Last week’s Trib story on the vandalism of a predominantly African-American church near Speegleville founded by ex-slaves shortly after the Civil War prompted plenty of concern, even before the news of violence and death in Charlottesville, Virginia, involving KKK members, Nazis and white supremacists as well as counterprotesters. McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara, who described the scrawling of “Trump,” “Satan” and a swastika in the church fellowship hall as a “disgrace,” said the incident was being investigated as vandalism. Texas ranks third in a Southern Poverty Law Center tally of states with the most hate incidents since the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president:
Some of the comments left on the Tribune-Herald Facebook page:
Clark Keller: Not saying this is the case but many of these vandalism cases have been found to be faked by someone to make people believe it was racially motivated after being investigated by police.
Saul Cruz: Then why bring it up?
Clark Keller: To not rush to judgment and immediately blame people... as has already happened in the comments.
Misty Anderson: Are you kidding me? A CHURCH is vandalized and you are talking about faking it? Get out of here with [that nonsense].
Melva Trunell Ridge: This is my family’s church and it’s been standing 146 years with no incidents. They didn’t “fake” it to make believe anything. Someone did this with pure hate in their heart and I hope they are found and prosecuted.
Angela Richter: How much do you wanna bet it was done by newbies at Baylor or high school kids at Midway? I can’t wait to see who they pin this on.
Kenneth Ezzell: I doubt this was caused by true Aryan Nations people. They take too much pride in their symbolism to make such bad depictions. And anyone who puts his faith in Satanism would never make the pentagram look like a Kindergartner made it.
Robert C. Duncan: That’s not a pentagram, it’s a Star of David. Obviously not a real Satanist.
JoAnn Brown Stringer: White supremacists and Nazis [are] in our midst. Do not downplay this. Do not excuse this.
Kyle Earley: Do people really have nothing better to do with their time?
Jan Bohls: Sad. There is no respect for differences of opinion or religion anymore.
Marian Cox Naik: I’m so sorry this happened to your church. Blessings, love and light to you and your church family.
Melissa Stamps: I pray they catch the fools who did this!
Kit Files-Wright: Call it what it is.... This is not vandalism, it is a HATE crime.
Sylvia Guerrero: The Star of David and a swastika sign?
Terence Fonteneaux: Nothing is sacred anymore.
Emily Ardolf: I just found out my church First Methodist Waco is planning on helping them get restored! I plan on emailing and finding out if there’s a way I can help!