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Opinion Before John Lewis, was the bold life and unjust death of Maceo Snipes

22:56  31 july  2020
22:56  31 july  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Pelosi, McConnell announce John Lewis will lie in State

  Pelosi, McConnell announce John Lewis will lie in State The body of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Thursday.An invitation-only arrival ceremony for the late congressman and civil rights leader will take place Monday at 1:30 p.m., and the public will be allowed to pay their respects Monday and Tuesday, according to congressional leaders. Lewis will lie in state at the top of the Capitol's East Front Steps during the public viewing. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The loss of Rep. John Lewis — a civil rights leader who spent his life making "good trouble" — brings to mind the death of Maceo Snipes, unknown by most Americans.

a group of people on a baseball field: **ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 6 -- FILE ** Alabama state troopers swing nightsticks to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala., March 7, 1965. As several hundred marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to begin a protest march to Montgomery, state troopers assaulted the crowd with clubs and whips. Dozens of congressional delegates and thousands of others are to re-enact the march on Sunday, March 6, 2005.  (AP Photo/File) ORG XMIT: WXS615 © AP **ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 6 -- FILE ** Alabama state troopers swing nightsticks to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala., March 7, 1965. As several hundred marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to begin a protest march to Montgomery, state troopers assaulted the crowd with clubs and whips. Dozens of congressional delegates and thousands of others are to re-enact the march on Sunday, March 6, 2005. (AP Photo/File) ORG XMIT: WXS615

On July 17, 1946, the war veteran cast a vote in his state’s Democratic primary — the only African American in Taylor County, Georgia to do so. Believing that recent court decisions abolishing all-white-voter primaries had paved his way, Snipes was undeterred by the KKK and the overt racism of Georgia officials. The very next day, white men showed up at his house, and one shot him. He died two days later after the local hospital refused to give him a blood transfusion because it had no “Black blood.”

John Lewis to lie in state at US Capitol next week

  John Lewis to lie in state at US Capitol next week The public will be allowed to pay their respects to the longtime Georgia congressman Monday night and all day Tuesday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); However, due to coronavirus precautions, Lewis will lie in state for public viewing at the top of the east front steps of the Capitol rather than in the Rotunda, and the public will file past on the East Plaza. Face masks will be required and social distancing will be enforced.

Professor Carol Anderson, chair of African American studies at Atlanta’s Emory University and author of the recently acclaimed book "One Person, No Vote," said that Snipes essentially signed his death warrant by voting.

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The man who killed Snipes was tried and acquitted. The FBI investigated at the time, and determined that the shooting was unrelated to voting and instead was over a  debt. Unabashed, an editorial in New York’s "Amsterdam News" called Snipes “a new martyr to the cause of Democracy and freedom in America,” and urged New Yorkers to honor his memory by registering to vote.

Family honors John Lewis at memorial in his hometown

  Family honors John Lewis at memorial in his hometown The family of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) honored the civil rights hero Saturday in his hometown of Troy, Ala., the first of several memorials before he is interred in Atlanta, Ga., Thursday. © Getty Images Family honors John Lewis at memorial in his hometown "He was always concerned about the health and well-being of his family," Grant Lewis, the younger brother of the late congressman said Saturday at Troy University. "His last word was: How's the family doing? How is everybody doing?" require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Policing the USA: A look at race, justice, media

In 2008, pursuant to the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, the case was re-opened, only to be closed again two years later. It's unclear why the Department of Justice closed the case because the legal analysis in the DOJ documentation has been redacted. There may not have been any iPhones to record Snipes’ death in 1946, but the climate of fear and violence in Georgia led those who knew him to conclude that he was killed for voting.

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African Americans are no longer shot to death or lynched for voting, and brazenly racist Jim Crow laws have been eradicated. But as our presidential election looms, aggressively restrictive voting laws have been enacted in many states. These hurdles are not lethal, but they are destructive to the life of our republic. One federal judge in a North Carolina voting rights case recently opined that white legislators "target African Americans with surgical precision" in their efforts to restrict voting. And to paraphrase the Rev. Al Sharpton, many states have their knees on the necks of Black voters.

‘Now it is your turn’: John Lewis issues call to action in posthumous op-ed

  ‘Now it is your turn’: John Lewis issues call to action in posthumous op-ed The Georgia Democrat reflected upon his own calling to join the civil rights movement following the lynching of Emmett Till. In his posthumous op-ed, Lewis looked to pass the torch of social justice activism on to a new generation of Americans. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); “While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me.

In the months after George Floyd's death, the movement for criminal justice reform and its concurrent demand to eliminate institutional racism is a welcome populist surge: Activists include a broad swath of diverse Americans demanding a restructuring of values and laws. Lewis, before he died, praised these efforts and hoped for their persistence: "you must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more."

Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and one of Lewis’s many political heirs, has emphasized how the broader Black Lives Matter movement also encompasses the fight for voting rights. Imagine, then, if the movement generated by Floyd's death is further influenced by that of Lewis and the memory of Snipes (and the many other Blacks and whites who died fighting for voting rights) to prompt thousands of Americans to converge on Capitol Hill and state capitals around the country with a clear and unequivocal message: Let Americans vote!

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John Lewis: 'Now it is your turn to let freedom ring'

  John Lewis: 'Now it is your turn to let freedom ring' The late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said in a posthumous op-ed that he had been "inspired" shortly before his death by nationwide demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd in May.In a piece published the day of his funeral in The New York Times, the civil rights titan recounted his own fears after the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955 and his own path to the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

A good starting point is to demand enactment of H.R.1, the voting rights bill passed by the House of Representatives that languishes on Sen. Mitch McConnell’s desk. Another is Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s bill for mail-in voting. A sustained and focused effort in Washington and throughout the country could open up the democratic process for voters whose rights are obstructed by unnecessary barriers.

It is not too late to clean up our electoral rules in time for the presidential election, and, as Lewis would attest, without such popular action, the likelihood of voting rights reform is remote. This is the perfect time for getting into good trouble to save America’s constitutional democracy.

Jerry Goldfeder is an election lawyer at Stroock in New York, teaches election law at the Fordham law school and is the author of "Goldfeder’s Modern Election Law."

Fred Davie is executive vice president of New York's Union Theological Seminary, chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board for the city's police department and was a member of President Barack Obama’s White House Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Before John Lewis, was the bold life and unjust death of Maceo Snipes

Atlanta mayor rips Trump over John Lewis comments: 'He doesn't care anything about the history of this country' .
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) on Tuesday blasted President Trump's latest comments on the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), calling Trump "delusional."Trump told Axios's Jonathan Swan in an interview published late Tuesday that he couldn't say "one way or the other" whether the civil rights icon's life had been "impressive" but that Lewis "made a big mistake" by not attending his inauguration in 2017.Asked about the remarks on CNN, Bottoms said she was "disgusted.""Donald Trump shows us time and time again that the only thing he believes in is himself," she said.

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This is interesting!