Black Senators Introduce Bill To Make Lynching A Federal Hate Crime

Contributed by BreAnna Bell

Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Tim Scott– the only three black US Senators- have launched a bill to make lynching a federal crime.

“This sends a very powerful message,” Booker told The New York Times. “Literally thousands of African-Americans were being lynched throughout history, and the Senate never stepped up to pass any legislation to stop this heinous, despicable behavior.”

According to CNN, The senators said the legislation will amend the US Code “to specify that lynching is a crime in itself that would warrant an enhanced sentence under existing federal hate crime statues.”

Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders and Angus King and 15 other Democratic senators have co-sponsored the bill. The senators only need either 60 senators support of the bill or a deal to pass the bill by a voice vote to enact the legislation.

The bill is similar to one introduced earlier this month by Rep. Bobby Rush, Democratic congressman from Ill., which has 35 co-sponsors from the Congressional Black Caucus. The legislation comes amidst concerns about an increase in hate crimes and racist demonstrations that have rocked the country since Donald Trump took office.

“Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our history, and we must acknowledge that, lest we repeat it,” Harris said in a statement on Friday.

WHUR Contributor

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