Connect with us

Uncategorized

It Took 120 Years But the U.S. Just Made Lynching a Federal Hate Crime

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.It’s taken 120 years, but the U.S. government has finally made lynching a federal crime. On Wednesday, the House passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, named for the black teen who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, with 410 members voting in favor…

It Took 120 Years But the U.S. Just Made Lynching a Federal Hate Crime

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.

It’s taken 120 years, but the U.S. government has finally made lynching a federal crime.

On Wednesday, the House passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, named for the black teen who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, with 410 members voting in favor and four voting against. Three black senators — Democrats Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, plus Republican Tim Scott — pushed their version of the bill through the Senate in December, which means the historic legislation is now headed to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The four House lawmakers who opposed the legislation Wednesday are Republicans Louie Gohmert of Texas, Ted Yoho of Florida, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Independent Justin Amash of Michigan.

Five other members of Congress initially voted against the bill and then changed their vote to support it, according to CNN reporter Haley Byrd: Republican Reps. Paul Gosar, Chip Roy, Andy Bigs, Ralph Norman, and Steve King.

In 1900, when Rep. George Henry White, then the country’s only black congressman, first proposed the bill, racist violence and lynchings of African Americans were rampant, particularly in the South. Over 4,000 lynchings of African Americans occurred in 12 Southern states between 1877 and 1950, according to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Today, lynchings are rare, but their ugly legacy persists. Last year, a white student from the University of Illinois was charged with a hate crime for hanging up a noose in a dorm elevator. Nooses were found last year in an exhibition on segregation at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., as well as hanging from a tree outside a nearby art museum.

In 2016, four white high school football players placed a noose around a black football player’s neck and pulled it backwards during practice. That same year, a private high school in Texas was sued for $3 million when a 12-year-old black student was left with severe rope burns after three of her white classmates wrapped a rope around her neck and dragged her to the ground.

READ: How racist bullying is tearing apart a school district in the South

“This bill is in part symbolic but relevant,” Rep. Bobby Rush, a Democrat from Illinois, said in a statement when he introduced the legislation last year. “You only need to look at the events in Charlottesville to be reminded that not too long ago rallies such as those resulted in the lynching of innocent African Americans.”

He added that his bill was fast-tracked so that its passage could coincide with Black History Month.

In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress, but they failed, in part due to Southern lawmakers who felt like the bill would encroach on state’s rights.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 was the closest that Congress ever came in the post-Reconstruction era to enacting antilynching legislation, according to Rush. In 2005, senators passed a resolution apologizing for their failure to enact anti-lynching legislation.

Cover: Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., speaks during a news conference about the “Emmett Till Antilynching Act” which would designate lynching as a hate crime under federal law, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Continue Reading…

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Uncategorized

Federal judge rules Cuccinelli appointment unlawful

Because Cuccinelli’s USCIS position was designated initially as “first assistant” to the USCIS director, the Trump administration reasoned that Cuccinelli could become acting chief under a provision of the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act. But Moss wrote th…

Federal judge rules Cuccinelli appointment unlawful

Because Cuccinelli’s USCIS position was designated initially as “first assistant” to the USCIS director, the Trump administration reasoned that Cuccinelli could become acting chief under a provision of the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
But Moss wrote th…
Continue Reading…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

The fighter pilot takes on the astronaut: McSally’s 2020 Arizona mission

In Gilbert, a town of more than 200,000 people outside Phoenix, McSally satdown to talk local issues with the mayor outside a bustling coffee shop in the mild winter warmth before taking a walking tour of the small downtown, hitting up a few local spots to ha…

The fighter pilot takes on the astronaut: McSally’s 2020 Arizona mission

In Gilbert, a town of more than 200,000 people outside Phoenix, McSally satdown to talk local issues with the mayor outside a bustling coffee shop in the mild winter warmth before taking a walking tour of the small downtown, hitting up a few local spots to ha…
Continue Reading…

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Italy Set to Approve $442 Million Loan to Keep Alitalia Flying

Italy Set to Approve $442 Million Loan to Keep Alitalia Flying

Italy Set to Approve $442 Million Loan to Keep Alitalia Flying
Continue Reading…

Continue Reading

Trending