In a concerning turn of events in late January, two conservative organizations in Golden Valley, Minnesota, became the targets of arson attacks. The incidents occurred around 2 a.m. on January 28, when an unidentified individual or individuals forcibly entered an office building, setting ablaze two separate fires. The first fire was ignited on the third floor, directly affecting the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC), a legal entity known for its conservative stance and lawsuits against progressive initiatives. The second fire was lit on the first floor, in a corridor shared by the Center of the American Experiment and Take Charge, another conservative group focused on challenging progressive narratives on race.
John Hinderaker, President of the Center of the American Experiment and a board member at UMLC, elaborated on the ordeal in a blog post, indicating that while his organizations are accustomed to opposition, there was no immediate cause that could have prompted such an extreme reaction. Despite the lack of specific suspects, Hinderaker provided the FBI with potential leads, including individuals associated with eco-terrorism, Antifa, certain unions, pro-Hamas groups, or extreme liberal activists.
Hinderaker expressed confidence in the FBI’s ability to resolve the case, notwithstanding some conservatives’ skepticism towards the agency. He underscored the importance of the extensive surveillance system within and outside the office building, hinting at its potential to capture the culprits or their vehicle.
The arson not only aimed to disrupt the conservative think tanks’ operations but also caused significant fire and smoke damage to the entire building, affecting various small businesses housed within. Despite the attack, both the Center of the American Experiment and Take Charge have vowed to continue their work, emphasizing their commitment to their causes.
Take Charge, particularly noted for its stance against the prevailing discourse on systemic racism and white privilege, remains undeterred. Kendall Qualls, the organization’s president, reaffirmed their mission to address racial disparities through perspectives that diverge from mainstream narratives, pointing to the breakdown of family structures as a primary concern rather than systemic racism.
In response to the attack, Hinderaker announced plans to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible, underlining a collective resolve among the targeted groups to seek justice and continue their advocacy work despite the challenges posed by the arson.