In 1946, two African American couples were brutally murdered by lynch mobs, an event known as the Moore’s Ford Lynching. Throughout the last 72 years, the case has been investigated by both the FBI and GBI. Ten years ago, the FBI released records showing that former Ga. Governor Eugene Talmadge may have sanctioned the murders to secure rural white votes weeks before being elected governor.
Other memos within the records raised suspicions that state employees could have been part of the lynching and a witness claims he saw a police officer take part in the brutal murders.
However, no one has ever been brought to justice for this disgusting violation of human rights. This is because too many people refused to speak up. Every time there has been a small break in the case, everyone else questioned has stayed silent.
Now, the case concerning one of the most brutal and shocking lynchings to happen in Georgia history is coming to a close. After more than 70 years of intermittent breaks in the case shortly followed by dead ends, the GBI Director Vernon Keenan has decided that the case needs to close so that the facts can be made public.
There are two big things we as citizens and activists can learn from this case:
Silence allows corruption to continue. Silence is the reason that the Moore’s Ford Lynching victims’ children will never know who murdered their parents. Silence is the reason murderers were allowed to continue making and upholding laws.
We, as citizens, need to demand transparency from our political representatives and our police force. Between 2010 and 2015, 184 people were shot to death by police officers in Georgia. We live in a time where black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers. Although things have improved, it is still less safe to be black than white, and that is unacceptable. This year, we need to elect political representatives in Georgia that protect the rights of people of color.