UPDATE (03/29/22): President Biden has signed H.R. 55 into law, finally making lynching a federal hate crime.
UPDATE (03/07/22): The Senate has passed H.R. 55, sending the legislation to President Biden’s desk for his signature to enact the law.
UPDATE (02/28/22): The House has passed H.R. 55 with an overwhelming vote of 422-3. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.
H.R. 55, the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, is long overdue legislation that would make lynching a hate crime under federal law. The designation would ensure that the crime of lynching would be eligible for the additional tools and resources used to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, and trigger enhanced sentencing upon conviction.
At least 4,742 people, predominantly African Americans, were reported lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968, while 99% of all perpetrators escaped any form of punishment. A statement of support by the NAACP stresses “the crime of lynching continued even after slavery had been abolished as the ultimate expression of racism, hatred and domestic terrorism in the United States. For over a century, it has been used to kill, terrorize and intimidate African Americans and the communities in which we live. It is a horrific form of torture, murder, and intimidation.”
Lawmakers have attempted to pass federal anti-lynching legislation nearly 200 times, but have ultimately failed to achieve enactment. Now is the time to finally pass federal anti-lynching legislation and send it to the president for final approval.
Demand your representatives support the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act today.