Updated: Feb 24, 2020
Today, many of us regard lynching as an egregious act from the past. And as horrific as these racially motivated acts were, they somehow do not constitute as a federal hate crime in America today. That might finally change, as the House will put the Emmett Till AntiLynching Act to a vote next week, exactly 120 years later, as the bill was first introduced in 1900.
120 years ago this week, the only black congressman, Rep. George Henry White, stood on the House floor to present an unprecedented piece of antilynching legislation that would end these gruesome attacks, that were meant to control and terrorize African Americans. It failed. As stated in the Washington Post,“House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Thursday that the House will vote next week to make lynching a federal hate crime, which Congress failed to do nearly 200 times in the 20th century since Rep. George Henry White’s bill in 1900.”
The Emmett Till antilynching Act would make lynching, and mob killing generally, punishable up to life in prison. The bill was introduced last year on June 12,2019 by Rep. Bobby L. Rush, it passed the Senate where it was championed by Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D- Calif.), Cory Booker (D- N.J), and Tim Scott (R- S.C.).
They cut out Emmett Till’s tongue, so he could never speak again. We can be his voice! Make your voice heard by calling your congressperson today urging them to vote for this much needed legislation. Our voices matter! #WeAreGenZ