U.S. House of Representatives Passes Emmett Till Act, Designates Lynching as a Hate Crime
The Emmett Till Antilynching Act passed by a 410-4 margin.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to officially designate lynching as a federal hate crime. For over 100 years, Congress unsuccessfully attempted to pass this legislation.
Four representatives voted against the bill, which representatives named after Emmett Till. They include independent Michigan representative Justin Amash and Republicans Thomas Massie (Ky.), Ted Yoho (Fla.), and Louie Gohmert (Texas).
Ted Yoho, a Republican from Florida’s 3rd congressional district, told CNN’s Manu Raju that the bill was “an overreach of the federal government.” Last February, the Senate unanimously passed a similar bill. The New York Times expects President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law.
Since 1918, Congress has tried and failed to pass anti-lynching laws about 200 times. Democratic Illinois representative Bobby Rush introduced the bill.”We are one step closer to finally outlawing this heinous practice and achieving justice for over 4,000 victims of lynching,” Rush said last week.
Senator Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Tim Scott of South Carolina introduced the Senate’s legislation last year. “Today brings us one step closer to finally reconciling a dark chapter in our nation’s history,” Booker said in a statement on Wednesday.
Rush cited white supremacist rallies in Virginia, and mass shootings in Texas as evidence of the legislation’s importance.
“The importance of this bill cannot be overstated,” he said. “From Charlottesville to El Paso, we are still being confronted with the same violent racism and hatred that took the life of Emmett and so many others…the passage of this bill will send a strong and clear message to the nation that we will not tolerate this bigotry.”