08.28.20

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Issues Statement on 65th Anniversary of the Murder of Emmett Till

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement on the 65th anniversary of the killing of Emmett Till:

“65 years after the tragic murder of Emmett Till at the hands of racists in the deep south, we still find ourselves facing many of the same challenges: racist bullies in positions of power, violence against Black lives, and unequal applications of the law. Emmett Till’s everlasting legacy can be found in our persistent fight against hate, with the hope of one day achieving true racial justice. 

“There are far too many tragic murders similar to Emmett Till’s that we see today. Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. Those in my district in California like Oscar Grant and Steven Taylor. And Jacob Blake, who is luckily alive to tell his side of the story but faces irreparable damage because of reckless law enforcement.

“Their legacies are why we say Black Lives Matter. We demand action. We demand justice.

“Three months ago the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to address systemic racism in law enforcement. Of course, Leader McConnell has refused to allow a vote on the bill. We must demand action to reform the systems in place keeping Black and Brown communities from realizing justice and equality. 

“As we reflect on the legacy of Emmett Till, our fight continues. Today, hundreds of thousands gathered in Washington D.C. amidst a deadly pandemic to march for racial justice. 65 years later, Black Americans are still searching for equality in our opportunity, safety in our communities, and justice under the law. It’s crucial that we continue this fight and recognize the American dream we are owed.”

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Congresswoman Lee is the Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking African American woman in the U.S. Congress.