Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Ga. county declines to act on '46 death

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 01:11 AM
Original message
Ga. county declines to act on '46 death
Posted on Tue, Feb. 13, 2007

ELLIOTT MINOR
Associated Press

BUTLER, Ga. - A rural county's leaders declined to take action Tuesday on a request from two civil rights groups to support a federal probe into the unsolved 1946 killing of a black World War II veteran.

The groups and surviving relatives of Maceo Snipes, the first registered black voter in Taylor County, wanted the county commission's support before they mailed their request to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ...

Maceo Snipes, who served most of his two-year Army hitch in the Pacific, was shot in the back by four white men in 1946 - a day after the 37-year-old voted for the first time, relatives say. He collapsed in the doorway of his farmhouse about 90 miles south of Atlanta and died two days later.

While his death certificate says he died of "gunshot wound by homicide," there is no evidence of a criminal probe into the killing, and no one was arrested.

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/breaking_news/16692176.htm

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 01:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. There is no statute of limitations on murder, and this case demands justice
To Honor and Remember

MACEO SNIPES

March 28, 1900 - July 20, 1946


Maceo Snipes, a black man, served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was honorably discharged with decorations. Upon returning to his home in Georgia, Maceo Snipes chose to exercise his right to vote.

<snip>

The following morning he was sitting on his porch and four white man came up and killed him with a shotgun in front of his mother.

His funeral was held the next day and in the midst of the funeral oration, Maceos mother rose and moved up through the crowd, up to his coffin, where they waited to lower it into the earth. And she asked her second son to come forth. He was 17. And she said to him: Put your hand on this coffin, and swear on the body of your brother that when you get to be 21, youre going down to the courthouse to do what he did-to vote.

http://www.rootsweb.com/~gataylor/afroam.htm

Maceo Snipes was a decorated WWII veteran. He returned to his hometown determined to have the rights of freedom that he had fought for in other parts of the world and for other people. In 1946, during the first primary election open to African-American voters, Maceo Snipes dared to become the first African American to vote. The next day, he was dragged from his mother's porch by four white men and shot to death. The white men were found not guilty by reason of self-defense. Maceo Snipes' family fled in terror, unable even to bury him. The final rally of Freedomwalk at the Taylor County courthouse, and the presentation to his daughter of a plaque honoring Maceo Snipes, brought many of the family back together again for the first time.

http://www.resistinc.org/newsletter/issues/2001/11/dede.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
armodem08 Donating Member (186 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I completely agree with you, but why are those two excerpts contradictory?
Which really happened?

"His funeral was held the next day and in the midst of the funeral oration, Maceos mother rose and moved up through the crowd, up to his coffin, where they waited to lower it into the earth."

or,
"Maceo Snipes' family fled in terror, unable even to bury him. "

also,
the article said he was 37, your dates make him 46.

Again, I completely agree, but I would would just like the whole story here.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Big Pappa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That
is a very different recollection.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. There are some contradictions, but remember the events took place a long time ago
and we are dealing with recollections that may have been affected by time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Wallace, Henry. Radio Address, September 13, 1948.
... It was in the same state of Georgia, just two years ago, that a young Negro veteran named Maceo Snipes learned that by Supreme Court ruling he had a right to vote. No Negro had voted in his county since reconstruction, but Maceo Snipes went down and registered.

23

The following morning he was sitting on his porch and a white man came up and killed him with a shotgun.

24

His funeral was held the next day and in the midst of the funeral oration, Maceos mother rose and moved up through the crowd, up to his coffin, where they waited to lower it into the earth. And she asked her second son to come forth. He was 17. And she said to him: Put your hand on this coffin, and swear on the body of your brother that when you get to be 21, youre going down to the courthouse to do what he did-to vote. ...

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/programs/pauleyg/voices/hwallace.htm

This, at least, has the advantage of being an account produced within a few years of the event.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. dupe
Edited on Wed Feb-14-07 02:18 AM by struggle4progress
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. The reference to the mother's words at the funeral was made in a speech by Henry Wallace in 1948.
It was in the state of Georgia, in 1946, that a young Negro veteran named Maceo Snipes learned
that by Supreme Court ruling he had a right to vote. No Negro had voted in his county since
Reconstruction, but Maceo Snipes went down and registered. The following morning he was sitting
on his porch and a white man came up and killed him with a shotgun. His funeral was held
the next day and in the midst of the funeral oration, Maceos mother rose and moved up through
the crowd, up to his coffin, where they waited to lower it into the earth. And she asked her second
son to come forth. He was 17. And she said to him, Put your hand on this coffin, and swear
on the body of your brother than when you get to be 21, youre going down to the courthouse to
do what he did to vote.

Henry Wallace
Progressive Party Candidate for President
Radio Address, September, 1948
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/jimcrowguide.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I didn't know who he was so I looked him up. He seems creditable:
Henry A. Wallace
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other persons named Henry Wallace, see Henry Wallace (disambiguation).
Henry A. Wallace



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

33rd Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1941 January 20, 1945
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by John N. Garner
Succeeded by Harry S. Truman

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11th United States Secretary of Agriculture
In office
March 4, 1933 September 4, 1940
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Arthur M. Hyde
Succeeded by Claude R. Wickard

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10th United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
March 2, 1945 September 20, 1946
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Jesse Holman Jones
Succeeded by W. Averell Harriman

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Born October 7, 1888
Orient, Iowa
Died November 18, 1965, age 77
Danbury, Connecticut
Political party Democratic
Spouse Ilo Browne
Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (194145), the 11th Secretary of Agriculture (193340), and the 10th Secretary of Commerce (194546). In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of the Progressive Party.

~snip~
Wallace was raised as a Presbyterian, but left that denomination early in life. He spent most of his early life exploring other religious faiths and traditions. He eventually settled on Episcopalianism and converted to the Episcopal Church USA, though he continued to correspond with mystics and persons associated with alternative religions, including Russian Nicholas Roerich. During the 1940 presidential election, correspondence with Roerich fell into the hands of the Republicans, who threatened to reveal his beliefs until the Democrats threatened to release information about Republican candidate Wendell Wilkie's extra-marital affair. <1>
(snip)

Following his term as Secretary of Commerce, Wallace became the editor of The New Republic magazine, using his position to criticize vociferously Truman's hawkish foreign policy. On the declaration of the Truman Doctrine in 1947, he predicted it would mark the beginning of "a century of fear." He left his editorship position in 1948 to make an unsuccessful run as a Progressive Party candidate in the 1948 U.S. presidential election. His platform advocated an end to segregation, full voting rights for blacks, and universal government health insurance. His campaign was unusual for his time in that it included African American candidates campaigning alongside white candidates in the American South, and during the campaign he refused to appear before segregated audiences or eat or stay in segregated establishments.
(snip/...)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_A._Wallace

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Henry A. Wallace, DEMOCRAT!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. Not even a confession was usually enough,
There were white killers who would do the deed and then march right to the police and confess and be released within hours.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rowdy Church Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
8. Georgia Native
As a Georgia native its stories like this that make me ashamed to be a Southerner at times.

I hope they do bring these killers to justice - but I'm abit perplexed by the discrepancies. One link suggests that the killers were acquitted while another indicates that no one was ever arrested.

If the latter is true - then the killers ought to be tried because there is no statue of limitations on murder. If the former is true - I'm afraid there may be little that can be done to rectify this tragedy because Double Jeopardy would apply.

I'm to young to remember segregation and Jim Crow but even now there are small towns and places in Georgia that are just as backwards as they were in 1946.

Its a stain that the South continues to bear.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ArbustoBuster Donating Member (956 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Things like this make me ashamed to be American.
Hell, they make me ashamed to be human. The men who did this need to face justice. I don't care if they're doddering old men. People need to see that murderers are put away, and racists need to see that violence will be met with justice.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
intaglio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
10. Sounds like "Bad Day at Black Rock" eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Doondoo Donating Member (843 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
12. kick
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-14-07 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. The further one goes from the source, the more contaminated it becomes.
Edited on Wed Feb-14-07 06:33 PM by nealmhughes
A diary of the mother, for example with her funeral oration recorded the day of its occurance or a letter that survived to her sister with the same facts would be a miracle.

We have two different dates of life, number of men who were invoved in the shooting and whether he was dragged away or shot on his mother's porch.

This obvious "conflict" is only so in the corte duree, not the lognue.
In the longue duree narrative, the precise dates, number of men and whether or not an oath was sworn are ancillary at best. The fact that the veteran was murdered, absolved of it and that it was over voting in a white only suffrage county is what is important. The legend, whether true or not, as recounted by Wallace shows us more about Wallace and the fact that he would use this as political feed than the event itself.

The legend is therefore important in folk memory as a pre-destined rallying call for the nascent Civil Rights Movement. The murder is important because it was an unpunished political murder. The murder is important because it was a murder in which an individual or group of individuals showed they had the power to get away with denying the most basic of all human rights and not lose status in the community.

Therefore, by my analysis, the murder is important as an individual outrage out of many by a poisoned political order and majority society and the legend is for creating a martyr from a victim.

It would be a great research project to track down the family -- many of whom are still alive, I'm sure -- the court records and every piece of evidence to write the definitive account.

Regardless of mere trivial data, Mr. Marceo Snipes, you are a hero to me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-15-07 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. I can find five or six history books that agree that the fellow was shot
at his house the day after he voted in 1946. In most cases, the books are discussing a number of racially-motivated murders and don't provide much more detail than that about this case. The date seems fixed.

I can't see that it really matters much whether four men all shot him or a group men confronted him but only one of them shot him, or whether they dragged him from inside his house and shot him on the porch or dragged him off the porch to shoot him.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-15-07 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. That is my entire point.
Edited on Thu Feb-15-07 12:42 PM by nealmhughes
The small details are immaterial for an analysis of the event.

The fact that four or five books use the same data does not prove it "true," as the odds are they are citing the same source. It is secondary sourcing, and secondary sourcing relies upon other sources, either primary or secondary.

The details of the murder are basicly in agreement in the historical community: he was a veteran. He registered and voted. For that he was murdered. The number of men associated, his exact age, etc. are mere "filler." The absolution of the murder and the reason it was committed are of what is of most importance in the narrative.

The development of the legend of his mother's vow is also not "really" important in my eyes, rather that it exists at all.

History is the most political and philosophical of all the disciplines a student normally encounters. How we read "fact" is not history, but chronology. History is the synthesis of fact tempered with a wide variety of sources' interpretation, allowing one to develop their own narrative of "truth" and how it is used.

This story is very important to me for those reasons: it has transcended mere recitation of pure data: time, date, place, why, deed, actors, victim, etc. and developed into a history by our own analyses based upon what we know of the nascent civil rights movement, the anxiety of the newly returned WWII vets re:integration and suffrage on both sides of the "race divide" and the fact that power has allowed a murder to remain not merely unpunished but to have been swept aside by aquittal of defendents.

The question of whether or not the mother of the dead man made the vow at the coffin is not material, what is is that people believe she did. In his history of the Peloponessian Wars, Thucidides funeral oration from Pericles was admittedly "invented" by him. But it is an example when if "someone didn't say it, they should have."

I call not the vericity of the mother's speech into question, for whether or not she said it, "she ought to have." The funeral ortation is the most important part of the narrative. The fact that it has passed into folklore is the most important part of the entire story, for there were many men killed for less and who got away with more than this outrage.

The entire narrative reminds me of Martin King's "Mountiantop Speech," his last public oration in Memphis before his murder in its chilling foresight: the imagry of Moses not being allowed to cross the Jordan, the window banging shut sounding like a gun shot that night in the hot packed hall... It is a work of prophecy and so was the "Mother's Vow".

I hope that I have not used too many overly technical historigraphical terms, but history is a most specialized branch of literature, and consequently has its own vocabulary.

I have studied African-American and New and Old South History for over four years at the graduate level and this story is absolutely enthralling to me on a personal and professional level.

I am most grateful to DU for bringing it to light.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 14th 2021, 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC