This Is Terrorism

[Content Note: Terrorism; arson; violent racism; white supremacy.]

Over the summer, there was a series of fires at black churches, some of which were deemed to be weather-related and some of which were ruled arson, which got minimal national media coverage. At the time, I wrote: "And the mainstream media coverage of [the seventh] fire, no less within the context of six other fires at black churches since a white supremacist killed nine black women and men at a black church, is virtually nonexistent. Juxtapose that, as many people have observed on Twitter, with the coverage of the CVS set ablaze during protests in Baltimore, which was given wall-to-wall coverage by the cable news networks."

This morning, I read this piece by Ben Forstenzer: "5 Black Churches in the Ferguson Area Have Burned Since Last Week, Media Shrugs." And Forstenzer makes the same necessary point, again: "The lack of media coverage about these fires is highly-noticeable, given the media's hyper-intensive coverage of rioters in Baltimore setting fire to a CVS earlier this year."

There is no doubt that these fires have been set by arsonists:
In the last 10 days, five black churches have been set on fire in the St. Louis area. And unlike the last wave of black church fires this summer in which weather played a role in some of the fires, these all appear to be the work of arsonists.

..."It is arson," St. Louis Fire Department captain Garon Mosby told Fox 2 Saint Louis. "These are being intentionally set."

This most recent wave of church fires are taking place in North St. Louis, near Ferguson, where racial tensions have been particularly high since the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown. The department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is investigating the arsons.

On October 8th, the first fire was set at the Bethel Non-Denominational Church. Between October 10th and October 14th, three more churches were burned — New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, St. Augustine Catholic Church, and the New Testament Church of Christ. In the early hours of Saturday morning, another fire was set at the New Life Missionary Baptist Church. All 5 churches are within three miles of each other.
Five black churches within a three-mile radius, set ablaze by arsonists. And there is virtually no national media coverage.

This is terrorism. But it is being diligently ignored by most media, just like anti-choice terrorism, because it is almost certainly being committed by members of the US' most privileged class: White men.

Whereas a corporate building being set on fire during a protest led by black activists is major news worth 24/7 coverage.

Further, these church burnings are a grave encroachment on black Christians' religious freedom. A real encroachment on their religious freedom, unlike the bullshit spectacle of Kim Davis claiming that her job requiring her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates her religious freedom. But, for some mysterious (not at all mysterious) reason, you won't find Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz jumping in front of every microphone for a thousand miles to denounce the serious subversion of black parishioners' religious freedom.

All lives matter, they say. Except for how they clearly don't.

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