Fri. Aug 7th, 2020

Racism Exploding In The South? Burning Of Highlander Center Stokes The Fire

 

New Market, Tenn. – Just 2 days after a major racist event involving political candidates shook Savannah Georgia, a major social justice center is burned to the ground. The blaze destroyed the Highlander Center’s main office.

Highlander Research and Education Center is located near New Market Tennessee, and claims to provide training for leaders of social justice movements. Highlander touts itself as a major player in the civil rights movement for having students such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. However, it was then named Highlander Folk School and was located in Grundy County Tennessee. HFS was closed in 1961 after co-founder David Lee West was named by the FBI as District Director of the Communist Party of North Carolina.

The fire, initially reported as a brush fire, remains under investigation. Meanwhile, Highlander Center officials are now claiming to have found “White Power” graffiti spray painted on the parking lot. The symbol has been confirmed by the Jefferson County Sheriff  who described it as a “hashtag symbol”, adding that he did not know what it means or if it was connected to local groups. 

It is not yet clear why Highlander Center personnel waited four days to disclose their discovery of a hate crime symbol, or why it was not mentioned in their Facebook live video made after the fire. Also unclear is why the Sheriff has been unavailable to offer any further details.

Mainstream media has been all over this story reporting that a news release has pointed to a “White Power Symbol” being found at the sight of the fire. The news release being a post from the Highlander Center Facebook page. As of now, no official statements pertaining to the fire or the symbol has been released by anyone investigating. 

Highlander Center Fire: You Can Smollett From Here

The Highlander Center fire remains under investigation and has not yet been ruled arson, but that hasn’t stopped Highlander staff or mainstream media from pushing a hate crime narrative. The fire was originally reported as a brush fire and for all we know, it may have been nothing more than that. Is it possible a brush fire was responsible for igniting the main office?

Initially after the fire, Highlander personnel discussed their memories and pointed out that many important archives were destroyed, and no mention of a “white power” symbol. Later it was discovered that all important archives were actually stored in Wisconsin. It wasn’t until four days after the fire that there would be any mention of a “white power symbol”.

The news release used by the MSM and now Democrat Senator Steve Cohen, is nothing more than a post on Highlander Center’s official Facebook page. Using one sentence declaring the discovery of a symbol, making itself the victim of a hate crime.

Highlander Center News Release:

It’s time for our people to hear more from us.

What we know:

As most of you know, a devastating fire burned down our main office early Friday morning. Thankfully no one was inside the building and no one was injured.

We also found a symbol connected to the white power movement spray-painted on the parking lot connected to the main office.

While we do not know the names of the culprits, we know that the white power movement has been increasing and consolidating power across the South, across this nation, and globally.

Since 2016, the white power movement has become more visible, and we’ve seen that manifest in various ways, both subtle and overt. They’ve targeted and exploited working class and cash-poor white communities searching to find a sense of belonging, dividing them from people who support efforts to improve the material conditions of all people. Their attempts to increase in size and scale impact the realities of our daily lives here because the majority of Black people in this country reside in southern states. As islamophobic attacks become more prevalent, we’re hyper-aware that the majority of Muslims in this nation are Black people. We know that anti-Semitic attacks have rocked the Jewish community. We know that anti-immigrant forces are consolidating, attacks on reproductive freedoms abound and the politics of the federal government’s executive branch are speaking to the privilege-based fears of the white power movement, emboldening them in ways the 21st century hasn’t seen.

Even in the face of these realities, the southern freedom movement is alive and well. Our folks are winning campaigns. They’re organizing and base building. People are fighting for progressive policies and using direct action to hold people in power accountable.

The statement seems more to push racial division than offering any type of proof that they were the target of a white hate group. Seems more like a statement from a person who is sore about Trump winning the presidency.

Consider also this tweet from “AshDashLee“, Highlander Center co-Executive Director, posted on March 20, announcing that they are “Proud to still be a racial agitatin commie participating in questionable activities

What exactly is a “racial agitatin commie”? And what are these “questionable activities”?

The Highlander Center fire is being used to push more racial division, jumping to conclusions. If indeed a white hate group is responsible for the fire, they do need brought to justice. However, as of now, we do not know what is responsible.

It very well could be a racist white group burning down a social justice building in Tennessee, or it may have just been a brush fire that spread over to the building. Was it arson? If it was indeed arson, then who is responsible? It may have been a group connected to the “white power” movement, or it could have been anyone. Was the symbol found Before, during or after the fire? Do we know who painted the symbol in the parking lot? 

While mainstream media jumps to conclusions, too many questions remain unanswered. For all we know this could be the actions of an insider pulling another hate crime hoax like Jussie Smollett.

Something stinks in New Market Tennessee, and it may be the Highlander Center Fire.

 

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