November 3, 2016
Several Mississippi nonprofits have called on Gov. Phil Bryant to address the several incidents of race-based violence in the past month from the Emmett Till Tallahatchie River marker covered in bullet holes to the African American Delta church http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/nov/03/miss-fire-chief-blaze-african-american-church-was-/">set on fire and spray painted with the words "Vote Trump," which has since been ruled an arson that the FBI is investigating.
http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/oct/05/mississippi-governor-declares-racial-reconciliatio/">Gov. Bryant declared October "Racial Reconciliation Month," but since then, community activists have called on the governor http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/oct/14/governor-owes-apology-racial-reconciliation-month-/">to act on those words by supporting the removal of the Confederate battle flag in the canton corner of Mississippi's state flag. https://www.facebook.com/im4phil/posts?__xt__=33.%7B%22logging_data%22%3A%7B%22page_id%22%3A149191811767085%2C%22event_type%22%3A%22clicked_all_page_posts%22%2C%22impression_info%22%3A%22eyJmIjp7InBhZ2VfaWQiOiIxNDkxOTE4MTE3NjcwODUiLCJpdGVtX2NvdW50IjoiMCJ9fQ%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22www_pages_home%22%2C%22interacted_story_type%22%3A%22565413710334575%22%2C%22session_id%22%3A%229d6fd3b91563e812a9e6f27e1e183cb1%22%7D%7D">Bryant addressed the Delta church burning on his Facebook but did not mention race or hate crimes.
"Law enforcement responded last night to a suspicious fire at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville. 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. Authorities are investigating and we expect a suspect will be identified and brought to justice," the Facebook post says.
The Mississippi Center for Justice, Southern Poverty Law Center, Mississippi NAACP State Conference, the Children's Defense Fund's Southern Regional Office and the ACLU of Mississippi released a letter today calling on Gov. Bryant to "condemn each of the recent acts of race-based violence as unacceptable and contrary to Mississippi’s goal of racial reconciliation."
"We also call upon Governor Bryant and Mississippi’s legislative leaders to demonstrate the ideals of racial reconciliation by supporting the removal of the Confederate emblem from the Mississippi state flag, which is a constant reminder of racial oppression and injustice," the letter says.