Wandering Eye: A history of white terrorism against African American churches, Hogan and SRB square off again, and more

Just as police caught the young white man, Dylann Roof, suspected of murdering nine people in an African American church in South Carolina, The Atlantic Monthly's Conor Friedersdorf publishes this handy historical explainer, chronicling the history of white terrorism against, particularly, African American churches. "Most Americans learn in history class about the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama, when Klu Klux Klan terrorists killed four girls," he writes in a story published before 6 a.m. this morning, hours after the attack on a Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. "But one needn't go back that far to see such congregations under attack. As recently as the 1990s a wave of fire-bombings hit black churches. Congressional hearings were held in 1996 at the end of a two year period when these arsons spiked across the southeast. In South Carolina alone, black churches that suffered probable arsons included Mt. Zion AME Church in Williamsburg, Macedonia Baptist Church in Manning, Saint Paul Baptist Church in Lexington, Rosemary Baptist Church in Barnwell, St. John Baptist Church in Dixiana, Effington Baptist Church, Mount Olivet Baptist Church, and Allen's Chapel. One Congressman likened fire-bombings in those years to 'the return of a biblical plague.' The most recent burning of a black church to make national headlines happened the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first black president. A white man was later convicted in what prosecutors called a racially motivated arson." The white supremicist movement ebbs and flows with political and economic conditions. Groups like the Posse Comitatus, KKK, various skinheads, the Narional Alliance mostly operate hate-filled internet message boards like Stormfront. They inspire action. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

The U.S. Treasury announced yesterday that a woman's face will share space on the $10 bill with Alexander Hamilton by 2020. The New York Times led with the idea that cash is irrelevant in the face of persistent demands that a woman be so honored. Harriet Tubman is said to be a leading candidate after winning an online petition and poll to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has not yet decided which woman will make the cut, but is, according to the NYT, seeking one "who was a champion for our inclusive democracy." So: traitors need not apply. What is unclear is why we're going for the $10 instead of the $20. The movement always seemed just as adamant that Jackson's face come off the money as a woman's face go on it. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

Ding-ding-ding, it's Round 5 (or is it 10?) of the bout between Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake versus Gov. Larry Hogan. This time the two are going toe to toe over using taxpayer money to rebuild liquor stores destroyed as a result of the day of rioting during the uprising. As The Sun notes, the fight started when "[c]ity officials said they would not award aid for them to re-open in residential areas, prompting Hogan to say a state program would provide assistance." Here's SRB delivering the first punch, saying Hogan "appear[s] to believe our neighborhoods need more liquor stores, not fewer," echoing Councilman Brandon Scott's sentiments that, "Everything that is wrong with troubled communities happens around these stores." A Hogan official fires back: "These business owners, the majority of whom are minorities, are the victims of crime who deserve the full support of the state and city. They are Marylanders and members of our community, and using their tragedy as a political tool is wrong and needs to stop." We imagine there are many more sparring matches to come. (Brandon Weigel)

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