One historical issue I'll delve into are the anti-lynching laws. I've heard about them before, but I never thought very deeply about them. Of course, lynching is horrible. But it's a terrible reflection on the US that lynching was acceptable to many people. Therefore lynching opponents tried to stop lynching through force of law.
Here are three historical artifacts connected to anti-lynching law:
- The text of a 1919 anti-lynching bill supported by the NAACP. The law would have created a $10,000 penalty against any county where a lynching took place. The bill passed the House of Representative but died in the Senate due to a filibuster.
- Warren Harding (in 1921) was a supporter of this anti-lynching bill. Harding was a progressive Republican elected in part due to his support for voting rights for women. Americans were less enthusiastic about his support for black civil rights.
- Even in 1938, the anti-lynching bill was blocked in the Senate by a filibuster.
So when did Congress finally pass anti-lynching legislation?
It never did.
Extra. Go here to read about the lynching depicting in this image. It's the Jones lynching in Kentucky.