- Bryan Parmelee
- User "FedUp84"
The University of Vermont was in the national spotlight after a Black Lives Matter flag was stolen outside of the Davis Center last week. After learning there were still no leads in the case, this reporter took to the streets, campus dining halls and municipal sewage systems in search of a possible culprit.
After days of searching, I finally caught a break while browsing the online forum All Lives Matter, But We’re Fine If Some Matter Less. It was there that I encountered the user “FedUp84,” depicted in his profile as a “chill af 32yo male,” who claimed responsibility for the theft. After a series of private messages and a list of demands ranging from anonymity to a 40-pack of Supreme Pizza Rolls, I finally was able to arrange a meeting with the alleged larcenist in the basement of his mother’s house in Colchester.
This was our conversation.
THE PARMELEE POST: Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, FedUp84. Let’s get right to it. Why, exactly, did you steal the flag?
FEDUP84: Honestly, I did it for the students. These are just kids we’re talking about, and their parents aren’t shelling out all this cash just so they can challenge their worldview or empathize with other walks of life. Go read your overpriced textbooks and leave the thinking to the adults.
TPP: Are you a student yourself?
FU: So I can poison my mind and go into debt? No thanks.
TPP: So, are you against education in general, or is there something about the Black Lives Matter movement in particular that you find threatening to student minds?
FU: Well, first of all, they lie. The police aren’t dangerous. My mom got pulled over for speeding on her way home from a PTO meeting and they let her off with just a warning. So I know for a fact that cops are actually pretty chill.
TPP: More than 800 people have already been killed by police in the U.S. this year. Is it possible that your mother’s experience with law enforcement would have been different if she were of a different race or socioeconomic status?FU: Is it possible that you need to show some respect, because she just made us these delicious pizza rolls? I didn’t invite you over here to tell me how to think.
TPP: Well, I’m certainly not trying to make you think too hard, but is it possible that Caucasians like us can never fully understand the effects of systematic racism because we’ve never had to endure it ourselves? And that movements like Black Lives Matter are simply trying to spread awareness of these difficult experiences and push for criminal justice reform?
FU: First off, speak for yourself. I’m purebred American. Secondly, I play Call of Duty online with people from all over the world. So, if anything, I’m more woke than people who only worry about what’s happening here in the U.S.
TPP: Well, then you surely realize that police in most other countries are not killing nearly as many civilians as American officers do.
FU: Well, then maybe they should come visit sometime and learn how to effectively police. Pretty sure no one is committing any more crimes once they’re dead.
TPP: Also, recent studies have found significant racial disparities in policing. In 2015, unarmed black men were seven times more likely to be killed by police gunfire than unarmed white men. Does that seem normal to you?
FU: Well, if you still haven’t learned your lesson after being shot to death seven times…
TPP: I feel like you completely missed the point of that statistic. In fact, I kinda feel like you’re deliberately missing all the points.
FU: The point is, the Black Lives Matter movement is tearing this country apart. That flag represents an assault on our Constitution. What gives them the right to try and secede from this great nation?
TPP: Are we still talking about the same flag here?
FU: That flag represents a group of people who clearly hate what America stands for and want to form their own country where they can legally own people as property. Frankly, it’s offensive.
TPP: Yup, it definitely seems like we’re talking about different flags at this point.
FU: See? Thinking only leads to confusion.