On Tuesday November 1st Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church of Greenville Mississippi was purposely set on fire by Donald Trump supporters. With just one week before the critical election, supporters marked the church with “vote trump” alongside the brick walls. According to the Washington Post and Greenville police, no one was in the building while on fire and there were no deaths or injuries. Police are investigating this as a hate crime due to the fact that it was a historically black church. Trump’s team are denying any involvement with the incident and Gov. Phil Bryant who is also a trump supporter has tried to make it seem like anyone could have done the crime in order to get the attention off of Trump as a whole. Reporters say that the fire squad was beckoned around 9 o’clock and the congregation will have to rebuild. Investigators say that there is a person of interest as far as a suspect but there have not been any arrests and no names have been revealed. This is a major issue and has been marked as a racial symbol due to racial history and the anticipation of the current election taking place on next Tuesday.
The media has played a significant role in this case and at times certain types of media have come across as sketchy or as if someone is covering up something. Tuesday afternoon CBS did a news story on the incident that gave more details. From this, the audience learned that there were no signs of explosive devices being used. Social media immediately jumped on the issue especially on twitter. Political figures and news specialist have been weighing in; CNN started by displaying pictures of the crime scene. Others have been going back and forth saying that it was an act of domestic terrorism, or a form of voting intimidation. Trumps campaign team has been involved in the media as well; they have been at the head of major news sources with condemning statements. They want to make sure those viewers that saw the incident on the news wouldn’t be turned away from voting for Trump. They also did this in a way to clear any rumors that Trump knew about the attack or endorsed the attack on the church. According to the Washington Post the Governor supports trump and is speaking to the media as well.
One can relate this case to a similar incident that occurred decades ago. In September of 1963, Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, and Cynthia Diane Wesley lost their lives in racially targeted church bombing in Birmingham Alabama. This event happened just a month after the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King marking it as a pivotal event in Black History. In comparison, both events involved the burning or bombing of a historically black church. Although no one was hurt during the recent incident, the lives of Africans Americans were impacted. Also both incidents happened in a pivotal time in America. In 1963, African Americans were fighting for civil rights and protesting for equality. It was a time where black people were hated upon and didn’t have respect as a race. Ironically, in 2016 something similar happens at a time in America where our lives are in jeopardy of going back to the way it was in the 60s. One thing that is different is the media back then was one sided. It was only seen as a major issue to black people, whites didn’t care which affected the way the issue was reported upon and displayed to the public. The current incident still doesn’t have a suspect where as the incident in 1963 captured the suspect and he is still in jail.
Personally I am not surprised of the recent events in Mississippi, racism still lives. I am also not surprised of the incident because Donald Trump’s supporters tend to follow his every word and they do things that they think would please him. It is a known fact that Trump isn’t fond of minorities especially blacks, Muslims, and Hispanics. There have been other incidents such as fights done by Trump supporters. I feel that these events are simply petty; Trump claims he can make America great again, yet he can’t even control his own supporters. I feel that something like this was bound to happen especially since Election Day is approaching very soon.