WASHINGTON, D.C. — (03-07-22) —  The U.S. Senate passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act of 2022 on Monday night by unanimous consent, making lynching a federal hate crime and explicitly criminalizing a heinous act that has become a symbol of our history’s racial violence.

After more than a century and 200 failed attempts to pass such legislation, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act of 2022 is on its way to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

The Emmett Till Antilynching Act of 2022 was approved by the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 422-3.

The bill was properly named after Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Black American young man tortured and murdered in Mississippi in 1955. Under the new law, the crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

“Hallelujah — it is long overdue,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, who pushed the legislation’s passage in a sparsely filled chamber Monday evening.

Without any senators showing up to object, the bill cleared the Senate without a formal vote.

“Although no legislation will reverse the pain and fear felt by those victims, their loved ones and Black communities, this legislation is a necessary step America must take to heal from the racialized violence that has permeated its history,” said Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey and a sponsor of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, after passage.

Failure to pass the bill before this year’s elections would have become a glaring example of the nation’s inadequate response to a crime that has long terrorized Black Americans.

In fact the N.A.A.C.P. reports that Black American victims accounted for 72 percent of 4,743 lynchings that occurred between 1882 and 1968.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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