U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) praised the House passage of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act (H.R. 35), legislation that would designate lynching as a hate crime under federal law.
“From Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement, nearly 4,000 African Americans were murdered by lynching. Visiting the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery is a sobering experience that shows us confronting the past with eyes wide open is the only way we as a community can heal and move forward,” Sewell said. “For too long, Congress has failed to take a stand on these racial acts of terror and, while this legislation is long overdue, there is no time like the present to address the injustices of the past. I am proud the House finally passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act and urge the Senate to swiftly take up and pass the legislation.”
As defined by the FBI, a hate crime is a violent crime that is “motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Hate crimes carry enhanced sentences because of their destructive impact on our communities.