We are now in the year 2022, and lynching has finally been declared a federal hate crime in the United States of America.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden officially signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law. He was joined in the Rose Garden outside of the White House by Vice President Kamala Harris, Michelle Duster, who is the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, administration officials and members of Congress while he signed the law.
According to CNN, after signing the bill Biden took to the podium to share a few words and said, “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone … belongs in America, not everyone is created equal. Terror, to systematically undermine hard-fought civil rights. Terror, not just in the dark of the night but in broad daylight. Innocent men, women and children hung by nooses in trees, bodies burned and drowned and castrated.”
Vice President Harris, who introduced the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act in 2018 when she was a senator, along with Cory Booker, and Tim Scott, also spoke after Tuesday’s signing and said, “Today we are gathered to do unfinished business to acknowledge the horror that is a part of our history, to state unequivocally that lynching is and has always been a hate crime. And to make clear that the federal government may now prosecute these crimes as such. Lynching is not a relic of the past. Racial acts of terror still occur in our nation, and when they do we must all have the courage to name them and hold the perpetrators to account.”
CNN reports that, Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., the cousin of Emmett Till said, “My cousin was a bright, promising 14-year-old from Chicago. My family was devastated that no one was held responsible for the abduction, torture and murder of Emmett. But we are heartened by this new law, which shows that Emmett still speaks in powerful ways to make sure that no one can get away with a racist crime like this ever again.”
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TSR STAFF: Jade Ashley @Jade_Ashley94