Black Senators Introduce Anti-Lynching Bill
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — the Senate’s only African-American lawmakers — rolled out legislation on Friday to make lynching a federal crime.
The legislation would make lynching — “the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person” — punishable as a hate crime.
“Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our history, and we must acknowledge that, lest we repeat it,” Harris said in a statement on Friday.
Booker added that Congress’s inability to pass anti-lynching legislation is “a travesty.”
In addition to Booker and Harris, who are both viewed as potential 2020 White House contenders, 18 other Democratic senators and Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine) are supporting the legislation.