End the hate

Victoria Gomez, News Writer

The first lynching took place in St. Louis in 1858 and, from 1882- 1968, the KKK and others lynched 4,743 people. After thousands of lives were lost, change is coming On March 7, the United States Senate passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act unanimously. If passed into law, this bill would formally recognize the act of lynching as a hate crime. A bill like this has been in the works for 100 years and has gone through 200 versions until now. The bill is named after 14-year- old Emmett Till who was brutally beat up and lynched in Missouri in 1955. Till was born in Chicago, however was in Missouri visiting family when his mom asked him to go to the local grocery store. Allegedly, it was here where he whistled at the white female cashier, Carolyn Bryant. After Bryant’s husband heard about this, he was furious and demanded to see Emmett. After being abducted, Till was brutally murdered and then lynched. After barely being able to identify her son’s corpse, Till’s mother decided to have an open casket funeral for her young son to show the community the injustice that Till endured. By doing this, injustices like Till’s that were happening against African Americans could not be filtered and some people realized that the problem was much bigger than they thought. The first Anti-Lynching Act was proposed by Representative George White of North Carolina in 1900. The bill did not make it past the committee but, in 2005, the Senate realized their mistake and issued an apology. Now, over 100 years after the first bill, action is being taken. Xavier junior Michelle Favorite offers her insight regarding why this bill has taken a century to come together. “I think it took this long because America seems reluctant to admit to issues that are not having hard impacts on the country at the moment. It is strange to think that something that you imagine is the epitome of a hate crime has only been recognized just now,” Favorite said. Momentum for the act picked up after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020 and the protests done in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. People were demanding that the government make changes regarding the law and Illinois Representative Bobby Bush listened by voicing his support on Twitter. “Unanimous Senate passage of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act sends a clear and emphatic message that our nation will no longer ignore this shameful chapter of our history and that the full force of the U.S. federal government will always be brought to bear against those who commit this heinous act,” Bush said. Before the bill passed the Senate with flying colors, there were three members of the House that voted against the bill: Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Chip Roy of Texas and Andrew Clyde of Georgia. When Representative Roy was asked about his vote, he stated that he believed lynching was a crime, however, argued that parts of the bill had nothing to do with lynching and if he voted yes he would be promoting a “woke” agenda. With one swift movement of his pen, President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill into practice on March 29 in the Rose Garden of the White House. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”