Black Church Burnings – Fire at Various African-American Churches
Mount Zion AME church in Greeleyville, South Carolina has had a troubled past, but it seems like they are still not able to get rid of the negativity. The church first faced a fire in 1995 when it was deliberately set on fire by the KKK. And recently, it has yet again been blazed. But what raises suspicion is the fact that six black churches have been under the flame attack in the past two weeks, since the deadly shooting at another black church in Charleston, SC. It is hard not to connect the dots even though they are vaguely there.
On June 17, a 21-year-old white male went on a shooting rampage inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, in which nine people were killed. The reason for his actions were his white supremacist beliefs and such sudden attacks on black churches in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee after the shooting are suspected to be arson. The recent attack has been on Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal which brought the whole issue to worldwide attention and concern. The fire reminded the entire world of its painful history where the same church was brought down by the same way about 20 years ago.
“That was a tough thing to see,” Williamburg County Councilman Eddie Woods Jr said. “It is hurting those people again. But we’re going to rebuild. If this was someone, they need to know that hate won’t stop us again.”
Recently, the uproar against the Confederate flag has come to limelight and there are suspicions that these “accidents” leading to fire may be another hate crime by the followers who are angry with the support against the flag.
But the authorities has clearly said that the reason cannot be linked with hate crime just yet because they are still in the process of investigating and need time to reveal the actual information. Links with the storm and lightning which surrounded the area on the day has also been made.
“I can tell you we’re not going to leave any stone unturned,” said Craig Chillcott, assistant special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office that oversees North and South Carolina. “The facts will ultimately determine what occurred. It’s a bit premature to say how long it will take to make this determination.”
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