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Congress Passes Bill To Make Lynching A Federal Hate Crime

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Source: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / Getty

We’re sure that some people will read the headline and be confused. One is perfectly within their rights to assume that after America’s long, murderous, history of bigotry that certain crimes against specific groups of people would be escalated to some of the highest and most severe in all the land.

Nope.

Up until yesterday, lynching, a form of murder typically enacted on Black people because we are Black, has finally become a federal hate crime. Well, almost. According to NBCNews, Congress has passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act and President Biden will be signing off on it shortly.

One of the biggest proponents of this groundbreaking legislation, Rep. Bobby Rush (D, Illinois) spoke about why this bill is so necessary.

“Lynching is a longstanding and uniquely American weapon of racial terror that has for decades been used to maintain the white hierarchy,” said Rush.

The congressman said passage of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act “sends a clear and emphatic message that our nation will no longer ignore this shameful chapter of our history and that the full force of the U.S. federal government will always be brought to bear against those who commit this heinous act.”

It has taken America almost 100 years and 200 bills to finally show some respect for Black lives. It’s pretty infuriating when you really stop to think about it. We won’t poo-poo the progress but it would be disingenuous for us not acknowledge all the tooth-pulling that had to be done in order to get this law on the books.

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