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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Post-Racial Burning of Black Church

(Photo by Dennis Leger/ Springfield Fire Department)

Springfield firefighters battled the blaze at the building site of the Macedonia Church of God in November.

By Jonathan Saltzman and Brian Ballou, Globe Staff

SPRINGFIELD, MA. -- As reported by the Boston Globe, and linked by African American Political Pundit. More HERE - Three Springfield men, including one who allegedly complained that blacks and Puerto Ricans would have more rights than whites under President Barack Obama, set an arson fire that destroyed the construction site of a mostly black church just hours after Obama's landmark victory, authorities said today.

The men, Benjamin Haskell, Michael F. Jacques Jr., and Thomas Gleason Jr., all of whom are white, poured gasoline on the exterior and interior of the construction site of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in the early morning of Nov. 5 and later boasted about it, according to prosecutors.

Four days after the fire, which many in Springfield's black community had immediately feared was related to the election of America's black president, Haskell and Jacques drove by burnt rubble with an unidentified associate and laughed, according to the affidavit of an FBI agent.

``We did it,'' Haskell allegedly told to the associate, who later became a cooperating witness. When the associate asked why they set the blaze, Haskell replied, ``Because it was a black church.''

Jacques asked the associate whom he had voted for, the affidavit said. When he replied that he voted for Obama, Jacques uttered a profanity-laced racial epithet and predicted that Obama would be assassinated.

Haskell later admitted to authorities that he helped set the fire and said Jacques had been angry the day before Election Day that the country was going to have an African-American president and that blacks and Puerto Ricans would have more rights than whites, according to the affidavit. More HERE

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