If the overly-ripe fruit of racism isn’t already apparent to you in the United States of America these days, let me take you back old school to point out that just yesterday – Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 – someone in Colorado Springs, Colo. intentionally bombed a chapter of the NAACP. We’re fifty years down the line from the Civil Rights Movement and black organizations are still being bombed like the 16th St. Baptist Church.
As of Wednesday morning, authorities are hunting for the man they believe holds answers regarding the homemade explosive device used in the bombing.
The homemade bomb was actually attached to the barber shop next door to the organization’s office, but if you believe someone was actually trying to blow up a barber shop for malicious reasons, I’ll give you free haircuts for a year, though without training I can’t attest to the quality you’ll receive.
The FBI, on the other hand, is still considering the haircut offer, stating that it is too early in the investigation to know if the NAACP was the actual, intended target of the bombing. According to FBI spokesperson Amy Sanders, the makeshift bomb had been detonated against the building’s side. Telling signs as to the intentions would certainly be whether that side of the barber shop was facing the NAACP office and whether the bomb was constructed in a way aimed to project toward the civil rights organization’s office or the barber shop. The Federal Bureau of Investigations sent out the Joint Terrorism Task Force to investigate the matter further.
Colorado Springs is roughly one hour south of Denver, and fairly conservative, military town, so it’s not terribly surprising to see racism rear its head in such a place, nor would it be unheard of for someone to have access to the means and knowledge for making an explosive, but it is surprising (always) when someone actually goes to such violent lengths. Luckily, however, no injuries were reported and only minor damage occurred. Still, it’s unsettling to say the least. While staff of a satirical magazine are being gunned down in Paris, France, America illustrates that it contends with its own terrorism threats on a consistent basis, and we don’t even have to piss off far-off corners of the globe to do it. We have our own inner hatred and ignorance right here, and unfortunately, it also often piques in senseless violence.
As for the man authorities believe likely holds some answers to the bombing, Sanders states they are looking for a white man possibly in his 40s, balding, who is believed to be driving a filthy pickup truck, vague as that is. No word has been given as to the color or make of that pickup truck, however. The truck could also be missing a license plate, or simply have it covered up. Also, it may be have an open tailgate, but of course, an open tailgate can always be closed, unless that, too, is missing altogether. There’s not much to go on, there, is there. Hopefully, authorities know more than they’re letting on.
Though the makeshift bomb did not hurt anyone or ultimately do much damage, it is not for lack of trying. A red gasoline container had been left next to the bomb, but miraculously did not ignite in the explosion. Investigators also examined fragments of metal and duct tape they found roughly 40 to 50 feet away from the placement of the bomb.
Of the actual bombing, nearby residents witnessed one loud “BOOM!” but saw nothing. One man living in the area , Gregory Alan Johnson, stated that he was not aware of problems relating to the local NAACP office, which shares the building with the barber shop next door. That barber shop, itself, is also a business frequented predominantly by black clientele. Either way you look at it, there is an extremely high probability that racism played a role in the bombing.
Colorado Springs NAACP President Henry Allen Jr. informed The Colorado Springs Gazette that items had been knocked down and fallen from the walls, the blast was so strong. Jr., too, flirted with the idea of yearlong haircuts with his conservative, hopeful thinking that the bombing was not a hate crime. What else you might call it is hard to tell, but regardless, Jr. insists the organization will keep up its normal business and duties undeterred as the investigation moves forward.
Allen Jr. stated:
This won’t deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community.
That’s good to know. You just can’t let those terrorists win.
The national NAACP office released a statement indicating it was eager for a full investigation to proceed.
You can see the reactions of folks on Twitter below:
Social media once again calling out traditional media for their coverage, or rather, lack thereof … #NAACPBombing
— Nida Khan (@NidaKhanNY) January 7, 2015
The racist trolls are already trolling the #NAACPBombing hashtag. Must be nice to get paid to terrorize Black people online.
— Taurean (@TheBlackVoice) January 7, 2015
wait…there was an #NAACPBombing for real? man…thank god for social media cause i woulda never known otherwise. oh well *shrug*….right?
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) January 7, 2015
the inevitable excuse that covering the #NAACPBombing would contribute to racial tension fails when KKK members are invited to cnn…
— Dee (@Deebauch) January 7, 2015
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) January 7, 2015
Anyone with information about the Colorado Springs NAACP bombing is encouraged to call the Denver FBI tip line at (303) 435-7787.
Let us hope this mysterious man is caught and answers are received as soon as possible.