By Mike Espy
I must admit that I am a little ashamed that I am writing you an email about making lynching a federal crime in the year 2020. I believe this is something that should have been in place a long time ago, but here we are. To make matters worse, there’s a bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate right now that would make this happen, but it’s being held up by petty partisan politics.
The bill was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House in February. Now we need the Senate to follow their lead. Add your name today to help urge the Senate to pass this vital legislation so we can make lynching a federal hate crime.
The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act is named in honor of Emmett Till, a young Black boy who was brutally murdered in Money, Mississippi in 1955. Emmett was visiting Mississippi from Chicago for the summer, and was accused of whistling at a white woman in a store. Till was taken from his home by a mob in the night and brutally beaten and thrown in a river.
His body was so mutilated that it was recommended that his casket remain closed for the service. Our family business, Century Funeral Home, helped transport Emmett’s body back to Chicago. Despite recommendations against showing Emmett’s body, his mother, Mamie Till, decided she wanted the world to see what those men did to her son. Emmett Till’s open casket made the front page of newspapers across the world, but even that didn’t help his family see justice delivered. His killers were never found guilty.
We need the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act to become law so we can make sure no other family has to live knowing that justice wasn’t served for the racially-motivated killing of their loved one. Please add your name today so we can help make this a reality.
2020 isn’t over yet, and we have already experienced headlines, videos, and live footage of racial violence. Making lynching a federal crime is still a necessity today. We must do everything possible to protect the lives of everyone and help make sure no one in this country feels unsafe.