President Biden Signs Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act Into Law

President Joe Biden signs into law H.R. 55, the “Emmett Till Antilynching Act” in the Rose Garden of at the White House Washington, DC, on March 29, 2022.

President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Tuesday that makes lynching a federal hate crime, acknowledging how racial violence has left a lasting scar on the nation and asserting that these crimes are not a relic of a bygone era.

At a White House Rose Garden signing ceremony, the President didn’t hold back in describing the history of racial violence experienced by Black Americans and its continued impact.

He said, “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone … belongs in America, not everyone is created equal. Terror, to systematically undermine hard-fought civil rights. Terror, not just in the dark of the night but in broad daylight. Innocent men, women and children hung by nooses in trees, bodies burned and drowned and castrated.”

“Their crimes? Trying to vote. Trying to go to school. Trying to own a business or preach the gospel. False accusations of murder, arson and robbery. Simply being Black,” he continued.

The bill Biden signed into law, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act of 2022, is named after a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago who was brutally murdered by a group of White men in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a White woman in 1955. His murder sparked national outrage and was a catalyst for the emerging civil rights movement.

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SOURCE: CNN, Kate Sullivan and Maegan Vazquez