Under the headline “No Evidence of Hate Crimes in Fires at Black Churches,” the New York Times on June 29 reported, “officials say they have found no evidence that the blazes were hate crimes.” They have also found no suspects, as of this writing, so the investigations continue. Some of the fires may have been set by mischievous youngsters armed with wooden clothespins turned into a mechanism that shoots lighted kitchen matches. But it is simply too early to tell anything, much less decide that there was “no evidence” of a hate crime in any of these fires.
Following the brutality of Charleston church massacre, the continued presence of the Confederate battle flag over the South Carolina Statehouse ignited a national discussion about racism. Now, a North Carolina Ku Klux Klan faction has inserted itself into the already volatile mix.
Despite South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s apparent willingness to lower the Confederate battle flag, no one should be fooled into believing that the fight over this flag will be short and sweet. It will likely be long and dirty.
Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old suspect in the Charleston church shooting that left nine people dead, reportedly confessed to the crime, according to two law enforcement officials. During his confession, one of the officials said Roof told authorities he wanted to start a “race war.”
“I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country. You have to go,” declared the young white gunman as he emptied clip after clip of a .45 caliber handgun into the small group of African-American church-goers at a Wednesday evening Bible study.
On May 20, at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio a group of ministers and civil rights activists held a press conference to announce their efforts to enlist major league baseball owners in the fight for criminal justice reform and to support the Black Lives Matter effort. A grouping of white men, led by Robert Ransdell, tried to break up the press conference by yelling into bull horns and carry signs against diversity.