House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer spoke in support of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support on February 26. The legislation will make lynching a hate crime under federal law.
“I am pleased this will be a bipartisan vote,” Congressman Hoyer (D-MD). “This is about Emmett Till. It’s about lynching. It’s about violence. It’s about hate. But in a larger sense, this is about who we are as a country, who we are as a country that said ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’ … To the surprise, I think, of probably many Americans, Madam Speaker, lynching has not been described as a hate crime. We will do that today. … The House will make that determination today. I’m proud to bring this legislation to the floor as majority leader.”
The Senate passed a similar bill last year, and Mr. Hoyer thanked Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris for their work.
“I hope we can get this to the president’s desk and signed quickly. It’s very fitting this legislation will be named in memory of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old whose brutal lynching in 1955 marked a turning point in America’s history. Many Americans might associate the term lynching with hanging, but if you go to the dictionary, it has a broader definition. The premeditated, extrajudicial killing by a mob or group of people in order to instill fear, to intimidate, to subjugate populations and individuals, and enforce a social order on people contrary to the concepts out of which America was born,” Congressman Hoyer said.
For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.