Mapp to RPW Letter 2/3/66
Pattye Mapp of SNCC writes, following a telegram, in response to the news that Warren will not attend a SNCC fundraiser due to SNCC's position on Vietnam. Mapp asks Warren to reconsider, encloses SNCC's statement on Vietnam in the hope of clarifying certain issues, and asks Warren to call collect.
A manuscript note on the letter, apparently in Warren's hand, may indicate that he did seek to make contact: compare this note with the numbers at the foot of Campbell's correspondence. Underlining on the SNCC statement appears to be in the same pen as these notes.
The enclosed statement, released January 6, 1966, places the United States' intervention in Vietnamese affairs in the context of the continuing "indifference, suspicion, and outright brutality" still received by American civil rights workers, the unequal status of black people in America, and ("for the most part") the absence of free elections in America. It mentions in particular the murder of Samuel Young in Tuskegee. It encourages those Americans who prefer to devote their lives to civil rights as an alternative to the draft.
The correspondence was sent via Special Delivery, likely indicating some haste. It arrived with five cents postage due.
Mapp to RPW Letter 2/3/66 Searchable TextCollapse
Boston Friends of the
New England Regional Office / 1555 Massachusetts Avenue / Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 / 868-0939
February 3, 1966
[Manuscript note under date: 491-0545
RI - 22100
x - 344]
Robert Penn Warren
2495 Redding Road
Dear Mr. Warren,
We hope you have received our telegram. Enclosed is a copy
of our Vietnam Statement. Which only expresses the views held by
SNCC staff and in no way attempts to express the opinions of our
We sincerely hope you will reconcider your decision as tickets
have been printed and pre-publicity owrk has been started.
Since the issuing of our statement there has been an considerable
amount of mis interpretation and we in the Boston office hope by reading
the entire statement it will clearify the issues. Please feel free to
call us collect at your convience.
Freedom is an ever constant struggle,
Boston Friends of SNCC
[Enclosure: Statement. Underlined portions are in manuscript and appear to be from the same pen as the manuscript note on the letter above.]
STATEMENT BY THE STUDENT NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON THE WAR IN VIETNAM
FOR RELEASE: 1:30 PM, Jan. 6, 1966
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee has a right and responsibility
to dissent with United States foreign policy on any issue when it sees fit.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee now states its opposition to
United States' involvement in Vietnam on these grounds:
We believe the United States government has been deceptive in its claims
of concern for hte freedom of the Vietnameses people, just as the government
has been deceptive in claiming concern for the freedom of colored people in
such other countries as the Dominican Republic, the Congo, South Africa, Rhodesia
and in the United States itself.
We, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, have been involved in
the black peoples' struggle for liberation and self-determination in this
country for the past five years. Our work, particularly in the South, has
taught us that the United States government has never guaranteed the freedom
of opporessed citizens, and is not yet truly determined to end the rule of terror
and oppression within its own borders.
We ourselves have often been victim of violence and confinement executed
by United States governmental officials. We recall hte numerous persons who
hve been murdered in the South because of their efforts to secure their civil
and human rights, and whose murders have been allowed to escape penalty for
The murder of Samuel Young in Tuskegee, Alabama, is no different than the
[marginal note: "by whom?"] murder of peasants in Vietnam, for both Young and the Vietnameses sought, and
are seeking, to secure the rights guarenteed them by law. In each case, the
United States government bears a great part of the responsibility for these deaths
Samuel Young was murdered because United States law is not being enforced.
Vietnameses are murdered because the United States is pursuing an aggressive
policy in violation of international law. The United States is no respector
of persons or law when such persons or laws run counter to its needs and desires.
We recall the indifference, suspicion, an outright brutality which our
reports of violence have been met in the past by government officials.
We know that for the most part, elections in this country, in the North
as well as the South, are not free. We hve seen the 1965 Voting Rights Act
and the 1964 Civil Rights Act have not yet been implemented with full federal
power and sincerity.
We question, then, the ability and even the desire of the United States
government to guarentee free elections abroad. We maintain that our country's
cry of " preserve freedom in the world" is a hypocritical mask behind which it
squashes liberation movements which are not bound, and refuse to be bound, by
the expediences of United States cold war policies.
We are in sympathy with, and support, the men in this country who are unwilling
to respond to a military draft which would compel them to contribute
their lives to United States aggression in Vietnam in the name of the "freedom"
we find so false in this country.
We recall with horror at the inconsistency of a supposedly "free" society
where responsibility to freedom is equated with the responsibility to lend
oneself to military aggression. We take note of the fact that 16% of the
draftees from this country are Negroes called on to stifle the liberation of
Vietnam, to preserve a "democracy" which does not exist for them at home.
We ask, where is the draft for the freedom fight in the United States?
We therefore encourage those Americans who prefer to use their energy in
building, democratic forms within this country. We believe that work in the
civil rights movement with other human relations organizations ia a valid
alternative to the draft. We urge all Americans to seek this alternative,
knowing full well that it may cost them their lives as painfully as in Vietnam.
STUDENT NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE [Postmark: BOSTON, MASS. PM 3 FEB 1966]
NEW ENGLAND REGION - - BOSTON FRIENDS OF S.N.C.C. [Postage: SPECIAL DELIVERY 30 cents]
1555 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE [Stamp: POSTAGE DUE 5 CENTS]
CAMBRIDGE 38, MASS. UN 8-0939 [Stamp, partially obscured: CAMBRIDGE, A MASS 1966 FE PM]
[Partially obscured manuscript note: Air]
[Manuscript note: Special Delivery]
Mr. Robert Penn Warren
2495 Redding Road
[Stamp: RECEIVED A.M. FEB 4 FAIRFIELD, CONN.]
[Time indicator on stamp points to approximately 8:45]Collapse