After multiple failed attempts that spanned more than a century, there is now a federal law that designates lynching as a hate crime, NPR reported.
In a March 29 ceremony at the White House, President Joe Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act into law.
"Racial hate isn't an old problem. It's a persistent problem," Biden said. "Hate never goes away, it only hides under the rocks. If it gets a little bit of oxygen, it comes roaring back out, screaming. What stops it? All of us."
Vice President Kamala Harris added that lynching is "not a relic of the past."
The measure is named for Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Chicagoan who was abducted, tortured and killed in 1955 after the Black teenager was accused of whistling at and grabbing Carolyn Bryant, a white woman, while visiting relatives in Mississippi.
Lynching was a terror tactic used against Black Americans, particularly in the racially segregated South. According to Tuskegee University, which collects records on lynchings, 4,743 people were lynched from 1882 to 1968with 3,446 of those individuals being Black, CNN noted.
Three House RepublicansAndrew Clyde, of Georgia; Thomas Massie, of Kentucky; and Chip Roy, of Texasvoted against the bill. The legislation then unanimously passed the Senate.