Congress has finally made lynching a federal crime naming the law after 14-year-old, Emmett Till, who was murdered 65 years ago in Mississippi. On Wednesday, House Of Representatives approved the bill in an overwhelming majority 410-to-four vote.
Three questions come to mind here... Why did it take so long for this bill to pass? Who were the four that voted against the law? and............... Are police murdering black men/women included in the law, because that is the new "lynching".
The bill, sponsored by representative Bobby Rush of Illinois labels lynching as a hate crime under federal law. The bill indicates that the crime attracts up to life imprisonment, a fine, or both. The bill, anonymously passed by the Senate last year, will now be moved to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign.
In 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was tortured and murdered after a white woman claimed that the teenager grabbed her and whistled at her outside a Mississippi grocery store. Following the incident, the woman’s husband together with his brother attacked Emmett Till four days later, killing him on the spot.
The two men were charged with murder but were later acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury. However, both men confessed to the crime later.
“The importance of this bill cannot be overstated,” Mr. Rush, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement. “From Charlottesville to El Paso, we are still being confronted with the same violent racism and hatred that took the life of Emmett and so many others. The passage of this bill will send a strong and clear message to the nation that we will not tolerate this bigotry.”
According to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss, representing the area where the 14-year-old was murdered and abducted, the anti-lynching bill is long overdue. However, it’s not too late to ensure justice is served.
“No matter the length of time, it is never too late to ensure justice is served,” Rep. Bennie said.
“It is never too late to do the right thing and address these gruesome, racially motivated acts of terror that have plagued our nation’s history,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. added.
The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, appreciated the Congress, especially Mr. Rush, for passing the bill. For nearly 200 times, efforts to pass anti-lynching legislation failed. Therefore, this is such a great move.
“We cannot deny that racism, bigotry, and hate still exist in America,” she said, referencing the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, among other recent incidents.
The anti-lynching bill was first brought forward in 1900, but it never went through.