A new bill for Emmett Till


Ren Lloyd

The U.S House of Representatives finally passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching law that deems lynching a hate crime. For years, Black people faced this horrid form of hate and the culprits continued to run freely. This law finally brings justice to the lives lost to this brutal and unjust hate crime.

Ren Lloyd, Reporter

As of Monday, February 28th the House approved a well overdue bill that deems lynching a hate crime. For over a century, Black people have faced the inhumane hate crime of lynching. Finally, with the help of senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott, as well as vice president Kamala Harris, the thousands of black people lynched during the 19th and 20th centuries received justice.

Between 1882 and 1968 lawmakers reported that lynchings occurred over 4,742 times. More than 90% of the perpetrators got away with their crimes. In the lynching crimes that White people committed against Black people, law enforcement rarely took efforts to stop them. 

Emmitt Till suffered and died from a brutal racist attack at the hands of an unjust law. Even after his accuser Carolyn Bryant confessed that she lied about the crime authorities suspected Till of, she never faced any charges for the pain she caused Till and his family. This bill finally gives the Till family the justice that they deserved. 

“It’s a shame that there has been a disagreement over whether lynching should be legalized or not for over 100 years now. However, I’m glad that this bill has passed. It’s great to see more action being taken to help aid the African American community as well as all minorities who are victims of racial injustice,” sophomore Mariah Arnold said. 

The new Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act amends the United States code so that the law will now consider the act of lynching a hate crime. Although the law considered it a federal crime of first-degree murder, society should recognize it as a key hate crime against black people. Any person found guilty of committing the act of lynching will receive a maximum sentence of 30 years and potential fines, along with a sentence for any additional charges. 

However, three Republican House representatives voted against the bill including Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Chip Roy of Texas. Massie reasoned that passing the new legislation would falsely imply that lynching does not already constitute criminal activity. Roy and Clyde also stated that they believed the U.S does not need another bill reinstating the same federal law. 

Since 1990 Congress went through over 200 attempts to pass the legislation to establish lynching as a hate crime. After failing to pass this bill on multiple accounts finally 422 to 3 votes assured the passing of the bill.  In 2020 Kentucky Senator Rand Paul prevented the passing of the anti-lynching bill because he felt that it needed revision before its establishment. 

“I’m pleased to have worked with Senators Booker and Scott to strengthen the final product and ensure the language of this bill defines lynching as the absolutely heinous crime that it is,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said.