If ISIL had burned down 4 Churches, it would have been Headline News

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Seven African-American churches have burned down in the past week and at least four of these southern Black churches were victims of deliberate arson, and possibly six were.

This news is being reported tentatively and in the passive mood. The churches burned or were burned. But that arson directed at an African-American church in the South after the Roof murders is likely the work of white supremacists is only hinted at. The ambiguity of thunderstorms is typically brought in, quoting local authorities. But there are lots of thunderstorms all the time in the South and churches have lightning rods. Why would a church that had stood for decades suddenly succumb to a single storm?

Shouldn’t the headline be “Suspected White supremacists burn down at least four African-American churches” ? Shouldn’t there be an agent, a doer, involved?

Compare how the press handled Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) attacks on Christians and churches. It was front page news! And the active voice was used, even though these events happened thousands of miles away amidst a fog of war and there were no Western eyewitnesses.


Further evidence that “terrorism” is “raced” in the United States, as something that dark-skinned people do but as a category improperly applied to white people.


Related video:

The Young Turks: “Five Black Churches Have Burned To The Ground In One Week”

18 Responses

  1. Will Fox & Friends be reporting these arson fires as part of the “war on Christians”?

  2. Rat Salad

    whatever the cause, Culture/Politics has been allowed to drift for last 40 years with only 1 principle supreme: grab all you can!

  3. Bart

    what’s particularly interesting is right wing complains about lack of coverage of acts of violence against Christians overseas.

  4. A more appropriate comparison would be if the wing-nuts doing this had instead picked synagogues. The coverage would be wall-to-wall. There’s an accepted minority, enfoldedInto the elite, and a rejected minority, any presence rejected by much of the elite.

  5. As the old saying goes, “It depends on whose ox is being gored.”

    If suspicions of white supremacist arson prove true, this will be another irremediable stain on the Confederate flag.

  6. If we didn’t live in a post-racial society, I might be tempted to think these fires had something to do with bigotry against black people.

  7. TV Land is feeling the heat over the flag. They dropped the “Dukes of Hazard” because of the Confederate Battle Flag on the roof of the General Lee automobile.

  8. This is why smart terrorists don’t take credit for their acts. The smart strategy is one where you can win just by creating chaos instead of taking responsibility for power.

  9. jingeneva

    @jeffmcneill days after a terrorist slaughter in Charleston, black churches are getting blown up. Where is @CNN @Reuters etc?

  10. Why wasn’t a news headline in the last week:
    7 African-American churches burned down in past week.
    4 of these southern Black churches victims of deliberate arson, possibly 6!

    The real question is when will the majority of Americans get truthful, informative and helpful news from the major news networks?

    Only when the world, America and the corporations are ruled by truthful, honest, caring and helpful individuals not egomaniacs addicted to wealth, power, lying, control and/or wars. Half of Congress are millionaires and a majority of non-millionaire members are becoming millionaires that will represent mostly the corporations and the rich……

    Major American news networks present news that is not really truthful, helpful, informative. It’s entertainment and sensationalism for the purpose of getting the biggest audience and highest news rating for the biggest advertising contracts. Money, money, money. Also, lots of propaganda in the news from its billionaire owners.

    When will honesty, truth, and the Golden Rule be the guiding principles of life on Earth?

    Never until the evil rich are destroyed, stopped from controlling the world. Their greed is destroying and/or killing individuals, families and countries throughout the world.

    Could intelligent and honest Robin Hood vigilante groups start targeting the corrupt millionaires, billionaires and trillionaires throughout the world?

    Could intelligent and honest aliens help Earth‘s human race?

    Could God step in and help mother Earth? If there is a “God”, a supreme being what is he, she or it waiting for?

    Nuclear weapons are again being updated, improved and built.
    Is some individual or country going to start a nuclear holocaust?

  11. Burning down churches attended by non-Whites in our South is a nighttime hobby for toothless knuckle-dragging inbred wannabe-Confederate cowards.

  12. The “war on Christians” narrative is successfully used to stifle recognition of White Conservative Christian race war. Why does this work?

    Firstly, both White and Black Christian clergy seem to have an interest in denying that there is a racial schism within US Christianity. Why? If you took an opinion poll you’d likely find Black Christians are far to the left of both their own clergy and White Christians on economic issues and well to the left on social issues. The Black clergy has returned to its pre-MLK role as the enforcer of inequality, the worshiper of accumulation of private wealth as a solution, and the champion of patriarchy and misogyny. And I’m sure that as in the past, White conservative money is funneled to these preachers so that they can stamp out progressive elements in their number. Thus, when the media does their usual shallow thing and ask Black clergy about these incidents, they get pablum about forgiveness, not finger-pointing at the right-wing hate machine.

    Since the moderately-religious majority in America don’t want to look too closely at these matters they accept that Christianity is united and conservative. So a war on any Christians is a war on Christianity, and a conservative Christian is a better Christian. The Christian Right has worked for decades to destroy liberal mainstream Christianity, and worse, to erase any memory of its existence. This allows it to claim to represent all Christians when it demands special rights to discriminate, which only its own reactionary minority is organized to use systematically to oppress others and re-establish America’s caste system.

    Now they’re at the stage of claiming the right to discriminate based on a “sincerely held belief”. Do you really think that they won’t pass more laws to define what’s “sincere” so that Blacks can’t claim a right to discriminate against Whites, or liberal Christians against fundamentalists? The people who currently burn churches will be satisfied that their own church is now safely on top. And the media will call that “peace”.

  13. While it is true that government and subcultural support of specific discrimination targets must be opposed, the underlying cause is desire for someone to discriminate against.

    That comes from a hyper-competitive, unsympathetic culture, that places no value upon humanity, but only upon ability to force others to pay. We have a bully culture, wherein the underclass cannot be eliminated, and is always looking for a lower underclass, a category even they can discriminate against, from whom they can take dignity, possessions, self-esteem. Where blacks are liberated, immigrants or foreign labor are the targets. The uneducated southern poor white male exults in “hiring a mexican” to do the labor he disdains, because to do it would make him disdained. His ancestor wanted slaves to prove that he was not himself an economic slave. Eliminate the class structure and we eliminate the desire for a designated underclass.

    Another origin of support for the Confederacy is simply the geographic loyalty that makes southern males think that they are disgraced and emasculated by the defeat of the South in the Civil War. They search for rationales, and in fact there are good ones: not slavery of course (which few in the North opposed until it needed to sanctify casualties). If North and South had examined the rights and interests of the other side, there would have been no war.

    The South believed (and none in the North could then refute) that plantations could not be operated without slaves, and indeed plantations could not unilaterally convert to wage labor without price guarantees. The South controlled the Supreme Court and could have stated the constitutional property rights: that Dred Scott was instead free because he went to a state where all men are free, but that the free state owed his owner all direct and consequent economic damages for taking his property. But they didn’t, they denied that Dred Scott could be freed.

    The North could have proposed a viable transitional mechanism, but it didn’t. Because the markets for slave cotton were the North and England, the centers of abolitionism, the abolitionists would have had to pay for wage labor anyway, so all could have agreed to tax slave products after purchase to support wages and construction of towns and services for freed slaves. The plantations would never have felt the economics of the transition. But no such proposal was voiced. As a result the North unconstitutionally demanded seizure of essential private property of the South, an apparent demand for economic ruin.

    Our northern ancestors were not saints, they were fools to go to war without consideration of the other side’s rights and interests. Both North and South were misgoverned by factional ideologues, and neither side triumphed nor was defeated. It was reason and the national interest that was defeated, and it was emotion and the factions against which Madison warned that triumphed, and the price has not yet been paid.

    So if all could now agree that North and South were both foolish to go to war when both had legitimate constitutional positions which could readily have been accommodated, we would not be demanding emasculation of southern punks, but only demanding their education. Respect for their ancestors does not require flag-waving in the South, it requires reason and humility in the North.

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