It’s About Time: Cory Booker And Fellow Black Senators Introduce Bill To Make Lynching A Federal Hate Crime

- By Bossip Staff

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The U.S. Senate’s Black lawmakers are coming together to enact tougher legislation against lynching.

According to The Hill, Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Tim Scott are all working to make lynching a federal hate crime, and they already have the support of 18 other senators.  Scott is the only Republican senator to support the bill so far.

Harris said in a statement on Friday: “Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our history, and we must acknowledge that, lest we repeat it.”

“This measure is certainly well past due, and I am glad to be able to join in efforts that will underscore the severity of this crime,” Scott said in a statement. “This piece of legislation sends a message that together, as a nation, we condemn the actions of those that try to divide us with violence and hate.”

To get the bill through the Senate, Booker, Scott, and Harris will need either the support of 60 senators, or a deal to pass the bill by a voice vote.

But so many people are surprised that a bill like this doesn’t already exist. Booker called the lack of legislation against lynching “ a travesty.”

“This sends a very powerful message,” Booker said to The New York Times. “Literally thousands of African-Americans were being lynched throughout history, and the Senate never stepped up to pass any legislation to stop this heinous, despicable behavior.”

According to Harris’ office, Congress has tried and failed to pass anti-lynching legislation nearly 200 times since 1918.

Even Republicans like Mitch McConnell are surprised by the law not already being in effect. ”Gosh, I thought we did that many years ago,” the Senate Majority Leader said recently when asked if he would support an anti-lynching law. “Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it. I thought that was done back during LBJ or some period like that. But if we need one at the federal level, I certainly would support it.”

The nation’s first memorial to the victims of lynching opened in Alabama this past April. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice commemorates 4,400 African Americans who were killed in lynchings and other racism-related murders between 1877 and 1950.

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