what happened with a late night rider who became overly aggressive with me.  I did not invite or encourage any sexual behavior.  The man stated I needed a boyfriend and began to demonstrate the actions of a boyfriend.  I reported his actions and was told I could take any and all measures to protect myself.  One measure is putting a dashboard camera in my car.  Uber’s service is ride share and nothing else.  Respect really is a two-way street.  Respect should never just stop at the executive level, rather look at men and women as a whole and inspire mutual respect.

-Kathy Brocks, Founder of ACAW and an Uber Driver

Kathy Brocks, ACAW Editor, Uber Driver

Kathy Brocks, ACAW Editor, Uber Driver

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