Congress has recently passed a bill that finally makes lynching and other hate crimes a federal crime. This is a monumental achievement for a law that people have been trying to have passed since 1900. The law has been named the Emmett Till Antilynching Act after the 14-year-old African American Chicago native who was brutally tortured and killed when a Caucasian woman accused him of whistling at her in a Mississippi grocery store. Illinois Senator Bobby Rush introduced the bill. Three Republicans and one Independent voted against the measure.
This news about heinous crimes that have affected our culture made me want to find out what other people thought about the bill being passed. Lloyd Maxwell, a senior at Brooks College Prep, believes that the bill is long overdue. “I am glad the law was passed. It’s centuries late though. It should’ve been in place but, as we know, the system is stacked against us minorities anyway. Those four people who opposed the law should’ve been removed. This was something that shouldn’t have been opposed in any form.”
Aaron Mitchell, also a senior at Brooks, agreed with Maxwell about the new bill. “Finally. I mean why did it take so long? When did they finally decide that it was actually a problem? Was it when it became not socially acceptable, then they decided they should tackle the issue? It’s 2020. Did they not care about it? Like, did they sweep it under the rug because it wasn’t happening, but then they realized it was still an issue?”
As Black History Month comes to a close, please remember all those who endured violence and injustice for centuries. It is through their stories that we’ve been able to look back and see just how far we’ve come.
By Monique Petty-Ashmeade, Senior, Brooks College Prep