The FBI and Colorado Springs Police Department are currently investigating the deliberate bombing of the Colorado Springs, Colorado chapter of the NAACP on Tuesday. The homemade bomb exploded outside the office at around 10:45 am.
According a report by the Los Angeles Times, local community leaders believe the bombing to be a hate crime and an act of domestic terrorism.
“This certainly raises questions of a potential hate crime … But at this point we’re still gathering information. It’s a very sad situation, but we’re happy our people in Colorado Springs are safe.” said Sondra Young, president of the Denver chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.
The bomb was detonated along the exterior wall of the NAACP building. While nobody was hurt, the blast caused minor damage to the sidewalk and the NAACP building, which also houses a barbershop. In an email to the L.A. Times, Amy Sanders, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Denver said federal agents are still investigating motives for the attack, including trying to determine whether the NAACP was the intended target. “It has also not yet been determined if the motive was a hate crime, domestic terrorism, a personal act of violence against a specific individual, or other motive as there are numerous individuals and entities tied to the building in the vicinity of the explosion,” said Sanders.
However, the NAACP is no stranger to racially motivated attacks. A Washington Post report on the Colorado Springs blast recalls that the NAACP has been the target of attacks since its beginnings in 1909; particularly by the Ku Klux Klan. Anti-Black violence throughout the 1910s, and 1920s caused several NAACP branches to close in Texas.
On December, 1951, founder of Brevard County, Florida’s first NAACP branch, champion of Black voter rights and civil rights activist Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette were murdered when a bomb planted beneath the bedroom of their home in Mims, Florida exploded.
The FBI and Colorado Springs PD are reportedly looking for a balding white male suspect described as being about 40 and who may be driving a 2000 or older dirty white pickup truck with paneling, a dark-colored bed liner, an open tailgate and a missing or covered license plate.
In response to mainstream media’s lackluster coverage of the incident, the hashtag #NAACPBombing started trending across social media, alerting folks to news of the bombing and to subsequent updates.