Half of the Recent Southern Black Church Fires Are Being Investigated as Arson

By Sameer Rao Jun 30, 2015

Barely two weeks after the racist massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, a string of six fires at predominantly black churches in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennesee, Georgia, and Florida are being investigated by auhtorities, with three of the cases being investigated as arson by the ATF and FBI.

Of those suspected arsons, only one—at Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina—is being probed as a violation of federal crimes, including hate crimes, according to Buzzfeed

The quick occurence of these fires echoes of the harrowing history of orchestrated church bombings and burnings directed at black congregations during the Civil Rights Movement, as well as more recent ones during the ’90s that compelled the Clinton administration to create the National Church Arson Task Force.

In response to these burnings, as well as the reluctance on part of authorities to label them as possible hate crimes, the hashtag "#WhoIsBurningBlackChurches has spread across social media. 

(H/t Buzzfeed