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Historian Says U.S. Has Long History of Burning Black Churches

Charlotte, July 3 (RHC)-- The United States has a long history of white supremacists targeting Black churches and law enforcement ignoring such crimes, an African-American historian says. Dr. Gerald Horne made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV, after at least seven Black churches were burned down in last ten days.

"Sadly, unfortunately, and tragically this is nothing new," said the author of the Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America.

"We recall that since the battle days of slavery, Black churches have been targeted by white supremacists, not least because they were perceived as the citadels against white supremacy and a sanctuary from white supremacy," Horne said.

"You may also recall that the church in which the Charleston massacre took place just a few days ago was burnt to the ground shortly after it was built in the early 1820s, because it was the alleged site of planning of slave revolt in Charleston, South Carolina," he stated.

"Therefore it's fair to say that what is taking place in the south as we speak is no surprise. What is rather shocking, I am afraid, is rather slow and lethargic and derelict approach to solving these crimes by the U.S. law enforcement authorities," he added.

"Keep in mind that these are the same law enforcement authorities who often times shoot unarmed Black youth without a moment's thought, but yes when it comes to tracking down, and prosecuting those who are torching churches, they are asleep at the switch," Horne concluded.

The Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina, was burned down on Tuesday night. The Clarendon County Fire Department said the incident caused no injuries and the fire was under control.

The church was burned to the ground once again by white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan members in 1995.

Similar incidents were also reported in the past days after a young white man shot dead nine African-American worshippers at the historic Black church Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston, South Carolina last month.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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