It’s hard to believe it took this long, but the House of Representatives finally approved legislation designating lynching as a hate crime under federal law.
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) introduced the bill, naming it the Emmett Till Antilynching Act after the 14-year-old boy who was lynched in Mississippi 65 years ago, Vice reports. It’s also been 120 years since Congress first considered passing anti-lynching legislation, which is quite unbelievable when you think about it.
The legislation passed 410 to four in the House and is now on its way to the White House, where President Trump is anticipated to sign it. The Senate passed the bill last year, which specifies lynching “as a federal hate crime punishable by up to life in prison, a fine, or both,” NBC News writes.
“The importance of this bill cannot be overstated,” Rush told NBC. “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.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) represents the district where Till was abducted and killed. “No matter the length of time, it is never too late to ensure justice is served,” Thompsons told NBC.