After three package bombs were detonated in Austin, Texas, and appear to be targeting Black families, people have criticized the media, as well as the president, for failing to call the attacks hateful acts of terror.
Two Black men were killed while one Black woman and one Hispanic woman were injured as a result of the pack bombs. The bombs of the last two weeks are believed to have targeted members of prominent Black families, the president of the local NAACP told NBC News Wednesday.
The families of victims Stephen House and Draylen Mason, who were killed about a week apart, have known each other for a long time “and go to the same church,” according to Nelson Linder, the Austin NAACP president. Linder said the third bomb, which injured 75-year-old Esperanza Herrera, may have been intended for “another person who might be connected to the House and Mason families.”
Despite these seemingly clear targeted acts of hate, the media has been relatively quiet and the president has not even tweeted about the incidents.
Mason, 17, was a musician who planned to attend the University of Texas Butler School of Music in the fall. His grandmother LaVonne Mason is a co-founder of the Austin Area Urban League. House, 39, was a father and founder of his own money-management firm.
House’s stepfather, Freddie Dixon, who is close with Mason’s grandparents and is a longtime pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church, said he thinks there is a clear connection with the victims.
“Somebody’s done their homework on both of us, and they knew what they were doing,” Dixon told the Washington Post. “My diagnosis: Number one, I think it’s a hate crime. Number two, somebody’s got some kind of vendetta here.”
Investigators have begun looking into the connection between the Mason and House families to see if their connection to “prominent members of Austin’s African-American community” is related to the bombings, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Wednesday.
After a fourth bomb was detonated on Sunday evening, injuring two white men, media coverage significantly picked up.
(Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
TRENDING IN NEWS