Black Churches Destroyed By Arson See Spike In Donations After Notre-dame Fire

Discussion in 'News - Breaking News & Political Forum' started by Laela, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Laela

    Laela Between point A and point B

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    Black Churches Destroyed by Arson See Spike in Donations After Notre-Dame Fire

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    St. Mary Baptist in Port Barre, La., was destroyed in a fire on March 26. CreditCreditWilliam Widmer for The New York Times
    By Karen Zraick and Niraj Chokshi

    • April 16, 2019
    The fire at Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday prompted immediate pledges of millions of euros to help rebuild it. On Tuesday, it spurred donations to do the same for much smaller places of worship thousands of miles away that were recently destroyed by arson.

    A crowdfunding campaign for three fire-ravaged black churches in Louisiana received nearly $500,000 after it was widely shared on social media on Tuesday. Many users noted that while hundreds of millions of euros had already been pledged to rebuild the famous cathedral, the small churches in Louisiana were still struggling.

    “These communities need to know that people care about them and what they’re going through,” Jessica Piombo, a professor who lives in Monterey, Calif., wrote on the campaign’s page.

    “Every little bit counts.”

    The campaign was posted on GoFundMe last Wednesday by the Seventh District Baptist Association, which includes 54 Baptist churches in southwest Louisiana, including the three that were burned. The association noted that donations would go to rebuilding and replacing what was destroyed, from pews to sound systems and musical instruments.

    A screen shot of the campaign’s page from early Tuesday morning showed that it had raised $92,939. That number shot upward as the day wore on, including many smaller donations. Nearly 11,000 people had donated as of 7 p.m., and a spokesman for GoFundMe said the campaign had received donations from all 50 states.

    Those who shared the campaign on Twitter included Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and first lady; the journalist Yashar Ali; and Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor.

    https://t.co/gj1BcNsGpu

    — Yashar Ali (@yashar) April 16, 2019
    The fires occurred on March 26, April 2 and April 4 in St. Landry Parish, north of Lafayette. The first was at St. Mary Baptist in Port Barre; the two others were at Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist in Opelousas, the St. Landry Parish seat. The churches had been the spiritual homes of generations of black families.

    [“They didn’t burn down our spirit”: Black churches in Louisiana were worried but defiant after the fires.]

    Holden Matthews, 21, is the son of a deputy sheriff and has been charged with arson and hate crimes.

    “Let me say it like this: The only building that had any sign of any furniture remaining was Mount Pleasant,” said Freddie Jack, president of the association and the pastor of St. John Baptist Church in Ville Platte, La.

    “St. Mary and Greater Union, all you see is charcoal. It’s a total, complete loss at all three sites.”

    While the churches had insurance, the coverage is limited. Greater Union Baptist Church was also paying down a mortgage taken out for a recent renovation. To complicate matters further, the new churches will have to meet stricter building codes imposed after Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Jack said.

    At first, he set a fund-raising goal of $600,000, but on reflection he decided to triple that number to $1.8 million, based on his own experience building his church more than a decade ago.

    Whatever money is raised will be split among the three destroyed churches, each of which has more than 100 regular members, according to Mr. Jack, who met with the pastors of those churches on Monday night.

    “They have a long road ahead of them,” he said. “They’re a long way from full recovery, but the generosity of the people seems to be speaking volumes.”
     
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  2. Laela

    Laela Between point A and point B

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    I'm glad this misguided joker is charged appropriately...

    Black church fires: Louisiana suspect charged with hate crimes

    [​IMG]Image [email protected]
    Prosecutors have filed new hate crime charges against a white man accused of burning down three African-American churches in the US state of Louisiana.

    Holden Matthews, 21, the son of a local sheriff deputy, learned of the new charges during a court appearance on Monday when he pleaded not guilty.

    During the hearing, the judge denied his bond request due to a "substantial amount of evidence" against him.

    Officials had not previously cited race as a possible motive.

    Louisiana Fire Marshal Butch Browning said on Monday the suspect - who has no previous criminal record - should not be released because he presents "an immediate risk to public safety".

    "In my mind, I felt another fire was imminent," Mr Browning said, describing the evidence investigators have found against Mr Matthews.

    All three fires were started with gasoline and occurred around Opelousas, about 60 miles (100km) west of the state capital of Baton Rouge.

    Among evidence presented during the pre-trial appearance, in which Mr Matthews was displayed on video feed from jail, Mr Browning testified that the suspect documented his alleged crimes through videos and photos on his phone.

    After he was arrested, prosecutors found pictures of the flames that appeared to have been taken before firefighters arrived to extinguish them.

    They also found news reports on his phone in which he had superimposed himself on those reports in order to claim responsibility while talking to a friend online.

    "He actually superimposed himself on those news reports, claiming responsibility for these fires," Mr Browning said.

    Location data from his mobile phone and surveillance footage of his vehicle also tied him to each of the crime scenes.

    [​IMG]
    Image captionDebris at one of the church fires in Louisiana's St Landry Parish
    Mr Matthews was arrested last week and charged with arson of a religious building before the state hate crime charges were added.

    His arrest came over two weeks after the first fire broke out at the St Mary Baptist Church, followed by the Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, which were each more than 100 years old.

    During the search for a suspect, Governor John Bel Edwards said the attacks in the southern state were a reminder "of a very dark past of intimidation and fear".

    During Monday's hearing, in which the suspect never spoke and entered his not guilty plea through a lawyer, investigators mentioned the suspect's connection to black metal music.

    He said that Mr Matthews had recently posted on Facebook about the Lords of Chaos - a film about a Norwegian black metal band that committed acts of violence in the 1990s.
     
  3. Laela

    Laela Between point A and point B

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    Church donations so far:

    646,062 of $1.8M goal

    Raised by 12,224 people in 6 days
    Donate Now
     
  4. Laela

    Laela Between point A and point B

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    Awesome...

    upload_2019-4-17_13-19-11.png
     
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  5. firecracker

    firecracker Well-Known Member

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    My ex is from the town that two of those churches were burned in. He said they are not surprised its this dude. I'm glad people are donating toward their rebuilding.
     
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  6. LivingInPeace

    LivingInPeace Well-Known Member

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    This is so sad! To have your house of worship attacked by some animal. I’m bout to donate.
     
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  7. Laela

    Laela Between point A and point B

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    So good to see the donations have surpassed expectations!


    Seventh District Baptist Church Fires St Landry

    $1,975,801 of $1.8M

    Raised by 36460 people in 8 days
     
  8. ScorpioBeauty09

    ScorpioBeauty09 Well-Known Member

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    I'm happy about the donations. One of the journalists I follow really made an effort to spread word about donating money to these churches in light of Notre Dame having no shortages of billionaires wanting to help out.
     
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  9. Laela

    Laela Between point A and point B

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    Why Black people are giving the reaction to the Notre Dame fire the side-eye
    Nobody's saying the partial destruction of the historic cathedral isn't tragic, but the money raised so expeditiously shows an irony when compared to tragedies in our diaspora

    By Blue Telusma - April 17, 2019
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    Notre-Dame Cathedral with Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, seen in the foreground following a major fire on Monday.
    The cause is unknown but officials have said it was possibly linked to ongoing renovation work. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Monday news broke that a devastating fire had ravaged France’s beloved Notre Dame Cathedral, destroying crucial parts of the structure and leaving the building exposed to the wind and other potentially damaging outside elements.

    Within hours of the announcement people were posting touching tributes and artistic renderings showing their support for France. According to the Associated Press, Hungary’s deputy prime minister even commented that the Notre Dame Cathedral fire was a “tragic symbol” of the “apocalyptic loss of values we are witnessing in the western world.”

    READ MORE: Don Lemon slams Trump after seemingly simplistic assessment of Notre Dame fire

    By Tuesday, thanks to help from some of the richest families in French society, over $700 million in committed donations had poured in to rebuild the damaged portions of the cathedral. And by Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement explaining that the United States vowed to offer “assistance in the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable symbol of Western civilization.”

    “The Cathedral has served as a spiritual home for almost a millennium, and we are saddened to witness the damage to this architectural masterpiece,” Huckabee added. “Notre Dame will continue to serve as a symbol of France, including its freedom of religion and democracy.”

    Now hold on just a cotton picking minute.

    Did Sarah Huckabee really fix her mouth to say Trump’s administration is sending over a bag of money to France in an effort to support freedom of democracy and religion? The same administration that wanted a Muslim travel ban and put Mexican children in cages after ripping them from their families at the border?

    READ MORE: Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban, rejects discrimination claim

    I’m not sure that’s how freedom of democracy works.
    [​IMG]

    View attachment 445709
    There’s no doubt that the destruction of a historic landmark is grounds for sadness and what not, but as a Black person (or any person of color really) living in America it’s really hard not to give this unified outpouring of support and cold hard cash — for a building — the side eye, given all the other more pressing tragedies surrounding us in the global Black Diaspora that have yet to attract even a fraction of the same support and resources.

    Three Black churches vs an old white cathedral

    While the world collectively mourned a fire that partially destroyed Notre Dame, three Black churches in Louisiana had been burned down just weeks before within a short period allegedly by a suspect charged with hate crimes, and barely make a blip on same media outlets prioritizing coverage about the cathedral.

    This was the first strike that made it hard for a lot of people in Black media to get swept up in all the “outrage” being directed towards France this week.

    In a Twitter thread that has since gone viral, journalist Yashar Ali noted, “The rebuild of Notre Dame will be well funded,” then reminded people, “In the past month, three historically black churches in Louisiana were destroyed by a racist arsonist. He has been charged with hate crimes, but these churches need your help. Please join me in donating.”

    Before Ali pointed out the glaring contrast of how the Black religious institutions had been dismissed after a targeted, hate filled attack vs the overwhelming cash flow being sent to Notre Dame, the churches’ GoFundMe had only raised a little less than $160,000 of its one million dollar goal.



    However, after thousands of likes and retweets, Black Twitter rallied together and gave an additional $300,000 in donations in under twenty four hours for the rebuild efforts and the donations continue to pour in.

    I’m not saying you can’t support anything mainstream without supporting something Black first, but instead pointing out how this is yet another reminder of how white institutions continue to be treated as a priority over blatant attacks against Black people.

    As far as we know the Notre Dame fire was an accident, but police say those churches in Louisiana were literally attacked by a suspected neo-Nazi who was specifically going after a sacred space. That distinction matters.

    What about Puerto Rico and Flint?

    The cautious way Black people have reacted to the Notre Dame fire went from mild weariness to flat out annoyance after it was announced that America was pulling out its purse to donate a couple million to our homies over in Europe.

    Having allies is one thing, but if we had that kind of money lying around, why wasn’t any of it given to the residents of Flint, Mich., to get them sustainable clean water, or to the residents of Puerto Rico who were left to fend for themselves after whole communities — and not just half an old building — were destroyed?


    It’s incredibly hard for the members of those communities and other communities in this country just like them, not to see this as a direct slap in the face. When did replacing a church window in another country rank as a higher priority than making sure children have clean drinking water or that families get the assistance they so desperately need after a devastating Hurricane?

    And before anyone gives the, “Well we can’t help everyone,” speech let’s all be clear — if Flint was a predominantly white area the government would have made sure it had what it needed years ago. Historically, in this country, the racial and socio-economic demographic of communities have always had a heavy handed impact on how much money and assistance they get. Let’s not act brand new now.

    And as for Puerto Rico, aside from the aforementioned reasons, a part of me suspects it’s been left in the cold because our president is so slow witted, he still has a hard time believing PR is even part of the U.S.

    And since France has so much money…

    That France was able to get over $700 million in a single day in response to the Notre Dame fire is impressive, but it also vexed Haitian-Americans and history buffs alike, who are all to aware of the way that France financially crippled Haiti as punishment for it becoming the first independent Black republic.

    Call me crazy, but sending even a penny over to a nation that intentionally robbed a group of slaves blind just because they had the nerve to seek freedom, doesn’t feel like a good move at this point in my life. And it seems quite a few people of color have the same point of contention.

    When news broke that Macron was seeking international help to rebuild Notre Dame, one Twitter user responded:




    “Or the taxes they continue to collect from the African countries they colonized,” added another follower.

    “Or better yet the French bourgeoisie should start growing sugarcane (to rebuild the 700-year old Notre Dame) as the Haitians did who had an average lifespan of 21 years under French colonial rule,” interjected a third person.

    This one conversation brilliantly illustrates the frustration being felt by Black Americans who continue to see everyone (and every thing) being fiscally prioritized above us getting bare necessities like shelter and clean water.

    No one is saying they’re happy about what happened in Notre Dame, but support has to go both ways. The days of Black people rising up and supporting everyone else, without demanding the same in return are done.
     
  10. OhTall1

    OhTall1 Well-Known Member

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    It will probably pass $2M before the end of the day
     
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  11. Everything Zen

    Everything Zen Well-Known Member

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    And this is why I was like “Oh noes” about Notre Dame to begin with. I mean I am glad about the rebuild but I knew that was going to happen.

    When my mom told me about it, I had to ask are you saying Notre Dame, South Bend, IN bc in my world that’s pretty important. As a black woman, I have been looking for international job since the summer before my senior year. I tried to set up multiple foreign exchange experiences but my parents have not been open to me going overseas even though we had close relative in Frankfurt, Germany for decades. I was set to go to Barcelona to do finish my minor bit the 2005 terrorist attack shut that down. I have yet to use my passport which is set to expire in October. Regardless of if I used if for personal reasons- it seems like some people are shut out of the international experience unless you make that your priority.
     
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  12. Laela

    Laela Between point A and point B

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    Yeah...


    $2,051,176 of $1.8M now! :yep:

    Raised by 37814 people in 8 days

     

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