After 200 attempts, lynching was passed by the U.S. Senate as a federal hate crime in America.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved the first federal anti-lynching bill introduced by two senators, Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
Lynching is the use of an instrument such as a rope fashioned into a noose to commit premeditated murder, usually by a mob.
“This has been a long arc, a painful history and a shameful history in this body,” Booker said on Wednesday. “At the height of lynchings across this country affecting thousands of people, this body did not act to make that a federal crime.”
Harris tweeted that the Senate vote was “historic”. The two senators first introduced the bill in June to make lynching a hate crime alongside other similar crimes against minorities.
The bill was approved by the Senate after 200 previous anti-lynching bills were rejected by Congress since 1918.
In 2005, the Senate passed a resolution apologizing for not passing an anti-lynching bill.
The bill stated:
“Notwithstanding the Senate’s apology and the heightened awareness and education about the nation’s legacy with lynching, it is wholly necessary and appropriate for the Congress to enact legislation, after 100 years of unsuccessful legislative efforts, finally to make lynching a federal hate crime.”
Thousands of innocent Black men, women and children were lynched across the South in the 19th and 20th Centuries, often by lawless mobs and members of the Ku Klux Klan.
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