Incident Reflective of Dangerous and Racially-Fueled
Rhetoric Looming This Election Cycle
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the statement below concerning the attack on Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church:
“We are deeply concerned regarding last night’s attack on Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi. We are even more concerned that this church, a cornerstone of this majority-Black community located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, was vandalized and targeted on the eve of the upcoming 2016 general election. The toxic rhetoric of this election cycle continues to cast a dark cloud.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law urges the U.S. Department of Justice to bring its expertise to bear in a full investigation of this incident to determine if this was indeed a racially-driven hate crime and to identify the perpetrators behind this attack. The investigation and prevention of church arsons must remain a national priority. Our country has scars, both old and new, from attacks levied against Black churches and other houses of worship. These incidents tear at the fabric of our nation and should be condemned in every respect.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; employment; voting; education; and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org. Please call the nationwide nonpartisan Election Protection hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683, with any questions or problems voting.
Director of Communications and External Affairs