Proud Boys Attack Black Churches, Burn BLM Banners, Cops Think It Just Might Be A Hate Crime
If there is anything the Right loves, it is churches and religion — by which they mean Christian churches and the Christian religion. They are always trying to save America from us godless liberals who won't let them say Merry Christmas, ever, and they are always standing up for the rights of religious people to use their religion to justify discriminating against other people. Conveniently, it seems as though the Bible can be used to justify just about anything — but mostly discrimination. Especially as it concerns cake, slavery or other people's bodies.
The one thing they will not defend, however, are those who use their religion to fight discrimination rather than embrace it. Because that's just wrong.
This weekend, during the big MAGA March To Continue Pretending Donald Trump Won The Election, there was no small amount of violence, mostly related to the Proud Boys. There were four stabbings — though it's not clear who got stabbed, counter-protesters or Proud Boys — and at least one reported gunshot. Thirty-three people were arrested.
And, at one point, some Proud Boys got it into their heads to tear down a Black Lives Matter banner from the Asbury United Methodist Church in Washington DC, a historically Black church, and then set it on fire while cheering and chanting "Fuck Antifa." They also chanted "Whose streets? Our streets," because they can't come up with their own material.
It is incredibly disturbing to watch.
The church has since responded, comparing the banner burning to cross burnings and pointing out, correctly, that if those burning a banner were men of color instead of Daddy's Special Proud Boys, they would almost definitely have been chased down and arrested.
The pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in DC responds to the burning of the church’s Black Lives Matter sign… https://t.co/DA5BUVH8JS— Jack Jenkins (@Jack Jenkins) 1607867100.0
"We are a resilient people who have trusted in God through slavery and the Underground Railroad, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement, and now as we face an apparent rise in white supremacy," wrote senior pastor Rev. Dr. Ianther M. Mills in a statement on Sunday. "It pained me especially to see our name, Asbury, in flames. For me it was reminiscent of cross burnings. Seeing this act on video made me both indignant and determined to fight the evil that has reared its ugly head."
Theirs was not the only church that had its Black Lives Matter sign torn down, either. In an Instagram post, the Rev. Karen Brau of Luther Place Memorial Church reported its Black Lives Matter sign was torn down not once, but twice, and eventually stolen.
Rev. Cornell William Brooks of the Metropolitan AME Church also shared video of the Proud Boys tearing down their sign. In the background, a woman can be heard yelling "Burn it!"
On my sabbath, I wake up to the disgusting image of #ProudBoys ripping down a #BlackLivesMatter banner from my chur… https://t.co/dihNjVZCTD— Cornell William Brooks (@Cornell William Brooks) 1607868720.0
Let us, of course, remind one and all that the Proud Boys like to make it very clear that they are not a racist, white supremacist group, but rather a simple Western Chauvinist group. They think that sounds better for some reason, despite how literally no one has ever used the term "Chauvinist" in a complimentary way. They incessantly remind us their current leader, Enrique Tarrio, is Latinx, and that one of the Proud Boys who went to jail for a brutal assault on left-wing protesters last year is married to a Black woman (who, oddly enough, I was once pretty good friends with). I mean, surely there is a non-racist reason for a bunch of white guys to go around in matching outfits, attacking Black churches and burning Black Lives Matter signs, right?
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department told the Religious News Service that they are taking the incidents seriously and investigating them as possible hate crimes. Because, again, surely there could be a non-hate-crime related reason for attacking Black churches and setting Black Lives Matter signs on fire. They just need time to come up with what that could possibly be.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse