6 Black Southern Churches Burn Within A Week, At Least 3 Due To Arson


In the week following the racist massacre that killed nine people at Charleston, S.C.’s Emanuel AME Church, six predominantly black churches across the South have burned. At least three of those fires have since been attributed to arson. The Southern Poverty Law Center says these fires “may not be a coincidence.” Are they hate crimes?

That certainly doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility. It’s a loaded time in the South, especially because, as the Daily Beast notes, S.C. has been recently “embroiled in a debate over flying the Confederate flag.”  (On Saturday, Black Lives Matter activist Bree Newsome made headlines and drew cheers when she climbed a flagpole and took down the Confederate flag outside the South Carolina Statehouse. She was jailed, but released on $3,000 bond.)

The first church fire happened on June 21 when someone lit up bales of hay near College Hill Seventh Day Adventist church. Though that fire was determined to be an arson, “officials don’t believe it was a hate crime,” per the Daily Beast.

But since then, the fires have only been increasing. On Friday, it was Glover Grove Baptist Church in Warrenville, S.C., and NPR reports that the pastor said he’d frequently seen “KKK” written on the outside of the building.

On June 23, it was another arson in a Macon, Ga., church that “gutted most of the building” (that church had also reportedly been burglarized twice in recent weeks). There was a fire in a Charlotte church the next day, and investigators are examining others in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, and Ohio.

Photo via Charlotte Fire Dept/Twitter

Photo via Charlotte Fire Dept/Twitter

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are now working with local police on the ground. Though none of the fires have been officially ruled hate crimes yet, the blazes are stirring fears on a local and national level. And for good reason: they’re only serving to add another layer of pain to an already traumatized community.

Predominantly African-American churches have been targets of racist attacks for decades. The massacre at Emanuel AME was believed to be the deadliest attack on a black church since the Klan’s 1963 Birmingham, Alabama church bombing that killed four little girls.

It’d be nice to think America had evolved enough for these types of crimes to be things of the past, but the rampage at Emanuel AME only proved — tragically — that white America still has a long, long way to go.

ABC US News | World News

Read more: Daily Beast

  • candacegertrudeflynn

    Finally, people are seeing white bigotry. any white person that says white bigotry and supremacy does not exist is only lying to themselves. Dylan Roof wanted a race war and you know what, HE SUCCEEDED. Now we are happily killing each other. I’m still waiting for the announcement of World War III. White people are still vehemently denying their atrocities and wickedness towards black people, carry on. whites Keep dehumanizing blacks but steal our culture and get angry when we tell them about cultural appropriation. They tell black people that we are using the race card. They tell us to “get over it”. Dear whitey, how do I “get over it”?. These are the things that drive black people crazy and I mean mentally Ill crazy. They make you paranoid. You see a cop and wonder if they will kill you. You go to work not knowing if your racist boss is in a good mood or not. You are in public and someone starts making derogatory remarks about you.

    White people, address your wickedness and END it. Stop trying to sweep issues like this under the rug just because they make you uncomfortable. Blacks are uncomfortable EVERY SINGLE DAY of their lives.

    • Edward Johnson

      I can’t speak for all of the arsons, but the one in Macon has nothing to do with race.

    • Evonne Mitchell

      Well Said!!^^^^^

    • Christina

      If you expect white people to “address our wickedness,” how about you do the same with black people. White people are uncomfortable EVERY SINGLE DAY of their lives with all the violent crime (85% committed by blacks) and gang activity. Racism will ALWAYS exist because of people like you. Good job hun.

      • Jimmy Tom

        What is your source for those stats? According to the FBI database you are way off with 85% of violent crimes being committed by African Americans. With 302,398 violent crimes committed in the US in 2013 (most recent year for stats) Whites accounted for 55.2% and Blacks accounted for 41.9%.

        • brenster

          hahahahahahahahahahah … yea .. shove those numbers .. they are bS and you know it ..

          • brenster

            I will post at least one black murder story a day until doomsday .. I dare you to come up with white convenience store/robberies/drug dealer/ murders every day .. I will only use local news .. not federal statistics .. and our local news is in the bag for this PC crap you probably love .. they refer to black criminals as “teens” and try to hide the fact that these criminals seem to be black . so.. you cant hide behind the local news is racist ..

        • brenster

          and I believe 85% is a lie .. you are correct .. I believe it to be much higher percentage of blacks committing violent crime .. I lived in Pittsburgh before I moved to the south .. so I keep track of news there .. a black drug dealer posted bail on a Friday .. the following week he went on a shooting spree with an assault style rifle .. shooting at strangers .. he carjacked a car , engaged in a shootout with police .. and a good friend of mine who is in law enforcement put him down for good .. now mr. statistics .. have you heard about this story in the national news ?? .. of course not .. because it doesn’t fit the narrative of only whites are violent towards blacks when it is the opposite that is true.

      • Terry Dunlap

        If the black race is violent it wad taught by the whie men. Ate yiu serious ?? Lol as much hell as you white folks have commited on this earth? Every where the white man has gone you all have lefted destruction and chaos and heartbreak 85 % my ass lady. Trust the numbers are kept by you white folks ! I trust you not so miss me with your stats. Tell us how many black men women and children you have hung, beaten, sold, raped, locked up unjustly. How much land have you stoleb feom the Indians? You want to quote stats? Then quote all the facts!!

    • brenster

      there is no racism .. good black people take advantage of opportunities they have and lead good productive lives the same as everyone else .. then scumbag negroes deal dope , steal rob and kill each other and when white people say something about it .. people like you cry RACISM ! … the only racists are people like you .. otherwise racism towards black people does not exist ..so quit your crying .. you are the problem .. why not try being part of the solution .. or is crying and whining about whitey easier for you.?? and saying when you see a cop you wonder if they are going to kill you ? .. well . .. I suppose you are just another scumbag negro who is obviously breaking the law .. or you would have nothing to worry about when you see a cop .. maybe get your ass from in front of a television because it obviously has eroded any brains you might have had to begin with ..

      • candacegertrudeflynn

        Whitey has become UNCOMFORTABLE and is now an E-thug. Hmm, so you want me to shut up so that you can continue enjoying your white privilege eh? The last time i checked, blacks were unfairly targeted for police brutality. so your cop argument is invalid.

        Please don’t try to justify white bigotry. You look stupid (look up the meaning) doing it. I think by now we all know that there is racism so ingrained on a highly subconscious level in the minds of white people and other minorities against blacks. YES, you won’t even know when you are being racist.

      • Terry Dunlap

        Wow you really believe that?then you sir are an idiot!! I am and there are plenty of good black people in the USA. Who the f*** are you? To make that kind of statement? You white people are murderous, raping destruction of family conqueror of different countries and different land that you had no business even invading. And still to this day your treachery betrayal treasonous acts continue. in this day the shootings ofunarmed black men, children, along with the attacks on the black churches, and you put your mouth to judge? You need to be quiet you need not even have an opinion you should be ashamed of yourself and your race.

        • candacegertrudeflynn

          they should be really ashamed of their race. They make other races feel inferior then destroy them from within. They have promoted serious self-hate and colorism in asia, africa, south america and even australia. self-hate is really destroying nations.

        • brenster

          I can tell from your comments here what kind of person you are .. I know the type all too well , the time it takes to respond to you is hardly worth the time , but for my own entertainment value as well as those who may be reading your idiocy .. let’s start at the end and work our way back, first .. no I am not ashamed of myself or my race , I have no control over what other white people do , I have no control over what race I was born , nobody does .. so one cannot be proud or ashamed of their race .. to be proud of being any race is setting the bar pretty low because it happened no thanks to anything we do .. what matters is what we do after we are born .. secondly . “we whites conquering different countries” .. are you serious? .. so you are saying there are no blacks or any other demographic in the armed forces ? . how stupid is that ? .. do you hear yourself ? .. seriously have you watched the local news ? .. if anybody should be worried about their race .. it would be you.. hardly something to be proud of . and you labeled whites as “raping” you do realize that blacks commit sexual assault against almost as many whites as blacks. However, white on black rape is an extreme rarity.
          Year 2003 – Rape/Sexual Assault
          White on Black:0 Black on White: 20,309 Black on Black: 21,104″ .. although I am sure these numbers are inconvenient to you … but actually the facts are that blacks are the most “raping” of any demographic living in the U.S. today … and there are no “attacks on black churches” .. get out from in front of the television .. it is rotting what brains you may have .. which doesn’t seem to be much based on your comments here … and why is there “black churches” anyway ? .. blacks fought for desegregation and then segregate themselves away from whites .. I’m sure you have no thought provoking ideas about why that is .. I’m just walking you through my thought process here .. so try to keep up , there also is no shooting of unarmed black children by whites .. there are black criminals that get shot .. many of them young black men .. most of the violent crime is committed by young black men between the age of 16-20 .. they are conveniently labeled children to keep people like you stirred up with false narratives , and lastly you tell me I am judging while you are judging me … and you ask me “who the f**ck am I ?” well let me tell you .. I am a free man born into what I was told a free country … and I will talk about , speak to , write about any subject that I choose to regardless how you feel about it or if you like it .. you liking what I say is not a factor in my opinions or my views or decision to share them … so screech away .. name calling is the lowest form of wit .. and I expect that sort of thing from someone like you .. and i would add that you are doing “your race” no favors by venting here … you are a bigger problem to our country that is already divided enough .. than any “white racist” that you are screeching about. So .. again .. your moaning about your poor race is a bunch of crap … and let me tell you .. you need psychological help ..you are emotionally unstable . and should not be around children ..

  • Metalslave

    Quote: “It’d be nice to think America had evolved enough for these types of crimes to be things of the past, but the rampage at Emanuel AME only proved — tragically — that white America still has a long, long way to go.”——– Who wrote this? Who says it is from outside the church? Just how many of these churches are insured? It sounds like the perfect time to burn down some churches for profit. Why does everyone jump to “WHITE” ??? Maybe ask the kid that killed all of those people what the church DID to him? He was a church goer after all…

  • Evonne Mitchell

    Of course next thing we see are posts from people in denial about the South’s racial bigotry and of course they deflect and call EVERONE ELSE a racists, who has the courage to say it straight. BTW ,you are part of the problem…1.2.3…..

    • brenster

      wrong .. it does not exist .. blacks murder each other in the south every day .. i don’t see you getting on your high horse and saying anything about these poor underprivileged negroes killing each other for drug peddling turf .. yes you are a racist .. and you are the problem .the only bigotry in the south is black crybabies .. who get pissed when a white person says anything about any black person .. but you feel completely comfortable sitting their and crying about whitey . you are a I’scumbag . and it it is so bad here .. put yourself a go fund me account together and sail outta here back to wherever you think you came from .. I’d even chip in a few bucks to send you .. with your attitude .. you aren’t doing this country any good.

      • Evonne Mitchell

        You answered the call like all racists. Thanks for proving my point. Whites murder each other every day also, so your FOX noise comments mean absolutely nothing. Keep your foodstamps. Buy yourself a new white sheet when get a promotion to fry cook,inbred.

        • brenster

          My pastor is black and a good friend ..when I went to prom I took a black girl and we still are friends .. because all racists do things like that ..like I said ..you are the racist and you have proven it .. and beside that ..you are an @$$ hole too.

          • Evonne Mitchell

            Ohh some of my friends are Black….words from a racist. You are a clique…LOL Your names mean nothing to me. I consider the source.

          • brenster

            Do you even know what a racist is or did Al Sharpton have to tell you ?

          • brenster

            Decent black folks ..I have no problem with .. you however ..I do ..and so do decent black people .. you are a self righteous negro ..and nobody likes them .. regardless of color .. thats not racism ..that is just a fact.

          • Evonne Mitchell

            Ha! I now consider myself blessed. Now go fall on a sharp object Troll!

          • brenster

            ..well ..consider it a blessing or a gift from me to you that I am putting you on notice ..that a white person being critical of a deserving negro does not a racist make ..and there is only a certain segment of white society that is going to continue to kiss your @$$ because you happen to be black.. I happily do not belong to that group .. and of course ..I mean that with love.

          • Evonne, brenster is being pretty rude, though you’re returning it in kind. To be fair though, anyone can be a jerk without that meaning they’re a racist. The problem with being so abrasive and aggressive is that the other person will probably miss your point.

            Maybe brenster doesn’t live in the south (I don’t), and doesn’t know your experience. Your experience may not make a lot of sense to him. At the same time, his point was about the scale of the problem, which has it’s own merits, even if it is addressing a different problem. If there’s 99% of crimes due to Cause A and .1% of crimes done because of Cause B, if we’re trying to lower the crime rate, it makes sense to deal with Cause A – I clearly don’t know the stats, maybe Cause A is racism, maybe it’s fatherlessness, maybe it’s inflammatory online comments.

            (This of course isn’t to deny that Cause B is a problem to be recognized and dealt with.)

          • Evonne Mitchell

            Basically you are comparing urban crime to racial crime and the two are not comparable. One is systemic to one’s experiences due to high unemployment, lack of access to good education, unjust treatment within the justice system and pure thuggery in some cases.

            The other is a organized group of individuals with a mantra and ideology associated with white supremacy, who express their views through murder, property damage and intimidation. They are American Terrorists.

            People like Brenster don’t want to see the difference or lack the intellect to distinguish between the two and I personally don’t waste my time with people who want to live in ignorance.

            BTW focus your attention on Brenster’s comments to the other posters. HE IS A JERK!

          • Hi Evonne,

            Thanks for the reply. I think the two are comparable, as they are both crime. If we’re against crime, then we ought to be against all crime. If we’re against murder, then we ought to be against all murder.

            I have a different view on what is the root of urban crime, and I think we ought to understand the real reasons and deal with them WHILE we work on understanding and dealing with the causes of crime driven by views of different groups of people.

            I think upbringing is one factor, but it’s far from the only one. Underlying all crime, I believe, is a problem of values. And values don’t get fixed by giving someone a job, or money, or shouting at them that they’re racist.

            I think we have a values issue, and it looks like it’s getting worse with the direction of our culture.

      • Jimmy Tom

        You are so right. Racism no longer exists. I mean it isn’t like a white guy wearing patches representing racial segregation was welcomed into a black church to worship and shot ten of those who welcomed him, killing nine of them solely because of their race. Get real. Racism is still a huge problem in this Country and in this world. Racism has been around about as long as humanity. Racism will not end until we all learn the only difference between races is pigmentation and slight differences in our bodies such as facial features. We share the same DNA, desires, love for our families and friends, pain, joy, and the right to treated equally. I hope we can all come to the realization that we are simply humans and start working together to save ourselves and this place we call home instead of fighting each other. Differences in race, religion, and politics are going to be pretty meaningless when we can’t breathe the air, drink the water or produce food.

        • One guy does not mean a pattern. While clearly there are some people who are racist, there are, and will always be people who carry on in all categories of badness. These stem from value/worldview issues.

          Look at the founder of Planned Parenthood, who started the organization and everything it does to eliminate blacks and other minorities as inferior to whites. Look at the KKK, the Democrat machine of the time to keep blacks doing what they wanted them to do.

          Perhaps this racism was more systemic back then, or maybe those same folks are just underground now, manipulating minorities in different ways.

          As a dad of a multi-racial family, I don’t deny racism. It’s been around in every culture for all time. This is not an American issue, it’s a human issue. But I do push back against the assertion that there’s a systemic problem of X because of one guy. We’re a nation of well over 300 million people. There are patterns that we deny (lack of a dad in the home leading to crimes, prison time, etc), and patterns we make up.

          I suspect racism is probably quite different regionally between groups that have historically experienced tension, or where influential members of groups stoke racial tension.

          • Jimmy Tom

            I agree completely except for the lone man part. As I said racism has been around about as long as humanity. I only mentioned the one case as an example. There are many cases at the moment occurring in the SouthEast. Churches burning, fights over a flag that was brought back into use during the civil rights movement as a tool of intimidation, the department of justice even ruled that the Ferguson Police Department had a pattern of civil rights violations, unarmed black teens being shot over their music or their clothes in Florida. Overt racism is on the rise in this region and needs to addressed. My comment was directed at an individual who said racism was over and then went on a racist tirade. It seems counterproductive for us to be arguing when we seem to share pretty much the same view. Racism is a product of the culture people are brought up in and will not end until people convince them their beliefs are false. That or there is enough interracial marriage happening that everyone has at least someone in their family that they love of different races and embrace cultural differences.

          • Fair enough – however, the is a very real danger in making unsubstantiated claims like the one in the article that claims that White America is responsible for this, declaring that all people with pale skin in America are responsible, as a group, for what may or may not have been crimes by people who may or may not have been pale skinned, and who may or may not have committed the actions out of racism. It also shows that the author of this article is seeking to perpetuate the idea of America being split into different groups based on race.

            This is all making racism worse, not better.

          • Jimmy Tom

            True enough, it isn’t right to jump to conclusions. I was reading a pastors thoughts on the seventh church that burned and this is paraphrasing. At first my mind went to racism, it was natural, but then I thought of the lightning storm that was going on when the church caught fire and I believe the inspectors that this was not arson. I read that yesterday and it has caused me to look for the resulting investigations before I put my foot in my again and be part of the problem.

  • I blame GOD and it’s obvious, we are all CROSS at one another, until we share our similarities and overcome our differences, I hope you think about this. Do you realize that Americans today all have a far better life than Pharaoh or Caesar? They were kings and had POWER; but they didn’t have pizza. Now think about what else they didn’t have. Never flew, never saw TV, etc, and yet they accumulated Gold, Silver and Gems. Well all the gold I need is The Sun, all the silver in clouds, all the gems in the stars that I wish upon and I hope all your wishes come true. None of us are getting out here with anything and the best that you can leave are Good Memories. God Bless this mess…

    • Evonne Mitchell

      Ok Joe I didn’t see that perspective coming..:)

    • grace

      Hey Joe,
      Why are you blaming God? Why don’t you blame yourself and those people who has crab mentality?

  • Jimmy Tom

    How have none of these been declared hate crimes? Black churches across the South are being burned down at a time of extreme racial tension and these are not racially motivated hate crimes? It is sad to say but it seems Dylann Roof’s plan to start a race war is working so far. He has certainly had more success than Charles Manson did with starting his race war. Of course Roof chose a place that was already a racial tinderbox for centuries. During the civil rights movement the Confederate flag was brought back as a form of intimidation and symbol of where people stood when it came to race mixing. It has no place flying on any government property. If an individual wishes to continue to use that hateful symbol I’m fine with that because that tells me who to avoid. My wife and I live in CO and walked into a gun store that advertised antique weapons from past wars and memorabilia. It took us five seconds at most to know this was not a decent man or shop considering all of the Nazi flags and other atrocious things he proudly displayed. The Nazi flag is outlawed in Germany and other European Countries so the white supremacists of these Countries have adopted the Confederate Flag for marches and protests. It is a symbol of hate as much as these church burnings are hate crimes. I do have one issue with this article though, they said the terrorist attack at the AME Church was the deadliest since the Klan bombed the church in Birmingham in 1963. Both are tragic losses of innocent life, but 4 people died in the cowardly 63 bombing and 9 people died from Roof’s cowardly actions. That makes Roof’s shooting deadlier. They are both tragic and I think the killing of four little girls is worse than killing people who have had the chance to experience more of life. Don’t get me wrong, both are cowardly, abhorrent acts.

    • Hi Jimmy,

      Do you mean you know someone is a white supremacist because they had WWII memorabilia in their store that advertised “antique weapons from past wars and memorabilia”?

      Sometimes I wonder if we make things worse by jumping to conclusions, convincing ourselves that we’re surrounded by white supremacists when it may just be that a “past war memorabilia” shop sells memorabilia from past wars.

      • Jimmy Tom

        It was a store full of Nazi memorabilia primarily. The only flags on display were flags with swaztikas on them and they were all over the store. We went in looking for a bayonet for a M-1 rifle and when we saw that 90% of the stock was WWII German memorabilia it was pretty clear what the store was about. The reason I went there was because of the point you are making, the reason I left was the point I was trying to make.

        • Thanks Jimmy Tom,

          I appreciate the response. I think I might have left as well, that seems uncomfortable. I probably wouldn’t be flaming the store and condemning the owner/employees as evil and hateful unless I’d talked to them. I just think it’s making the problem worse when we spread fear of hatred when we haven’t confirmed that it exists.

    • brenster

      how much do you want to bet it was a black person who did it ??

      • Jimmy Tom

        I thought of adding the slim chance that could be the case but I’m betting it isn’t.

    • brenster

      they haven’t been called a hate crime because they have to catch a white person doing it to do that .. when they catch the black person that is doing it .. they will just make some sorry excuse about him being discriminated against .. and being underprivileged and misunderstood and they will give him a couple years probation and a job when he is done serving it.

      • Jimmy Tom

        There is a slim chance a black person did do some of this or even all of it but I thought it so small a chance that it wasn’t even worth mentioning. We are returning to civil rights era acts of overt racism so I think it will turn out to be multiple white people burning black churches that don’t have connections with one another. The second half of your statement makes no sense by the way. If they are going to give him a couple of years of probation why wouldn’t they give the job then too. People on probation are generally required to be employed.

      • Terry Dunlap

        Black people don’t get that kind of treatment. Thats reserved FOR THE WHITE, THE PRIVILEGED!!! You really are an idiot lol lol

  • nousernamesavailable

    Thanks to all of you for declaring racism only occurs in the South. Really? Racism is rampant in all ethnicities, all over the country.

    The black posters below show signs of racism in their replies, but seem to think that is acceptable. “White people, address your wickedness” “Dear whitey” “Of course next thing we see are posts from people in denial about the South’s racial bigotry” Really, maybe your perceptions have a lot to do with your attitude. Others should change, but you don’t have to?

    Bree Newson with Black Lives Matter, other than Trayvon Martin, the killings of black males took place up North. Are they flying the Confederate flag there?

    As for appropriation, black people have appropriated as much white culture as the white has of the black culture.

    Everybody want’s change, they just want everyone else to change to suit them.

    • Robert Spence

      Is Ferguson, MISSOURI considered “up North”, you stupid ass? What about Charleston, SOUTH CAROLINA, you dick head?

  • “It’d be nice to think America had evolved … that white America still has a long, long way to

    Who committed these crimes – do we know they were “white America”? Is there a pattern in “white America” ? What does “white America” mean? Are more crimes committed against Christians by “white America” or others… or the Supreme Court? Do we only care that Christians are under fire because of their race?

    It seemed like a totally unsubstantiated claim at the end of an article that doesn’t claim to know who did this.

    (I’m an immigrant who doesn’t live in the south, don’t know much about what it’s been like in the south, aside from a little history of the Democrats’ KKK. Is that still up and well? I know Al Gore’s dad was big into it, and Senator Byrd who was involved until he died just a few years ago. An entire political party that thought it could keep entire segments of the population under it’s control on the basis of ethnicity has always seemed odd to me, and I wonder if that’s changed.)

  • OsFollower1970

    The Facebook comments show a very poor knowledge of modern American history. So many tried to convince me that the south has no more of a reputation for racism than any other area of our country. Apparently; several also missed the study of the Civil War. The most idiotic remark is: “there are racists everywhere”. Really? Of course there are. Duh! I’m talking percentages people. Of course, that requires an understanding of basic math. Watch CNN sometime. The Sixties is a great documentary series that covers racism in America.

    • brenster

      hahahaha … . watch CNN ?? .. that is where you get your unbiased documentaries ? … you should not be allowed to vote or comment publicly .. reading your comments makes all of us dumber .

  • labman57

    White Southerners have been indignantly decrying the sudden demise of the Confederate flag, insisting that the flag represents their southern heritage and has nothing to do with their racist history, and to prove their point … they burn down historical churches cherished by local black communities.

  • jackichin03

    Your first choice crimefeed.. >

    ……………….. Find Get More </b

    • Jimmy Tom

      How much are you paid to post this nonsense?

  • EstellaFSharpless

    …………….Feel Freedom crimefeed …….

    ……………….. Find Get More </b

    • Jimmy Tom

      You are an obvious plant, what do you get paid to post this per discussion or is it commission off the suckers who actually sign up?

  • brenster
  • brenster

    by WPVI – Philadelphia

    tell Action News that an arrest has been made in the murder of an
    85-year-old woman found in her East Mt. Airy home earlier this week.

    ABSOLUTELY NO DETAILS OF THIS WERE POSTED . .. and would you like to why??? because 37 year old Leroy Wilson slashed this white woman’s throat and then tried to use her credit card .. LEROY IS BLACK ! … and this poor woman was white .. so .. no Joe .. this is not GOD’S fault .. and you are mind numbingly stupid for suggesting that .. it is black people who thumb their noses at the law and believe that white people are their ATMs .. too bad the old lady didn’t have a shotgun in the house to put Leroy where he belongs .. in the dirt.

  • peano76