In the days following the Charleston shooting, eight predominantly black churches were set ablaze. This has left many to question if these fires were started out of racial hate.

 

Investigators haven’t found any evidence that proves these fires were motivated by racism. Only three of the fires have shown signs that an arsonist was involved.

 

“There’s no apparent connection, nothing to say they are connected,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

 

If these church fires weren’t started intentionally, what was the cause? Last Tuesday, the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church caught fire, and law enforcement officials have speculated that it could have been struck by lightning. Other recent church fires have also hypothesized that lightning storms were the cause, but little evidence has been given to support this theory.

 

 

The Mount Zion Church

The Mount Zion Church was burned down by the KKK in 1995, sparking a chain of predominantly black churches to be set on fire. (fivethirtyeight.com)

The Mount Zion Church was also burned down by the Ku Klux Klan back in 1995. There were 29 other predominantly black churches also set ablaze at the time in a chain of church fires spanning over two years. Could we be seeing a repeat of the racially motivated 1990s fires?

 

The hashtag #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches has started trending on Twitter after many of the recent fires started taking place. The hashtag is being used to comment on the racist implications of the church fires and expose the lack of media coverage.

 

 

There hasn’t been enough information made public to say whether or not these churches were intentionally set on fire in response to the Charleston shooting. However, it does raise suspicion that eight predominantly black churches have caught on fire in a 10 day period.

 

As the investigation continues, there will hopefully be more information made public in the near future that will better explain these tragic fires.

 

Is this string of fires a coincidence or is it a response to the Charleston church shooting? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.