In the latest example of persistent and ingrained racism in America, police are searching for two White men spotted on video placing Confederate flags at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site Visitor Center in Atlanta, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Church and civic leaders were unbowed by what they condemned as an act of terror, the report says. Local and federal investigators were called to the church about 6 a.m. Thursday when a maintenance worker discovered the flags at the historic church that was once led by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are buried adjacent to the church.
The incident comes after nine Black church members were gunned down by self-professed White supremacist Dylann Roof earlier this month at Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina. After the shooting, which rankled the nation, Roof was spotted on social media holding the Confederate flag, long a symbol of racism in America. The image sparked a push to remove the flag from government buildings around the country, including from the South Carolina statehouse.
At a mid-morning news conference, Ebenezer’s pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, said the placement of the flags was a terrorist act meant to intimidate.
“Let the message go out that we will not be shaken by this,” Warnock said. “We will not be intimidated.”…
Atlanta police Chief George Turner said the incident could not immediately be classified as a hate crime without further investigation, but he did not rule out such a designation. He said the surveillance images would be released to the media, but no time frame was given.
Police say the people who placed the flags at the church could face charges that “include criminal trespassing, terroristic threats and littering.”
SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal Constitution | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN