Congress has just passed very long, overdue legislation.
President Joe Biden signed the “Emmett Till Antilynching Act of 2022” into law on Tuesday at the White House, making lynching a federal hate crime.
The bill was named after Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy who was brutally murdered while vacationing in Mississippi in 1955. Till was accused of whistling at a white woman in which two white men kidnapped Till from his cousin’s home and lynched him in the early morning hours.
The President gave remarks during the White House Garden signing ceremony, highlighting the detailed history that America has with the blatant hatred, violence, and mistreatment of Black Americans.
President Biden signed a bill into law that makes lynching a federal hate crime, acknowledging how racial violence has left a lasting scar on the nation https://t.co/kLE8yNHnDE
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 29, 2022
“Lynching was [a] pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone … belongs in America, not everyone is created equal. Terror, to systematically undermine hard-fought civil rights. Terror, not just in the dark of the night but in broad daylight. Innocent men, women, and children hung by nooses in trees, bodies burned and drowned and castrated.” The President stated.
He continued, “Their crimes? Trying to vote. Trying to go to school. Trying to own a business or preach the gospel. False accusations of murder, arson, and robbery. Simply being Black.”
Vice President Kamala Harris gave remarks as well, noting that this was not the first time that antilynching legislation had been presented in Congress. In fact, representatives have made attempts at an antilynching law for more than a century since its introduction to the Senate in 1900.
“Anti-lynching legislation has been introduced to the United States Congress more than 200 times.” The Vice President said. “Lynching is not a relic of the past. Racial acts of terror still occur in our nation. And when they do, we must all have the courage to name them and hold the perpetrators to account.”
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