ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — In 2013, when the Supreme Court of the United States of America struck down and gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 5-4 justice majority did so because they declared racism officially over in America. They argued that the Voting Rights Act, and indeed the Civil Rights movement itself, had done so much to repair the old wounds of racism in this country that it was ironically no longer necessary to specifically protect the voting rights of African-Americans, despite the resurgence of voter I.D. laws that target poor, elderly and minority groups. Regardless, once the Supreme Court declared it, the entire country accepted it as fact, and it was determined that racism is truly ended in the United States.
In St. Louis, Missouri, some citizens have taken it upon themselves to celebrate the death of racism in the country with the “Burning of Six Black Churches,” which as most Americans know is the traditional way in which the nation has celebrated any time progress is made on racial discord. According to authorities in St. Louis, six separate churches with predominantly black congregations have all been set ablaze in the weeks since October 8th, 2015. One source in St. Louis told reporters that the citizens were “alarmed at first” when the first five black churches were burned, but once the sixth church was set on fire, they knew this was all “part of the tradition of burning six black churches to celebrate racial progress.”
While some outside the country may wonder why police are not investigating this situation as a series of arson fires, Lt. Sonny Band of the St. Louis Police Department says that this is “a pretty open and shut case of race progress celebration” to him. “I mean, sure, to people who don’t come from America, this looks like a pretty bad case of a hate crime perpetrated against African-Americans,” Band told reporters, “but if you’re from America you know that racism is actually not even a thing here anymore, and so the only possible explanation is that this the Traditional Six Black Church Burn.”
“The Traditional Six Black Church Burn goes way, way back,” said Deputy Investigator William Harrow, “back to the days before the Civil War even. We’ve been burning black churches in this country for years and years, and I’m not history scholar, but I’m pretty sure that at least 89% of those were done to celebrate, not to terrorize or hurt a single soul.” Harrow says that even though scholars and historians that might go looking for records concerning this tradition won’t find any, they should “just do what Americans do best” and “presume their view and perception of the facts are the same thing as the actual facts.”
At a press conference outside the St. Louis Police Department, Band told reporters that even if he did think that the churches burning were part of a more sinister plot, he “isn’t sure” anyone would pay attention anyway. “Let’s face facts, these churches started burning almost three weeks ago, and how many of you out there have heard about this story,” Band asked rhetorically. He waited a moment and then answered his own question, “Probably none of you have. And that’s the thing — that’s why we all assume that racism is over in America because even when the press reports on these types of events, most of us still won’t hear about it, because six black churches being attacked doesn’t get as many clicks as the Benghazi hearings, or what some celebrity did over the weekend. So I guess in a way racism is dead in this country, because so many of us pretend like it is anyway.”
“So,” Band asked as the interview was ending, “what’s the difference? If racism is dead or isn’t dead, six black churches are burned, and sixteen more could burn, and you’d still have an overwhelming amount of apathy in your way, stopping you from doing anything about it. We might as well pretend racism is dead and that these churches burning is part of an elaborate celebration, right?”