After the 2016 election, the Southern Poverty Law Center accepted every accusation of racism or sexism provided to it as evidence of America’s decline after electing President Donald Trump.
But even before the election, the discredited “anti-hate” group was sounding the alarm on any story that could be used against Trump before waiting for the actual details. On November 2, 2016, the SPLC’s “Hatewatch Staff” posted a story titled “Authorities Suspect Voter Intimidation in Burning, Vandalism of Mississippi Church.”
The article was about the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church being set on fire and the words “Vote Trump” spray-painted on the side of the building. SPLC also mentioned this incident in its massive list of alleged hate crimes following Trump’s election (the vast majority of which were allegations from people reaching out to SPLC without providing a shred of evidence for their claims).
The man who actually set the fire, 47-year-old Andrew McClinton, is African-American and a member of the church. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to arson, according to the Associated Press. He will be sentenced in late April.
The state fire marshal and insurance commissioner, Mike Chaney, told the AP it is now believed that McClinton set the fire to distract from other wrongdoing, though he wouldn’t elaborate on what that might be. – read more