A group of vandals took to showing their support for Donald Trump in the most abhorrent manner possible -- by burning an African-American church and spray painting the words "Vote Trump" on its walls.
According to local newspaper the Clarion Ledger, firefighters were intimated about smoke emerging from the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church on Tuesday night. Fire Chief Ruben Brown told reporters that the church premises sustained heavy damage, while the kitchen and pastor's office received water and smoke damage.
Although the local authorities refused to comment on whether or not they have any suspects in mind even at this early stage, the sensitive nature of this act of vandalism means that the FBI is now investigating the incident.
"The FBI Jackson Division is aware of the situation in Greenville, and we are working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to determine if any civil rights crimes were committed," an official statement from the bureau's state office in Jackson read.
The incident comes at a curious time, with less than a week to go before Election Day. Although the perpetrators of this unnecessary and grossly hateful act have not yet been identified, some believe that it could be the doing of white supremacist groups. The prima facie evidence certainly suggests so, but one can only speak with veracity once the investigation is complete.
But there are certain things which need to be taken into consideration. First, that a Black church was set ablaze, which could mean that it was a hate crime, and the early involvement of the FBI confirms this assumption. Even more reprehensible is the fact that the words "Vote Trump" were painted on the side of the burnt church, meaning the perpetrators wanted to be identified as Donald Trump's supporters and wanted to take credit for their actions. With five days to go before Election Day, it was a strictly political piece of intervention on the part of the vandals, and similar to incidents which can easily be found in the long and brutal histories of the crimes committed by America's white supremacist groups, most notably the Ku Klux Klan.The Ku Klux Klan has often used this method of burning Black churches to show its political dominion, and the method of the arson -- if it was indeed one -- suggests that something similar was at work on Tuesday night. The fact that Ku Klux Klan officially endorsed Donald Trump on Wednesday in its mouthpiece the Crusader could be further proof that the white supremacist group has been up to some dirty skulduggery lately.
In fact, the Klan has asked white members of the Christian faith to "Vote Trump" en masse on November 8, and remain vigilant for a coordinated effort in case Trump does not come to power. Whether that includes torching African-American churches is anyone's guess.
But it will not be altogether surprising if one hears of more such stories emerging from different parts of the country as this bizarre election cycle unfolds in its last days.For now, one will have to wait and see if those who burned the Black church in Mississippi and spray-painted "Vote Trump" on its walls are the same people who are now coordinating mass campaigns -- possibly even violent in nature -- not to accept the election results if their candidate loses, but the mode of protest(read: vandalism of the other), and the method of its execution, are sure signs that American has regressed back several decades, and possibly even a century, during the course of this election season.
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