black senators push bill to criminalize lynching

October 18, 2018
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Did you know that lynching hasn’t been classified a federal hate crime yet? In 2018, an act of racially motivated domestic terrorism has not been outlawed by Congress, but that could change thanks to the tireless efforts of the only three Black Senators on Capitol Hill and a game-changing bipartisan bill.

The Grio reported that the “Justice for Victims of Lynching” bill has advanced through the Senate thanks to the efforts of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Republican Tim Scott. The bill will finally make lynching a federal crime that warrants an enhanced sentence under existing hate-crime statutes punishable by life imprisonment according to Countable.com.

“From 1882 to 1986 there have been 200 attempts that have failed to get Congress to pass federal anti-lynching legislation, it’s time for that to change,” Senator Harris previously wrote. Two hundred attempts. Yikes. The bill will also acknowledge the nearly 5,000 reported victims who were lynched on US soil in the same time period.

Lynching of any kind should be a thing of the past but in April 2018, Jarron Moreland and Alize Smith, two Black American men, were brutally murdered, dismembered and chained to cinder blocks that were dumped in a pond by three white men. The gruesome incident was widely regarded as an act of modern-day lynching.

To say this bill is long-overdue might be the understatement of the century (and the previous one and the one before that). Not only do all the victims deserve to be acknowledged (through exhibits like The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, also known as the Lynching Museum) but they also deserve justice.

This bill is justice.



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