House Fires With a Message in the Northwest

For people who are anti-sprawl activists — or have baser motives — a new-built house sitting empty in a previously rural area evidently makes a ripe target for an attack by fire.


The model homes were said by their builders to contain environmentally friendly or “green” elements. But the size and location of the houses appeared to irritate whoever left the sign and presumably set the fires: “Built Green? Nope black.” The sign said that “McMansions” in rural areas are “not green.”


But when the arsonists were actually captured, a different motive emerged: racial bias. Many of the prospective buyers in the development, about 25 miles south of Washington, were African-Americans, and the arsonists did not want them in the neighborhood.

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