It’s been several decades since the brutal lynching of Emmett Till. After his murder he became an icon of the civil rights movement. His killers were acquitted at the time. To fix the nation’s mistakes, President Joe Biden signed into a new legislation after the bill failed 200 previous times.
On March 29th, Biden signed Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, which officially makes lynching a federal hate crime after more than a century of attempts to acknowledge lynching as a “uniquely American weapon of racial terror.”
According to Huffpost, “The new law makes it possible to prosecute a crime as a lynching when death or serious bodily injury results from a conspiracy to commit a hate crime. Those convicted under the law can face up to 30 years in prison.”
Biden gave the following statement on passing the legislation.
“The law is not just about the past. It’s about the present and our future as well. From the bullets in the back of Ahmaud Arbery to countless other acts of violence, countless victims known and unknown. The same racial hatred that drove the mob to hang a noose brought that mob carrying torches out of the fields of Charlottesville just a few years ago.”
“Racial hate isn’t an old problem. It’s a persistent problem,” he added. “Hate never goes away, it only hides under the rocks. If it gets a little bit of oxygen, it comes roaring back out, screaming. What stops it? All of us.”
Till’s cousin, Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., who was present with him when he was murdered said in a statement that him and his family were devastated as nobody was held responsible for the murder of his cousin. Now with the new legislation being passed, people can breathe a sigh of relief. Parker got the honor of attending the signing at White House.
The outlet noted that lawmakers have spent the last century trying to pass nearly 200 anti-lynching bills, but were always rejected until today. Parker added in his statement that him and his family is revitalized by this new law.
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