After 100 years and 200 failed attempts by US legislators, a US President has finally signed legislation criminalizing lynching.
Lynching is the act of a mob killing someone without due process or the rule of law.
Thousands of people, mostly African Americans, were lynched by white mobs across the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, frequently by hanging or brutality.
Accordingto the Equal Justice Initiative, around 4,400 African Americans were lynched between 1877 and 1950.
Those who took part in lynchings were frequently praised and acted without consequence.
On Tuesday, March 29, Vice President Joe Biden signed legislation designating lynching as a federal hate crime.
The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act is named after the black adolescent whose execution in Mississippi in 1955 sparked the civil rights era.
Lynching perpetrators now face up to 30years in prison if they kill or injure someone as a consequence of a hate crime.
After signing the law, Biden stated: “Thank you for never giving up, never ever giving up.
“Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone, not everyone, belongs in America, not everyone is created equal.”
He included: “Racial hate isn’t an old problem – it’s a persistent problem. Hate never goes away. It only hides.”
The bill was unanimously enacted by theSenate earlier this month.
Last month, theHouse of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bill.
Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Chip Roy of Texas, and Andrew Clyde of Georgia were the three Republicans who voted no.
They said that lynching people was already a hate crime in the United States.
Many racial justice advocates have described Floyd’s death, as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery – who was hunted down and shot by three white men in Georgia in 2020 -as present lynchings, and both deaths have been attributed as modern-day influences following the passage of the anti-lynching bill.