Another church family is waking up today to the smoking ruins of their house of worship.
Mount Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, S.C., is the seventh black church to burn across the South since last week’s killings in a predominantly black church in Charleston. This church, too, is a historic black church. It was burned to the ground by the Ku Klux Klan in 1995, rebuilt, earning a presidential visit at its dedication.
Officials are still holding out hope it was lightning but church members are having a more difficult time accepting that so many churches burned by coincidence. (Update 7:32 a.m. – Preliminary investigation says it’s not arson)
Three of those fires have been ruled arson, Time.com reports. One was determined to be caused by a falling branch and faulty wiring, and the others remain under investigation. None has been declared a hate crime.
In the last rash of church fires in the ’90s, more than 30 churches were destroyed.
The latest church burning came just nine hours after the NAACP issued a statement “alerting black churches to take necessary precautions.”
Twitter is pressuring the news media not to wait for an official cause.
— Lee Jasper (@LeeJasper) July 1, 2015
Asking why and asking who but everyone knows the answers. The problem is the lack of action. #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches
— Kaream (@KareamLawrence) July 1, 2015
Hey, let's start burning huddle houses, truck stops, 4H clubs, and banks. If you want press, that'll do it. #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches
— Xeger (@Xeger1) July 1, 2015
So how many TV anchors/commentators cared about buildings in Ferguson & Baltimore, but are SILENT about #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches? BS!
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) July 1, 2015