Last week a black church in Greenville was burned and “Vote Trump” spray painted on the side of the brick building. NPR reports that the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the crime.
Comments from most Mississippi political leaders was on point:
“Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican who has been campaigning for Donald Trump, said ‘we expect a suspect will be identified and brought to justice.’
” ‘First, anyone who burns a place of worship will answer to almighty God for this crime against people of faith. But they should also answer to man’s law,’ Bryant said in a statement.
“U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat whose district includes Greenville, said the fire and graffiti ‘harkens back to a much darker day in Mississippi.’
” ‘The political message of the vandalism is obviously an attempt to sway public opinion regarding the upcoming election,’ he wrote in a statement. ‘I encourage all citizens not to be deterred by this cowardly act and exercise your right to vote at the ballot box.
And then there is Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s comment:
“Mississippi’s top elections official, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said people shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the church was vandalized for political reasons. Initial reports suggest ‘this is not of a political nature,’ he told WDAM-TV.”
Here is a link that contains the WDAM clip. Hosemann does not offer another theory in the clip.
Unforced error by Hosemann.
The fact that the FBI opened a civil rights investigation refutes Hosemann’s statement.
There are scenarios I can imagine that would make the “Vote Trump” spray paint an act of misdirection. But if Hosemann is suggesting that, he should explain. Otherwise, he makes himself look goofy.