The House overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday that would make lynching a federal crime, a move supporters said is 'long overdue' in a country whose history is stained with the atrocities.
The House approved a bipartisan bill that would make lynching a federal crime, a move supporters say is long overdue.Deborah Barfield Berry USA TODAY WASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday that would make lynching a federal crime, a move supporters said is"long overdue" in a country whose history is stained with the atrocities. “I cannot imagine our nation did not have any federal law against lynching when so many African Americans have been lynched,” said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., a lead sponsor of the bill. “Lynching was the preferred method of the Ku Klux Klan, the preferred choice of torturing and murdering African Americans.” The Emmett Till Antilynching Act is named in memory of a 14-year-old black teenager who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955. His death was a catalyst for the civil rights movement. Rush said he proposed the bill at the urging of Jesse Jackson, who called last year to ask whether he knew there wasn’t such a law. “I heard the alarm,” Rush told USA TODAY. The House approved the bill 410 to 4. Voting against the measure were Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Ted Yoho of Florida. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., also voted no. 'What the hell is wrong with you?' During debate, Democrats and Republicans cited lynchings in their districts and states. "We cannot simply wash away the past," said Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., a co-sponsor last year on a bipartisan anti-lynching bill. Bacon said it's important to acknowledge "that evil did occur." Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the House GOP whip, said he and other Republicans will try to be added as co-sponsors. “It shouldn’t be partisan. It’s not partisan,” he said. “I haven’t seen anybody who is against this bill.” The family of Emmett Till welcomed passage of the anti-lynching bill. “With this vote, it will finally be criminalized, and the importance of that cannot be overstated,” said Deborah Watts, a cousin and co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation. “Perhaps now the victims who have been crying out from their graves for centuries and their relatives still struggling today can now find some semblance of peace.” Watts said her family will continue its fight for justice in Emmett’s death. Rush said he was assured by Senate co-sponsors of a similar bill that if the measure passed in the House, it would quickly be brought up for a vote in the Senate. Supporters hope to have it signed into law by the end of February in honor of Black History Month. The Senate passed a similar bill last year but has to vote on the version approved by the House on Wednesday. The bipartisan Senate bill was proposed by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. The bill would add language to the Civil Rights Act of 1968, making lynching a violation. “Lynchings were horrendous, racist acts of violence,'' Harris said."For far too long Congress has failed to take a moral stand and pass a bill to finally make lynching a federal crime.” 'I'm a black man in America' For Rush, the legislation is personal. He said he remembers when his mother gathered the family in their home in Chicago and showed the picture of Emmett Till on the cover of Jet Magazine. The teenager's mother, Mamie Till Mobley, had an open casket funeral in Chicago to show the world how Till, who had been visiting family in Mississippi, had been beaten and shot in the head. Witnesses said two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, kidnapped Till, whose body was found floating in the Tallahatchie River. “It changed my life,” recalled Rush, who was 8 years old. “It made me much more aware … of the impediments to my life, the racism that permeates in America.” WATCH: Nation's first lynching memorial confronts legacy of racial terror Ashraf H.A. Rushdy, a professor at Wesleyan University and the author of “American Lynching” and “The End of American Lynching,” called it “the original hate crime.” "It should have its own law, its own section. ... It’s the responsible thing to do and the historically accurate thing to do,” he said. Supporters said it’s been more than 100 years since the House passed an anti-lynching bill that failed in the Senate. They said nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced during the first half of the 20th century. “It’s not for lack of trying,” Rushdy said. “The Senate for 150 years refused to do that. It stopped every single bill, including two that passed the House. ... It's the Senate that is the body that is failing us.” He said the Senate was long controlled by Southern lawmakers, many of whom supported states' rights and were leery of backing a federal law. He said many states adopted anti-lynching bills. There were symbolic gestures in Congress, he said, including an apology in 2005 for inaction proposed by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and a joint resolution in 2017 condemning racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called the anti-lynching bill “long overdue.” “Lynching is a blot on the history of America,” he said. “But it’s never too late to do the right thing." Rush called it a “shame” that such a law hasn't passed. “To live in a nation where there is no federal statute … was totally reprehensible and unjust,” he said. “It really was a failure of our nation and Congress to not eventually prohibit lynching.” There were 4,743 lynchings from 1882 to 1968, according to the national NAACP. Of those, 3,446 were black. Most lynchings took place in the South. “Make no mistake: Lynching is terrorism,’’ said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rush, who was born in Georgia, said one of his uncles was lynched in a rural part of the state. “I’m a black man in America,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure that I utilize my vantage point as a member of Congress to enact legislation that, for the first time, will make lynching a violation of federal law.” The history of lynching in the USA Some part of the National Park Service – including the Tallahatchie County Courthouse where the two men accused of killing Till were acquitted by an all-white jury. The Equal Justice Initiative, founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, an Alabama attorney, Read more: USA TODAY
About time! I have read a little about the Emmett Till case. Didn't one of those who testified against Till admit he or she lied on the stand? Stirring the racial pot in an election year? Yes this is important because theres so many people bieng lynched in 2020... gimme a fucking break... Almost certain murder is a crime.
So they waste time on something that’s not needed instead of doing actual work. liberallogic How do you vote no on a hate crime bill? It takes a real racist to vote no on a hate crime bill. Thank you! Wait a minute... so it wasn’t? The House approved the bill 410 to 4. Voting against the measure were Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Ted Yoho of Florida. Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., also voted no. REPUBLICANS 😱😱
so up until this it was cool who knew 🙄🙄
House to take historic vote to make lynching a federal crimeLawmakers will take a historic vote on Wednesday when the House of Representatives takes up legislation to make lynching a federal crime. As with all things on the woke left, this is utterly pointless.... Take a vote WTF!! This law should be passed with no questions asked! This is what they waste their time with. Maybe make it a federal crime to bomb brown people overseas
This is an example of do nothing Congress. Please return your salaries to the people. Why? When is the last time we've actually had a lynching here in the United States this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard Thought it was already 4 didn’t How about a law covering something in the 21st century.
Now the Senate who let Trump off Murdering somebody is already no matter how it’s done So nice to see the House is actually working, LOL, LOL, LOL. Can they spend more time just pissing around on something that isn’t needed? Ok, so all the creeps in those lynching photos are accessories to murder. Plenty of them still alive today.
Emmett Till bill making lynching a federal crime passes HouseJUST IN: The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passes the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, voting 410-4. The bill makes lynching a hate crime under federal law, the first time in U.S. history. Who in the hell were the 4 that voted against it!? And why? So. About those born babies...... How is this, just now, becoming a law?
What a hollow, race-baiting gesture on the part of Congress. Passing laws to solve non-existent problems in order to keep the America-is-racist narrative alive for 2020 primary voters. Disgusting. How many Lynchings are there anyway? I doubt hardly any at all This is like making it illegal to give Native Americans small pox. Nice gesture, but purely symbolic. Does nothing for those that suffered.
must watch this ... Thanks 🙏 That’s just shameful. What a waste of time. Lynch mobs ain't the problem. Poorly trained, trigger happy cops are. Who were the 4 that voted against it what inhumane mofo was that. What if you pay some guys to pretend to lynch you? So does this mean Jussie will be prosecuted at the federal level for “ attempted lynching”?
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Thank you realDonaldTrump When lynching became indefensible, Republicans passed vague stand your ground laws to give killers of minorities a decent chance of going free. Congressional Liberals pass bill making burning witches at the stake a hate crime. But how can I do it now? They took my rights Literally centuries too late
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