Lacy Robinson

Man Pleads Guilty To Torching Black Church In Response To Obama's Win


Benjamin Haskell pleaded guilty today to charges of church arson.  Haskell, along with Michael Jacques and Thomas Gleason were accused of torching the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

The crime happened on the eve of President Barack Obama’s win on November 5th, 2008.   Haskell admitted that they set the church on fire as a negative response to Obama’s win.

The church, which has a predominantly African-American congregation, was in the process of being built and was located within blocks of the three men’s home.  The church was completely destroyed except for a metal superstructure and a small portion of the front corner.   

Jacques told the witness that the men poured about 5 gallons of gasoline around the back corner of the building and that lighting the vinyl siding ensured that the structure “went up quickly”.   

Since Haskell cooperated with authorities and named the other accomplices, there is a possibility that he will be able to escape the potential 10 year sentence for the crime.  Haskell’s formal sentence is scheduled for September 29th.

Benjamin Haskell

Comment Comments: 6 Tags Tags: crime, election, church, massachusetts, arson

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  • Lovelybubbly

    What a cowardly punk set fire to a black church to protest Obamas win and he looks young too.

  • not the right charge

    Why is these white folks doing hate crimes not being charged for hate crimes

  • Monique

    I agree with you, let that have been a black man set fire to a white church it will be on every news channel headline.

  • Hood Folk

    Actually him getting charged with a hate crime would be worse.Because he could get off easy with a couple of years and get in good with the Aryan prison gangs.But for arson it carries a longer sentence.

  • frankiestage

    I call it the Jack Johnson effect. The kind of white racist anger we are seeing now in response to the nation’s first Black president is similar to the kind of racist hatred we saw when Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight boxing champ in 1912. Many whites were beside themselves, and could barely sleep as they searched for a “great white hope” to defeat Johnson. A similar phenomenon is occuring now, and if you’re Black and your boss, or boss’s boss, is white and hates Obama, openly or otherwise, you’ll feel the effects of this visceral racist hatred too (whether you realize it or not).

  • mb2621

    Dumb acts like this help no one in the end, regardless of who’s side you’re on.