She wants to be a cosmetologist and “do hair”. That’s Vanessa Coleman’s career goal. Channon Christian and Chris Newsome had career goals as well. They had career goals the night they were kidnapped at gunpoint by Coleman’s friends. They had career goals as they were tortured, raped, abused beyond all human imagination, and murdered. Channon was a Sociology major at the University of Tennessee. Chris was a carpenter. They will never fulfill those dreams. Instead they leave behind families who struggle to live with the knowledge their babies died horrible deaths. In a journal entry shortly after the crime Coleman wrote, “I’ve had one helluva adventure since I’ve been in the big TN.”
There have been questions about whether or not these were hate crimes or crimes of opportunity. The four men who along with Coleman have been convicted of the crimes are African American. Channon and Chris were white. “If this had been white on black crime, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and their ilk would have descended on Knoxville like a swarm of angry bees,” said musician Charlie Daniels on his webpage in 2007. Sadly this is probably true. But instead of criticizing Sharpton and Jackson shouldn’t we be wondering why no white activists stepped up to speak out for Channon and Chris? Chris’s mother, Mary Newsome, said, “It may have started out as a carjacking, but what it developed into was blacks hating whites. To do the things they did, they would have to hate them to do that.”
Knoxville, Tennessee does deserve credit for standing up against white supremacists that rallied outside the Old Courthouse protesting against Coleman’s possible parole. A local attorney, Chris Irwin, said, “We want to send a clear message to our town that these people are not acceptable, they never were, they never will be.” Even if the murders were a hate crime, Knoxville does not judge all African-Americans by the psychopathic behavior of the monsters who committed these heinous acts. The irony here is that the Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1865 in Tennessee.
In the end it doesn’t really matter if this was a black on white crime, a random act of violence, or a crime of opportunity. In the end two beautiful young people with their lives ahead of them, with futures that may have contained careers, marriages, and children have been buried for almost eight years. The hopes and dreams of their parents, their families, and their friends have been buried as well. The Newsome’s and the Christian’s sat in court today and spoke to the parole board. Undoubtedly they spoke of their children. Once again they had to see the photos of the atrocities performed on their children. Once again they had to face the horror of knowing there was nothing they could do to change that dreadful day.
Vanessa Coleman will not be eligible for parole until 2020, six years from now. That is the longest period she can be made to wait. With any luck she will be denied again. Another entry in Coleman’s journal after the killings said, “How interesting is your life? I bet it won’t compare to mine cuz I love my life.” You have to wonder how much she loves her life now. Of course whatever the quality, she is alive, unlike Channon and Chris. Even if she serves every minute of her thirty-five year sentence, she is alive.
12 thoughts on “Vanessa Coleman Wants to Do Hair”
I still think about this horrific crime. Till this very day, I believe it was a crime of opportunity turned hate crime. As a 52-year old black woman, I can honestly say that a large % of blacks have a geniuine hatred for ALL whites. Not all blacks, but a large % of them. I had no choice but to grow up around them (my own family) and among them within black neighborhoods. All throughout my childhood, blacks used racial slurs when talking about whites. Even though white people hadn’t done anything to them. These types of blacks are really the most dangerous and disrespectful people. I don’t view them as “women,” “men,” nor “humans.”
The group who snuck up on an unsuspecting young couple on a date are subhumans. These are the black criminals the KKK would’ve lynched back in the 1800’s, and rightfully so. Blacks assume the KKK lynched/killed blacks mostly for the heck of it. Not hardly. Klansmen killed blacks because they had committed crimes against whites. And there were some cases where blacks handed over guilty blacks to whites because they had discovered that these blacks had indeed committed those crimes. And black on white crime was just as horrific back then as it is nowadays. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by some black people who agree that a large % of blacks are feral and out of control. Unfortunately, there are more bad blacks than good, decent black people.
I believe the perfect punishment for these thugs would be to let Channon’s father get a hold of ’em one by one. Allow him to torture them any way he wants, even if it means killing them. He’s got my support. God bless the family and friends of Channon and Christopher.
Thank you for your comments. I don’t know if there are more bad black people than good. I have too many friends who are people of color to make that kind of call. I think many minorities, not just blacks but Latinos, Asians, and poor women as well have been pushed to some pretty horrible behavior. But what this group of people (I hate calling them that) did was incomprehensible. It reminds me of what the Nazis did to Jews in Germany, what happened in Viet Nam on both sides during the conflict, and what is happening now in the middle east. When mankind is reduced to this kind of cruelty the problem has its roots somewhere I can’t fathom. Justice, true justice, seems to elude those left behind after such heinous crimes. In the end no amount of jail time, corporal punishment, or even death sentences will take away the pain and loss. God bless you for your courage and your words.
So let me get this straight Lizzie, if people have it rough we should give them a free pass? You didn’t outright say that, but that’s the jist of what I got from your comment about people being ‘pushed’. Maybe you also think child rapists who were raped as children should be forgiven? That is your line of thinking and it is deeply flawed. Everyone has a choice regarding how they are going to behave and treat others, EVERYONE. I know many people who have had a very unfair life, who are poor, who have been through great adversity for their entire lives- I am one of those people. And I’ve never NEVER believed it was ok or justified to steal, rape, murder others. You are almost as dangerous as the perps in this case because you and others like you are COMPLICIT!! You are in denial, you want to excuse even justify these horrific behaviors!
I definitely don’t think anyone should be given a “free pass” for committing a crime. You misunderstand me completely. I think of the hungry who resort to stealing in order to feed their family. There are times in people’s lives when their basic morality is challenged by a desperation others may not understand. I don’t condone that. I think there still needs to be some form of punishment. We all make choices in our lives. We all make mistakes in our lives. I don’t presume to know what I would do under certain circumstances. What the murderers of these young people did is unforgivable. Yes. They made choices. They deserve to pay for their heinous crimes; not because they are black or poor, or had bad childhoods. They need to be punished because they tortured and murdered two people. Frankly, I think they deserved the death penalty. I suggest you read more carefully in the future before you judge what others are saying. And as for living through great adversity, I also had a very hard life. I simply don’t wear that past as badge of my identity.
“I don’t know if there are more bad black people than good” says the white woman to the 52 year old black woman. Do you not see yourself? Or do you just see the narratives running in your head? You are just the kind of person who is going to end up going into a black neighborhood (because you’re down with the cause) and end up car jacked, assaulted, robbed or worse (the cause ain’t down with you).
I too would love a racism and bigotry free world. Remaining in denial won’t bring that world closer to being a reality.
For the record, I worked in a “black” neighborhood for several years, opening our office, often before daylight, and closing after dark. I grew up in NYC and went to college in a “black” neighborhood in Brooklyn. I didn’t go out of my way to place myself in what you may consider danger. It was simply the way things worked out in my life. During a financially unstable period in my life I lived in a “black” housing project. I have NEVER had anything negative happen. I don’t try to act “black”. I think there are more “bad black people than good”. I think that statement is ridiculous. I will never know what it is like to grow up black, I will never live the black experience. I do know what it is like to be judged by where I live, what I wear, and even the company I keep. Racism is something that exists and there will always be people who judge others by a set of standards they set arbitrarily. The point of my blog was simply that one of the collaborators in the brutal murder of two young people who happened to be white is more concerned with wanting to have a career “doing hair” than appreciating the horror of what she took part in. Perhaps we need to look at our so-called justice system that does nothing to rehabilitate or raise the awareness of inmates. There is a serious problem there that should be addressed.
Oh, I forgot to post my comments about Vanessa Coleman. I was sooo happy, happy, happy that she was recently denied parole. How they could even think of granting parole to a hoodrat who was part of a group of subhumans I’ll never know. She knew exactly what was going on in the house. She heard Channon’s and, I believe, Christopher’s also. And she didn’t find a wat to get them any help. Vanessa even took items out of Channon’s purse and put them in hers! That shows Vanessa didn’t give a damn nor did/does she feel any remorse. I say let her rot in prison for 35 years. I really wish she received life.
I agree, i am a black female, i agree it was a hate crime, they all deserve death! But justice really isnt justice, never is truly, criminals get dealt with lightly, or live at least 10 more years before they are put to death, no justice really! They are total scumbags who deserve an electric chair truthfully.
I wish that they could take all five of them straight to the gallows and publicly hang them high. It sickens me when people who commit such evil are allowed to have life sentences, and get to live their lives out not having to worry about food, shelter, and are even given access to movies and television.
Must be going back home.