Why Aren’t We Talking About 3 Historically Black Churches That Were Set On Fire By a White Terrorist?
As the world-renowned tourist attraction and historic monument, Notre-Dame de Paris was ablaze, the striking images took me back to 2007, when I visited the most trafficked city on the map as an early birthday present, and also to reunite with a childhood friend who had just started a temporary role with UNESCO.
Back then, Instagram was just a figment of someone’s imagination, and so images weren’t just randomly captured and posted to boost the number of “likes.” It was really about timing and relevance, inspired by the careful study of surroundings.
The pictures I took of that trip to Notre-Dame weren’t many, and I ended up losing them, but the memories are still intact. And as Instagram filled up with pictorials from users who needed everyone to know about their affiliation with the trend of the moment, it immediately occurred to me that news organizations were doing a splendid job covering the global hysteria centered around the crown jewel of the Western world.
But what about the sheer terror around the utter destruction of 3 historically Black churches located in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana?
Why did major news and cable networks provide minimal coverage that barely touched the surface of this national crisis, instead of spending quality air time dutifully immersed in the mission of resurrecting the reverence of the 3 iconic monuments that had a combined lifespan of more than 300 years?
We have to wonder what would’ve transpired if 3 synagogues, that boasted the same historic background, had been criminally grazed to the ground by an arsonist who specifically chose his targets to fuel his adherence to White supremacy.
It’s hard to imagine that the response would match the lackluster reception callously bequeathed to a devastated Black community, that not only grieves for what is no longer standing, but also for the communal tradition that spanned generations, that has been violently attacked by the toxicity of a diseased climate, that’s getting deadlier by the day.
We now know that a 21-year-old White male named Holden Matthews, who happens to be the son of a sheriff’s deputy who promptly turned him over to the police, was responsible for the destruction of St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, Greater United Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
We also know that the police labeled this a hate crime based on the fact that St. Landry Parish is about 57 percent White and predominately Catholic, and this exposed the deadly motives of a homegrown terrorist and self-professed pagan, who wasn’t driven by his generalized disdain for organized religion when he strategically plotted his burning infernos.
The White male terrorist was determined to participate in the bigoted fiesta of #MAGA by terrorizing Black parishioners out of their house of worship, and leaving them haunted and bereaved, as they mourn the destabilization of familial norms that weren’t meant to suffer the venomous treatment of a senseless hate crime.
Outlets reporting on this latest entry of domestic terrorism have succumbed to the infuriating humanizing of a young White male, who was possibly led astray by paganism or the proven allegiance to black metal, which has been classified as a rooted Scandinavian subgenre of heavy metal music that contains elements of extremism.
While outlets spend unnecessary time figuring out how or why heavy metal music or pagan beliefs could’ve converted an otherwise non-threatening White man into the assholish racist with a raging appetite for burning Black churches to the ground — those of us who know what’s up can readily assign blame on the celebrated White nationalist, seated on the throne of absolute power.
President Trump is solely responsible for the drastic increase in hate crimes in America, that reached new heights when he took office in 2016.
His blisteringly hate-filled campaign that included major swipes at migrants, immigrants and Muslims became the rally cry that got him elected. The months that followed his ominous victory only heightened the potency of his messaging, as he endearingly recognized the White supremacists that terrorized Charlottesville as “very fine people,” and then proceeded to fulfill the promise of the Muslim ban.
Trump’s lack of empathy as it pertains to victims of hate crimes has been duly noted as he blatantly ignored the heroic efforts of an ordinary Black citizen who took down a White terrorist, after he stormed a popular eatery and gunned down 4 Black diners before he was tackled to the ground by 29-year-old James Shaw Jr., an American hero and father, who sustained serious injuries during his successful quest to end the gunman’s rampage.
There were also the Austin serial bomber, who targeted a mostly diverse enclave in Austin, Texas, by dropping bomb packages at the doorsteps of unsuspecting residents with the intent to kill them for being Black or Brown. The bombings stopped, when the perpetrator blew himself up as the grand finale, but by then, 2 innocent lives were blown to bits, and 5 were seriously injured.
There have been knife attacks against young Black women exiting trains at Metro stations in Oakland, California, and elderly Black men walking the streets of New York City. There was gun violence at a neighborhood grocery in Louisville, KY, where a Black man and a Black woman were both gunned down by a racist bastard, who felt empowered enough by his supremacy and his supreme leader in The White House, to wickedly snatch away the lives of valued members of society.
And there are plenty more incidences of White people either harassing Black people out of the spaces they don’t own, or exacting permanent damage through various forms of abuse, that lead to loss of life with the bleak forecast for those that are left to treat wounds that will never heal.
In the meantime, Trump is allowed to continue his reign of terror, that includes unrelenting assault on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the form of an inflammatory tweet, that activates her likeness against the burning Twin Towers. And despite his knowledge of the increase in death threats that she’s been receiving ever since the highly-offensive content that should rightfully strip him of his privileges — went viral — the president of the United States vehemently refuses to back down from his mission to either remove Omar from Congress or get her killed.
And so we can’t be shocked at the audacity of domestic terrorism in a nation that has been elevated to code red, thanks to the lethal exploits of the Commander-in-Chief, who is actively commandeering the murderous wiles of terrorists-in-training.
These societal rejects feel compelled to torture the Muslim-American Black woman for her lack of patriotism, while burning down Black churches that were erected as enduring symbols of generational durability in the eyes of a God who is being weaponized by demonic White evangelicals, and the anti-Christ they worship.
But we have every right to be dismayed and even bitter about the media’s consistency when it comes to routinely minimizing the significance of national events, that depict the harrowing details of a growing epidemic that has gotten direly out of control.
We saw it during the week of hell when bomb packages were sent to notable individuals and organizations, including CNN offices in Manhattan. That terrifying episode coincided with the shooting massacre in a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh. And who can forget the substantial coverage of that hate crime, that humanly paid homage to the victims and comforted an inconsolable community.
However, there was no mention of the two Black lives that evidently didn’t matter, until days later, when trending hashtags and online pressure forced CNN and other news outfits to formally identify the hate crime that also took the lives of Maurice Stallard and Vicki Lee Jones.
Coverage for the burning Notre Dame was moving as always, and even I almost shed a tear as my vision took in the imagery of the furious flames devouring the majestic 850-year-old structure.
Then I recalled another distressing occurrence that happened not too long ago, in another territory that hosts the residue of ancient days.
The cataclysmic force that paired heavenly realm with pits of hell transpired between the time period of March 26 and April 4 2018, and I was struck by how news organizations are more inclined to supply dignified coverage that exposes the heart-wrenching aftermath of terrorism in romanticized locations around the globe, or upscale suburbs here at home, that showcase the appropriate backdrop for the collage of touching memorials.
Why didn’t CNN and the other reputable organizations pay more attention to the 3 burning churches that are no longing standing as a result of a hate crime that was incited by the current administration’s vilification of non-White America?
Why didn’t the disgusting New York Post serve Holden Matthews the very same treat that was given to an Ilhan Omar, by unleashing a spectacularly damning cover, depicting his plastered mug shot against the backdrop of the fiery churches with the blunt headline, activating his status as the newly-minted face of domestic terrorist?
Why are news organizations not sending their over-paid and over-pampered anchors to ground zero in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana to survey the ashes of what was and what has to be again, once the word gets out about the assault on God’s children, and how the uplifting delivery needs to convey biblical embrace of the belief that we are never given more than we can handle, even when facing off against demonic forces that threaten to deface the status of centuries-old heirlooms.
The gorgeous telecast about a gorgeous building in a gorgeous European city deserved the immaculate segments that evoked award-winning summaries. and those same themes of theatrical reporting should be transported to the needy areas of an ailing country, that have been brought to their knees by the volatileness of climate, that is thriving from the normalization of hate and the humanization of haters.
The media-at-large needs to re-evaluate the state-of-affairs when it comes to dull reportage, that doesn’t meet the standards of active situations, representing the graphicness of an ongoing crisis, that can’t be downplayed with hurried clips of harrowing scenes and brief testimonies from stunned witnesses.
Domestic terrorism exterminated 3 beloved monuments of history, that also carried spiritual nourishment and ancestral bonds for a community of Christians, who should’ve been granted extended coverage that breaks hearts and leaves the incentive by informed viewers both at home and abroad to demonstrate empathy through prayers and the financial pledges to help rebuild broken spirits, by restoring the pillars of the house of God, that have to rise from the ashes.
Trump is able to get away with murder because he has hijacked the news cycle in ways that have solidified heavy reliance on his nefarious character flaws at the expense of the vast landscape of chaos and mayhem, that’s costing lives and brutalizing the reality of those who remain under his command.
We can’t combat domestic terrorism when Black pain is reduced to empty sound bites, and Muslim-Americans are left to embody vulnerable shells of constant fear because of the non-coverage — that should be spotlighting the passionate urgency by reporters to highlight the plight of victimized Americans — with unfathomable tales of woe — that are stirring enough to redirect the bullseye towards the man of The White House.
There’s so much to talk about, and the conservation needs to begin with the 3 Black churches that a White male terrorist burned to the ground for the love of #MAGA.
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