President Joe Biden signed a bill officially banning lynching on the federal level Tuesday, comparing the horrific practice to the people who marched at the protests in Charlottesville.
“The same racial hatred that drove the mob to hang a noose, brought that mob carrying torches out of the fields of Charlottesville just a few years ago,” Biden said, referring to the 2017 protests. “Racial hate isn’t an old problem. It’s a persistent problem.”
Biden proudly signed the bill first before delivering a speech about it.
“No federal law prohibited lynching. None. Until today,” he boasted.
Biden said that between 1877 and 1950, more than 4,400 black people were murdered by lynching.
“That’s a lot of folks, man, and a lot of silence for a long time,” he said.
Vice President Kamala Harris also spoke after Biden signed the bill, noting that anti-lynching legislation was first introduced in 1900 and failed 200 times before it finally passed Congress in 2022.
“Lynching is and has always been a hate crime,” she said, and added, “Lynching is not a relic of the past. Racial acts of terror still occur in our nation, and when they do we must all have the courage to name them and hold the perpetuators to account.”
Harris celebrated a long list of activists who worked to push the bill through Congress and also spoke about the importance of the black press.
“I’m going off script for a moment about the importance of the black press. And the importance of making sure that we have the storytellers always in our community who we will support to tell the truth when no one else is willing to tell it,” he said.
After Harris’s speech, Biden returned to the microphone to emphasize the importance of a federal law banning lynching.
“As someone once said, this is a big deal,” Biden said with a chuckle, referring to an old viral moment when he called the passage of Obamacare a “big fu**ing deal,” which was captured on a hot-mic.