Reggie Jackson: Why The Emmett Till Antilynching Act Is Mostly Just Another Empty Gesture


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By Reggie Jackson, Milwaukee Independent

Nearly seventeen years ago my mentor Dr. James Cameron returned from a trip to the Senate chambers when they issued an apology for never passing an anti-lynching bill. As a lynching survivor and creator of America’s Black Holocaust Museum, he was center stage as the Senate did something to “make up” for never passing a federal law to make lynching a federal crime.

Weaver Cemetery, Established 1866

Many have celebrated the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, signed into law on March 29, 2022. I see no reason to celebrate a law that is one hundred years late and is not an anti-lynching bill, despite the name.

The law simply makes what Congress calls “lynching” a federal hate crime. They don’t define lynching in the bill. It’s called an anti-lynching bill but the words of the bill simply amend Section 249(a) of title 18, United States Code, which is the legislation about federal hate crimes.

This bill, 17 years after the Senate “apology” in 2005, is a sign of the failures of that body to do the right thing in a timely manner. No apology or fake anti-lynching bill will make up for the inaction by multiple Congress’s and multiple Presidents to protect Black people from White mob violence.

Read the full story here.

Learn more about the horrible history of lynching here.

More Breaking News here.

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