Subscribe

login / sign up

close and back to page

Senate Backs Legislation to Make Lynching a Federal Hate Crime

"Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our nation's history and I'm hopeful this measure will swiftly pass the House," Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted.

It's 2019 and lynching still hasn't been properly outlawed. A bill, introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), was cleared on Thursday in the Senate to make lynching a federal crime. The measure will now go to the House. Harris, Booker and Scott are the only Black members of the Senate.

Harris tweeted on Thursday:

Congress has tried more than 200 times to pass an anti-lynching law, but has failed. The Senate passed a resolution in 2005, apologizing to lynching victims.

The bipartisan bill acknowledges the harms of lynching, which is a form of domestic terrorism, and the federal government's failure to stop it.

It defines the crime as "the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person."

In December, the Senate also passed the bill. But it was days before the 115th Congress went out of business, and the measure never reached the House floor.

"It's not the first time we've come down to this body to try to right the wrongs of history," Booker said on the Senate floor.

"For too long we have failed, failed to ensure justice for the victims of history and failed to make clear in the United States of America, in this great country, lynching is and always has been not only a federal crime but a moral failure."

According to the NAACP, "From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States."

"Of the total, 3,446 of the victims were Black, accounting for approximately 72.7 percent; and 1,297 were white, which is 27.3 percent."

"These numbers seem large, but it is known that not all of the lynchings were ever recorded," the organization stated.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to 2020 Presidential Candidates: ​'We Can Be Audacious'

In a viral video, the congresswoman talks about the Green New Deal.

In a video posted on Twitter that has more than 1 million views, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) says she doesn't want to be "placated as a progressive."

Read More Show Less

UPDATE: Feb. 2, 2019 at 4:29 p.m. ET

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement on Friday that he appeared in a "racist and offensive" photo, but on Saturday, Northam said it wasn't him in the picture.

"I take credit for recognizing that this was a horrific photo that was on my page, with my name, Ralph Northam, above," he said, in a press conference. "I looked at it. My first impression, actually, this couldn't be me."

"But there was so much hurt that I was feeling, people were calling. So I reached out and apologized to people for this very picture being on my page."

"And I have continued to discuss that as we have gone forward. And what has happened is that last night, I finally had a chance to sit down and look at the photograph in detail. It is definitely not me. I can tell by looking at it. I have had friends also look at it and tell me it's not me."

Northam said that he darkened his skin for a dance contest in San Antonio that same year to imitate Michael Jackson.

The legislative Black Caucus continues to demand Northam's resignation after his remarks Saturday.

"In light of his public admission and apology for his decision to appear in the photo, he has irrevocably lost the faith and trust of the people he was elected to serve," the caucus said in a statement. "Changing his public story today now casts further doubt on his ability to regain that trust."

ORIGINAL STORY: Virginia Legislative Black Caucus 'Demands' Governor Resign After Blackface, KKK Photo Surfaces

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus is calling on Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, to resign, as "it is clear that he can no longer effectively serve as governor." A photo released on Friday from Northam's senior medical school yearbook page shows a man wearing blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Read More Show Less

Sen. Cory Booker Announces 2020 Presidential Campaign

"We are better when we help each other," Booker said.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is the latest Democrat to enter the race for president of the United States. Booker shared a video announcement on his Twitter page Friday morning, the first day of Black History Month.

Read More Show Less

Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris Appointed to Senate Judiciary Committee

The senators will be the second and third Black individuals to be on the 200-year-old Judiciary Committee.

REUTERS

Democrat Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) have been appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Read More Show Less

Bill Seeks to Ban Harmful Conversion Therapy Nationwide

"So-called 'conversion therapy' isn't therapy at all — it's a tortuous, fraudulent practice," said Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), one of the bill's sponsors.

REUTERS

A bill introduced in Congress this week would ban the harmful, widely discredited practice known as "conversion therapy" across the country.

Read More Show Less

Social Media Drives Nationwide Solidarity Over Muslim Ban

Protesters along with lawmakers lashed out against the detainment of immigrants at airports, including a married couple with disabilities in their 80s and a five-year-old boy.

REUTERS

Protesters in opposition to President Donald Trump's order to restrict people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States gathered at several major airports around the country on Saturday.

Read More Show Less

Black Lawmakers Move Against Senator Sessions

N.J. Sen. Cory Booker says fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions' record on civil rights represents "a real danger to our country." Congressmen John Lewis and Cedric Richmond also to testify.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) / REUTERS

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions has such a poor record on civil rights that, for the first time in U.S. Senate history, a sitting senator will testify against him Wednesday in his bid to become the nation's next attorney general.

Read More Show Less

Will Criminal Justice Reform Ever Happen? A Discussion Moderated by Van Jones Offers Answers

Coinciding with the DNC, The Dream Corps, #cut50 and Rock the Vote bring together political leaders, community organizers to discuss what it takes to end an era of mass incarceration.

Criminal justice reform has long been an issue that has eluded tangible results. And with the negative consequences of what many consider to be a broken system becoming ever more apparent — especially among people and communities of color — a major push is underway to finally enact change in the system.

Read More Show Less

Diversity, Inclusion, Equality Take Center Stage at DNC

Party leaders calling the issues critical for human rights and economic benefits.

Pat Spearman (D-Nev.)

Party leaders calling the issues critical for human rights and economic benefits.

Read More Show Less

GOP Senator: U.S. Has an 'Under-Incarceration Problem'

Even though Blacks are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites, Sen. Tom Cotton says the bipartisan effort to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes is "baseless."

The war on drugs of the 1980s and mandatory minimum sentences have both contributed to the United States comprising approximately 25 percent of the world's prison population — despite representing about 5 percent of the world's total population.

Read More Show Less

Cop's Racist Tirade Against Latinos Stirs Community

Video surfaces of a Passaic, N.J., sergeant, once head of the bias crimes unit, revealing he is racist.

By Sheryl Estrada

Read More Show Less
© Copyright 2018 — DiversityInc All Rights Reserved.