Lynching will now be classified as a federal hate crime under new legislation passed by the United States House of Representatives on Monday.
According to USA Today, the House voted 422-3 approving the Emmett Till Antilynching Act. This means that if someone is killed or injured in a hate crime, the crime can be prosecuted as a lynching.
Republican Representatives Andrew Clyde (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX) voted against the law. The bill was sponsored by Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL).
In a statement, Tush said, “By passing my Emmett Till Antilynching Act, the House has sent a resounding message that our nation is finally reckoning with one of the darkest and most horrific periods of our history, and that we are morally and legally committed to changing course.”
This is the first time Congress has successfully passed a federal antilynching bill. An earlier version of the bill was passed by the House, but was knocked down in the Senate. According to teh equal Justice Initiative, about 4,400 Black people were lynched in the United States between 1877 and 1950. These numbers are likely much higher due to underreporting.
The bill is named after Emmett Till, who is the 14-year-old Black boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955. The House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said in a statement, “By passing this bill today, the House of Representatives has sent a clear message that such violent actions – motivated by hatred and bigotry – will not be tolerated in this country.”
Nadler added, “I thank Congressman Rush for his leadership on this important issue and for his attention to history. The Senate should take up this legislation and send it to President Biden’s desk without delay.”
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KTVZ.COM