February 26, 2020

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Votes to Pass Antilynching Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee voted to pass H.R. 35, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, long overdue legislation to explicitly designate lynching as a hate crime under federal law.

“It is fitting that this bill was named after Emmett Till. This promising, young, African American boy was only 14 years old when he was brutally murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman. He was one of thousands who have been brutally murdered simply because of the color of their skin. 

“And yet, our country has never designated these heinous acts as a hate crime. Congress has tried more than 200 times to pass this legislation into law, and we have sadly failed. 

“This legislation is not only long overdue but extremely timely. We have seen these racially-motivated attacks take new forms over the years. From the attack in Charleston in 2015 to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, it’s clear that our nation has not moved beyond using violence to further oppression.

“With the passage of this bill today, we are taking an important step in acknowledging these heinous and violent acts of terror and remembering the victims.”