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The Mass Media

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‘Vote Trump’: White Terrorism in Black America

The+16th+St+Baptist+Church+was+a+church+that+was+blown+up+by+members+of+the+United+Klans+of+America%2C+an+offshoot+group+of+the+Ku+Klux+Klan+whose+bombed+included+122+sticks+of+dynamite.+The+bomb+that+went+off+on+September+15%2C+1963%2C+killed+four+girls+and+injured+22+people.%26%23160%3B

The 16th St Baptist Church was a church that was blown up by members of the United Klans of America, an offshoot group of the Ku Klux Klan whose bombed included 122 sticks of dynamite. The bomb that went off on September 15, 1963, killed four girls and injured 22 people. 

In Greenville, Mississippi, the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, a historically black church, was burned down and spray-painted with the culprit’s message: “Vote Trump.”
Donald Trump didn’t actually burn this church down, but he might as well have given the real culprit the spray paint and gasoline. While Trump plays dumb about his effect on this country, acts such as this make it nearly impossible to not connect him and his campaign with racism.
Removing Trump from this for a second, a black church being burned down in itself is a terrible thing, reminiscent of the multiple church bombings during the Civil Rights Movement. That it happened in a state as known for its racism as Mississippi shows that not much has changed since then. We can pretend that having a black president ended racism, but to do that would be to say mental illness has been cured and massive corporations genuinely care about average people. We all know that it’s not true, and it’s a serious problem that white America has constantly pretended to fix, while doing only what benefits them.
Coming back to Trump now, the fact that “Vote Trump” was spray painted on the side of the church is an entirely other matter on its own. This was not just a coincidence. Someone did not just see a burning church and think it would be funny to promote Trump on the wall; someone burned down a black church and put his name on it. Someone wanted to make a clear message known: that “Vote Trump” means “White only.”
This is not just an act of a racist individual; it is the symptom of a much greater disease, the devastating plague that follows the “make America great again” mentality he encourages. Trump’s plan for America does not include nonwhites. When has America ever been a safe haven for its black citizens? It hasn’t. So what does he mean by “again?” Is America great for blacks now? Pre-Obama? Pre-Civil Rights Act? Pre-Abolition? The answer is none of the above, because still today, black churches are being burned down and black Americans are being killed by the people sworn to protect them. Where is the greatness in that? And there is a large population of white America that can’t see this, whether it is because they are truly unaware of it, or that they are aware and actually agree with it.
No matter the case, Trump and his supporters will be forever connected to this act of terrorism, even though news outlets have not reported it as such. The fact of the matter is that white America does not see acts of terror committed against any other race as terrorism, nor do they consider the white people committing them terrorists. This is because white America does not feel the pain that black America does, and will do anything—have done anything—in their power to prevent that.
The Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, the historically black target of this act of terrorism, will forever be a martyr to the Black Lives Matter movement, proving once and for all that as long as black Americans continue to be targeted, America will never be great.