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Three Republicans in the House Voted Against the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill

On Monday, The House of Representatives voted 422-3 to approve the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill, making lynching a federal hate crime.

On Monday, the United States House of Representatives passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill, officially classifying lynching as a federal hate crime.

According to USA Today, “the act will allow crimes to be prosecuted as a lynching if someone is killed or injured in the commission of a hate crime” according to Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill, also the bill’s sponsor.

“By passing my Emmett Till Antilynching Act, the House has sent a resounding message that our nation is finally reckoning with one of the darkest and most horrific periods of our history, and that we are morally and legally committed to changing course,” Rush said in a written statement.

Rush also noted that Congress has attempted 200 times to pass the anti-lynching legislation, failing each time until now. In February 2020, an earlier version of the bill passed the House, but was blocked by the Senate.

Despite Rush’s urgency, Republican representatives. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky; and Chip Roy of Texas voted against the legislation.

According to the Equal Justice Initiative, From 1877 to 1950, roughly 4,400 Black people were lynched in the U.S. The last reported lynching of a Black person was in 1998 when 49-year-old James Byrd Jr. was dragged to his death by a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas.

In August 1955, 14-year-old Till arrived from Chicago to visit relatives in the Delta region of Mississippi when he was accused of making advances to then-20-year-old white woman Carolyn Bryant Donham at a small grocery store. Till was later later abducted and brutally murdered by a violent mob of whites who heard about his “encounter” with Donham. Nearly 70 years later, Donham–who is still living–avoids discussing the murder.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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