On Monday night, the Senate unanimously passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. Such efforts had failed for more than a century.
Bobby Rush, the Illinois Democrat who introduced the measure in the House, said: “Despite more than 200 attempts to outlaw this heinous form of racial terror at the federal level, it has never before been done. Today, we corrected that historic injustice. Next stop: [Joe Biden’s] desk.”
The New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, Senate co-sponsor with Tim Scott of South Carolina, a Republican, said: “The time is past due to reckon with this dark chapter in our history and I’m proud of the bipartisan support to pass this important piece of legislation.”
Subject to Biden’s signature, the bill will make lynching a hate crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The last time such a bill failed, Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, was the reason. This time round three House Republicans voted against it: Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Chip Roy of Texas and Andrew Clyde of Georgia.
The full story on events in the Senate on Monday is here.
Here, meanwhile, is an interview with Christine Turner, director of the Oscar-nominated short film Lynching Postcards: Token of a Great Day. You should read it: