Americans rally to rebuild black churches as Trump ignores them


Ordinary Americans are willing to stand up to racism when Trump won't.

Americans are stepping up to raise money for three black churches that were burned in a series of hate crimes — attacks that the Trump administration is still refusing to acknowledge.

Over $1 million has been raised by a GoFundMe campaign for three historically black churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, that were burned in arson attacks between March 1 and April 4. A white man has been charged with hate crimes for allegedly setting all three fires.

After hundreds of millions of dollars poured in worldwide to rebuild Notre Dame after a devastating fire — and social media users pointed out that these churches also need money for the same purpose — donations surged to help rebuild the Louisiana churches and support their communities.

Unlike the generous Americans who rallied to help, however, the Trump administration has been indifferent and  tight-lipped on the church burnings.

Trump usually cannot help but comment on every mundane issue of the day — yet he has steadfastly ignored the incidents, and was silent even after Louisiana authorities charged the hate crime suspect.

Trump has a pattern of refusing to comment when white perpetrators violently attack others based on their race or religion — or even worse, sympathizing with the perpetrators, as he did after a white supremacist murdered activist Heather Heyer during a racist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump is quick to condemn entire classes of people, like Muslims and Latino immigrants, yet has a very hard time condemning some of the worst elements of society if their racist beliefs intersect with his.

This isn't the first time ordinary Americans have had to step up to the plate and do the right thing because Trump was unwilling to lead.

Last year over $12 million was raised to bail out immigrant parents from ICE custody after Trump cruelly separated families at the border. Contributions came in at a rate of over $4,000 per minute at one point, even as Trump continued to demagogue and attack migrants escaping desperate circumstances to seek the American dream.

Louisiana's Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, said in a press conference that the arson attacks have been "especially painful, because it reminds us of a very dark past of intimidation and fear" — namely, hundreds of years of racial discrimination and bigotry in the American south.

“It's going to help our community," Mount Pleasant Baptist Church pastor Rev. Gerald Toussaint told CNN of the donations. "What the devil meant for bad, God's going to turn it into something good."

Trump always chooses the darkest and most cowardly path — but luckily, ordinary Americans are willing to show moral courage when he won't.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.