Black churches are burning in the South

And the perpetrators simply can't be found:

As African Americans in Texas and North Carolina contemplate rebuilding three more churches destroyed by fire, a phalanx of federal investigators moves across the South, searching for evidence linking the latest attacks to the burning of 29 other black churches in the last 18 months. So far, investigators have yet to uncover evidence of a "national conspiracy." The bulk of the attacks appear to be "random" acts of vandalism, the work of "teenagers" and "copycats" rather than hardened conspirators.

It is worth observing that the absence of any organized conspiracy may make the phenomenon of church burning more, rather than less, disturbing. Far easier to abide the idea of a tight-knit group of racist fanatics than to accept the alternative that we live in a time when a substantial number of individuals, unconnected with one another or with organized white supremacist groups, regard burning black churches as a plausible act, worthy of emulation.

That article was written nineteen years ago, and this was written only yesterday:

Six predominantly black churches in various cities in the South caught fire this week, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Three of the fires have been confirmed as cases of arson, two were likely accidental, and authorities are still investigating the cause of another.

Early Wednesday, the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina was found engulfed in flames, resulting in an estimated $250,000 in damage, according to the Associated Press. Firefighters determined the blaze was also purposefully set.

And you can bet, by the time the various investigations are over with, shrugs and tsk-tsk head-shaking will be the only justice rendered for these terrorized people.



Another church...

... burned last night.

This can't be a coincidence - I think the count is up to seven Black churches that have been torched since the shooting in Charleston.

It's domestic terrorism, arson committed in the middle of night, under cover of darkness, intended to strike at the spiritual heart of the Black community and intimidate. It's straight out of the hooded KKK playback.

There could be one terrorist setting several of the fires or several - there's no way of knowing unless someone happens to see them or they leave behind something traceable.

It's particularly problematic. With so many Black churches around the South that could be hit, how would the community protect the churches and make it more likely for perpetrators to be found?