The Cause Is Led By Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker & Tim Scott
It seems Congress has finally decided that lynching is really, really REALLY horrible, and now they’re making it a federal crime.
According to The Hill, the Senate cleared legislation on Wednesday which makes lynching punishable as a hate crime. The bill was introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Carlif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).
Harris described the bill, saying:
“This is a historic piece of legislation that would criminalize lynching, attempts to lynch and conspiracy to lynch for the first time in America’s history. Lynching is part of the dark and despicable aspect of our country’s history that followed slavery and many other outrages in our country.”
Along with Harris, Booker and Scott, 35 other senators co-sponsored the bill, which was introduced in July and unanimously cleared the Judiciary Committee in October. The legislation passed the full Senate by voice vote.
Congress has tried to pass anti-lynching legislation roughly 200 times since 1918, according to Harris’ office.
So it seems it took a good 100 YEARS for the good folks on Capital Hill to realize lynching is really bad. The best they could do before was pass a resolution in 2005 apologizing to lynching victims.
Whoop di whoop.
A nice reparations package would be cute for lynching victims and their family, but that’s another story.
In response to the 2005 vote, the Senate legislation says that while an apology “moves the United States toward reconciliation and may become central to a new understanding, on which improved racial relations can be forged,” legislation that criminalizes lynching is still “wholly necessary and appropriate.”
Booker added that the Senate’s passage of the bill is “a very long time coming.”
“For over a century, members of Congress have attempted to pass some version of a bill that would recognize lynching for what it is, a bias, motivated act of terror. … We do know the passage of this bill, even though it cannot reverse irrevocable harm that lynching was used as a terror of suppression, the passage of this bill is a recognition of that dark past.”