A Civil Rights Legacy

David Goodman, President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, wrote a letter to the editor the Thursday edition (6/23/16) of the New York Times reflecting on the closure of the investigation into the ’64 Mississippi Burning murders.

To the Editor:

Re: “Inquiry Ends in ’64 Killings of Three Men by Klansmen” (news article, June 21):

As the brother of Andrew Goodman, one of the three men murdered by the Ku Klux Klan on June 21, 1964, I am experiencing a bittersweet moment. I am grateful to everyone who pursued justice for my brother and his companions. The conviction of Edgar Ray Killen in 2005 on manslaughter charges was a partial healing moment for our country even though the other 17 accused were never tried for murder or manslaughter.

But even as this chapter is closed, it is crucial we recognize that systemic racism persists. We are hearing unconscionable public rhetoric of hatred and witnessing attacks on the rights of already marginalized groups. Modern voting restrictions are no more than revisions of Jim Crow laws and intimidation tactics meant to disenfranchise whole communities.

This is a critical juncture for our democracy. How we act now will determine whether we fulfill the dream of a just democratic process for all that my brother and so many others fought for in the civil rights era.

The Andrew Goodman Vote Everywhere program continues Andrew’s legacy by making young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy. Help us by using your voice and vote to put an end to discrimination.



Andrew Goodman Foundation

Mahwah, N.J.