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Hoyer Statement on 65 Years Since Emmett Till's Passing

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today marking 65 years since the death of Emmett Till: 

“Sixty-five years ago today, fourteen-year old Emmett Till was brutally tortured and beaten to death by white supremacists. His death was a lynching; part of a pattern of brutal terror that afflicted minority communities for far too long. Lynching is a blot on America’s history and invokes the cloud of fear under which African Americans were forced to live. It was an expression of evil born from hatred and racism. 

“On this day, I continue to call on the Republican-led Senate to pass the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which was passed by the House in February. As a country, we must send a strong message that lynching is a hate crime and has no place in America.

“I have visited the church where Emmett Till lay in repose so many years ago. Then and now, I reflect on the strength of his mother, Mamie Till, and her decision to have an open-casket funeral for her son. It was his mutilated body that shocked a nation and helped bring the fight for civil rights to every American household. The fight for equal rights continues today, and I will continue to work alongside my colleagues to help make that promise at long last a reality.”