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Hardly a Who Done It

fifty black churches gone? round up the usual suspects

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, June 19, 1996.

Yet another black church was torched last night. It was in the Deep South and, yet again, there were no witnesses beyond the arsonists. The total now is nearing fifty.

I can pretty much tell you that while there is no conspiracy per se, these atrocities are certainly fostered – primarily but not exclusively – by the youngest fringies of the white supremacist mind set. I further predict one or more of these fires could well be shown to have been set by a rival church, and maybe one or two will be done for other personal reasons. Plus there might be one or two done by garden variety arsonists, mere psychotics on the prowl. But the vast majority will be shown to have been done by the slack-jawed morons who compose lower class white youth today. Kids with no discernible future whose existing mental muscles were strained by finding remote wooden structures and lighting matches. And they’ll be ‘white supremacists’ – words they cannot spell.

When white America gets exasperated with pontificating black preachers and scared by the presence of two or more black males, it would do well to focus their fear through this prism:

Until 1965, a run of fifty black churches being torched in the South would not have received any media coverage beyond the local white governments voting to fine congregations for the clean up. Thirty years ago and more, fifty black men could be killed yearly for no crime except being black, smart, and attractive to women. In any event, a sitting President would never have dared acknowledge the problem publicly.

In my life time, I can recall four year old black children being fire-bombed in Sunday school, and watching the fat, white, in-bred defendants voted not-guilty by a jury of blood relatives. And so, when people get a little complacent about the KKK and other assemblages of losers, and think they have changed and are interested in white rights and working within the system, I remember yet the photographs – actual or in my mind - of four foot corpses with pigtails being removed from what was their church.