NAACP Working to Protect Churches Following 2012 Election

Concern comes after 2008 church arson

Published : Tuesday, 25 Sep 2012, 10:14 AM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The President of the Springfield NAACP believes America’s racial climate is worse than it was four years ago, and he’s Springfield’s African-American Churches to protect themselves on election night.

Rev. Talbert Swan wrote to each local African American church pastor, to alert them to the possibility of election night vandalism.

Bishop Bryant Robinson’s nearly-finished Macedonia Church of God in Christ was burned to the ground the night Barack Obama was elected president four years ago.

Bishop Robinson told 22News that he remains cautious. “We still have a long way to go; that racism and hatred is still in the body politic of our country and people lash out in destructive ways,” he said.

This past weekend, the bishop and his congregation celebrated the first anniversary of their new church.

Rev. Dr. Calvin McFadden is pastor of St. John’s Congregational Church, Western Massachusetts’ largest African-American congregation. He says that he supports what Swan is trying to do.

“Churches have been re-active instead of being pro-active and I believe what Reverend Swan and others are trying to do is to make sure that we’re protected just in case anything happened,” he said.

The letter from the NAACP President recommends ways of protecting the churches from vandalism, arson and other damage.

Rev. Swan told 22News what’s behind his concern “I believe that the climate of racial division in this nation is worse than it was four years ago,” he said.

Springfield’s African-American religious also agreed with Reverend Swan that they should do everything they can to get out the vote on Election Day.

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