President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act of 2022 into law on Tuesday making lynching a federal hate crime.
The bill is named after a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago, who was brutally murdered by a group of White men in Mississippi after he was accused of whistling at a White woman in 1955.
According to Tuskegee University, 4,743 people were lynched from 1882 to 1968 and 3,446 of them were Black.
At the signing ceremony, held in the Rose Garden of the White House, President Biden said:
Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone … belongs in America, not everyone is created equal.
Terror, to systematically undermine hard-fought civil rights.
Terror, not just in the dark of the night but in broad daylight.
Innocent men, women and children hung by nooses in trees, bodies burned and drowned and castrated.
Trying to vote. Trying to go to school.
Trying to own a business or preach the gospel.
False accusations of murder, arson and robbery.
Simply being Black.
Biden went to add the new law isn’t just about the past.
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.
Till’s cousin, the Rev. Wheeler Parker Jr., said in a statement:
My cousin was a bright, promising 14-year-old from Chicago. My family was devastated that no one was held responsible for the abduction, torture and murder of Emmett.
But we are heartened by this new law, which shows that Emmett still speaks in powerful ways to make sure that no one can get away with a racist crime like this ever again.
Watch the news report below.
While it’s a crying shame that it took so long to get the antilynching bill signed into law…I’m glad it’s been done.
Source: ABC News