Cold Case Archives at Emory University keeps history alive.
Despite threats from the Ku Klux Klan in the run-up to the July 17 primaries, Maceo Snipes dared to become the first African-American to vote in Taylor County. What happened over the next few days in Butler and a two-hour drive to Monroe, Georgia, would make headlines across the country, especially in the African-American press, and inspire a young student from the Morehouse College, Martin Luther King Jr. response letter to editor of Atlanta Constitution.
The day after Snipes’ vote, four white men arrived in a van outside his grandfather’s farm, where Snipes and his mother Lula were having dinner. The men, who are believed to be members of the local Klan, called Snipes, who came to meet them. During their meeting outside the house, Edward Williamson, who was sometimes called Edward Cooper, shot Snipes in the back. Williamson, like Snipes, was a veteran of World War II.
He would not be the last: in the end, five would be murdered, including one seven month pregnant woman. Everything to vote. Over the past few days, I have read a lot of articles on this subject, including some pretty offensive articles implying Democrats and Republicans playing a “game.” Voting is not a game. Men and women in Georgia have lost their lives to have the right to vote. They walked. They were shot. They were hung from bridges. Seeing the tweets that call it a “game” that both parties play prevent us from recognizing the past.
Republicans decide they want to focus on “again“Part of the making of America.” That the importance is to relive the past, even the policies and inequalities. Instead again, democratic efforts are focused on creating a great America for all. Now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Now. We want to do everything in our power to make America great as soon as possible. We want tomorrow to be bigger than today, and we want to be better than yesterday. “Again” is not an option. Those times are long gone and they should never return.
It’s a shame that many are so afraid that people who live in their own district will have the opportunity to vote.
EDIT: I deleted a lynching photo in the entry, to avoid trigger issues. History, however, can trigger.