Overheard: Lynching is finally a hate crime

"It is deeply shameful that it has taken over 100 years."

Tina Smith
U.S. Sen. Tina Smith
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“It is deeply shameful that it has taken over 100 years and 200 attempts to finally criminalize lynching in this country. … There is nothing we can do to erase the pain inflicted on thousands of African American men, women, and children who were victims of this shameful instrument of terror. Yet this bill is an important step in our efforts to reckon with the racialized violence that has stained our country’s history. I’m proud of our work to pass this legislation and make forward progress towards healing and justice.”

— U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota, in a statement this week after the Senate voted unanimously to pass the Emmett Till Antilynching Act; the legislation — passed after 200 failed attempts to do so since 1900 — finally designates lynching as a federal hate crime in the U.S.

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