“There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated”
I’m sick of writing this kind of “well, actually” post. They’re required far too often, but this is the world in which we live. Media narrative wish casts one version of a story while the facts say another.
Such is the case (again) in the arson and vandalization of a black church in Mississippi.
An arrest has been made, reports the AP:
Mississippi authorities arrested a man Wednesday in the burning of an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the words, “Vote Trump.”
Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, was charged with first degree arson of a place of worship, said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. McClinton is African-American.
McClinton was arrested in Greenville, where Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church was burned and vandalized Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election.
Surely, motives were political, right? After all, that’s what was reported immediately after the church was turned to soot…
“We do not believe it was politically motivated. There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated,” Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who is also the state fire marshal, told The Associated Press.
Greenville is a Mississippi River port city of about 32,100 people, and about 78 percent of its residents are African-American. While it’s not unusual for people of different racial backgrounds to work and eat lunch together, local residents say the congregations at most churches remain clearly identifiable by race.
Ah, but this story gets even better:
After the fire, Hopewell congregants began worshipping in a chapel at predominantly white First Baptist Church of Greenville. The Hopewell bishop, Clarence Green, said last month the generosity of First Baptist demonstrates that “unlimited love” transcends social barriers. James Nichols, senior pastor at First Baptist, said the Hopewell members are welcome to stay as long as they need a home.
Not politically motivated? Not hate-filled? No racial politics at play?
[Featured image from this mug shot]
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye