(LONDON GUARDIAN) Amid the visceral national outcry for racial justice in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, a lone US senator is standing in the way of a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime.
Rand Paul, a Republican with a reputation as a one-man awkward squad in the US Senate, has put the historic legislation into limbo, frustrating black colleagues and civil rights leaders, including the Rev Jesse Jackson.
About 4,075 African Americans were lynched in 12 southern states between 1877 and 1950, according to a 2015 report by the Equal Justice Initiative. Some were watched by crowds, as if attending a form of public entertainment.
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Ida B Wells, a crusading African American journalist, once said: “Our country’s national crime is lynching.”