By CAMILA MUNERA
CNN posted an article Thursday evening entitled, “Suspect in Louisiana black church fires is the son of sheriff’s deputy, officials say.”
The article summarizes the story of Holden Matthews, a 21-year-old that recently just burned down three historically black churches in Louisiana including St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, which burned on March 26. This was followed by Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas on April 2 and, two days later, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in the same town.
The article notes that Matthews may have been influenced by black metal music and its associated history with church burnings, mentions the state fire marshal this past Thursday.
Matthews is currently being charged with three counts of simple arson on a religious building. Each charge carries a penalty for over 15 years. The most ironic part of this devastating matter is that Matthews has no previous history of violence or prior arrests, officials noted.
Matthew’s investigation is still ongoing and federal officials are looking to see whether or not the fires were meant to represent a hate crime.
To add more irony, Matthews is the son of a local sheriff’s deputy. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz who is reportedly very good friends with Matthew’s father broke the harsh news to him. Guidroz mentions how the father was shocked and hurt as any father would be.
This breaking news is a reflection of the racist behaviors that continue to happen around the world. It is a sad reality but it needs to be dealt with as it is completely unfair to the African Americans who consider their church to be a safe place.