The hashtag #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches, which was trending high on Twitter yesterday, has lost a bit of momentum, although people are still demanding to know where the national media coverage is. Loot and burn down one pharmacy in the middle of an “uprising” and it’s given non-stop airtime; a white supremacist burns down six or more black churches (or so the rumor goes) and there’s nothing but crickets.
As Twitchy reported yesterday, the story is receiving national media coverage: stories on church fires in the South appear on the websites of ABC News, CBS News and Fox News and were aired on NBC’s “Today Show” as well as on “All In With Chris Hayes” on MSNBC and on CNN. CNN’s Don Lemon also tweeted on the fires but was (as usual) dismissed as a liar who has been “brainwashed” into white culture and can’t be trusted.
It was the Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce who put in most of the footwork, though, checking into each of the fires in detail and learning from investigators that one church, for example, was the victim of an electrical short, while another (white) church was almost certainly struck by lightning. Two of the fires do appear to be cases of arson, although a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the Los Angeles Times that “at this time we have no reason to believe these fires are racially motivated or related.”
The problem is, the fires are being reported, but the conclusions are not what people want to hear.
The NAACP and its president are tweeting today about their plans to deal with what many consider a rash of hate crimes, although there isn’t exactly a huge show of confidence in the organization.