Historic Anti-Lynching Legislation Blocked In The Senate By Rand Paul
On the day of George Floyd’s funeral, as American cities continued to fill with protesters demonstrating for Black lives, Congress sought to pass a bill that would make lynching a federal crime. But one man, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), stood in the way.
In an emotional exchange on the Senate floor Thursday, Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pleaded with Paul to stand down and allow their legislation to pass. The bill, the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, named after the 14-year-old Black teenager who was brutally murdered in 1955, has broad bipartisan support.
“I have had children break down with me this week wondering if this is a country that values their lives as much as white people’s lives,” Booker said, choking up on the Senate floor. “I have had to explain to grown men this week that there is still hope in America … For one member to yield … for one day and give America this win. Let us pass this legislation today of all days, let us give a headline tomorrow that will give hope to this country that we can get it right. It may not cure the ills that so many are protesting about but it could be a sign of hope.”
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