A black church fire in South Carolina is being called an accident, not arson by the Ku Klux Klan or any other hate groups. But considering the history of the KKK in relation to the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, many jumped to the conclusion that it might be history replaying itself.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a shocking number of black churches have been destroyed by fires in recent days. Considering that the timing of the incidents happen to coincide with the controversy over the Confederate flag and the Black Lives Matter movement, some want to point fingers at the KKK, but FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said federal investigators are unable to tie the incidents together.
“I’m not sure there is any reason to link them together at this point,” Bresson said. “They’re being investigated to determine who is responsible and what motives are behind them.”
At least one of the black church fires in Macon, Georgia, is said to be a case of arson, and it is claimed another African American church in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the same. In regards to one black church fire, South Carolina officials were uncertain about the cause.
“Based upon the scene examination and the evidence collected, agents were unable to determine an exact origin or fire cause,” said the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. “As a result, agents were unable to eliminate all accidental ignition sources. Investigators observed no element of criminal intent. The cause of the fire was best classified as undetermined.”
Greeleyville, South Carolina, is located about 50 miles north of Charleston, where the shootings by Dylann Storm Roof took place. Around 20 years ago, the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville was the target of the Ku Klux Klan, and Reverend Alice Parson Wright, a pastor at an AME church about 20 miles away, relived the scene in his memory when she visited the site of the burned church.
“When I got the message last night, my first thought was: ‘Not again. Not again. Not again,’ ” she said. “And then the second thought was: ‘I pray this is not arson but an act of God because of the weather.’ “
Williamsburg County Councilman Eddie Woods Jr. recalls the 1995 KKK attack on the black church, and he says he drove to the black church fire as soon as he heard what happened.
“That was a tough thing to see,” Woods said. “It is hurting those people again. But we’re going to rebuild.”
But it is possible an accident may have caused this black church fire. South Carolina officials have not released a statement, but one unnamed official told the Associated Press that the fire “was not intentionally set and was not arson.” The official was not authorized to speak publicly, but they also say the case will continue to be investigated.
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