The Senate unanimously passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act of 2022 to make lynching a federal hate crime. The act will go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
The House approved the legislation last week with a vote of 422-3. Advocates have worked tirelessly for years to secure Congressional approval to make lynching a hate crime.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his delight after the vote and remarked on the Senate floor, “After more than 200 failed attempts to outlaw lynching, Congress is finally succeeding in taking the long overdue action by passing the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act. Hallelujah. It’s long overdue!”
The legislation is named in honor of 14-year-old Emmett Till, a Chicago youth who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by racists while visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, in 1955. The child was accused of offending a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, whose husband with another man killed Till. Bryant, who is still alive today, recanted her story and has never faced any repercussion for her allegations. Till’s murder, and his mother, Mamie Till’s insistence that her son have an open casket funeral, became an international rallying cry to draw attention to the atrocities and terror of the Jim Crow South.
Keith Beauchamp, filmmaker and producer of “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till” told The Informer, “I’m truly moved by the passage of the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Bill by Congress, it’s long overdue. Now, as this bill heads to President’s desk, I hope that we don’t lose sight of continuing efforts to bring all of those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Louis Till to Justice.
I salute Congressman Bobby Rush, Senator Corey Booker, and others for their courage and diligence in assuring another dream of the late Mrs. Mamie Till Mobley is fulfilled. This is a landmark win for us all!”
Schumer said he looks forward to Biden “quickly” signing the bill into law.