AP Explains: Vile US history of lynching of people of color

National

In this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 photo, Rev. David Kennedy stands outside the Echo Theater holding a photo of his great uncle’s lynching, in Laurens, S.C. Kennedy has fought for civil rights in South Carolina for decades. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — The United States Congress is once again at an impasse over a widely backed bill to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Like previous attempts to pass anti-lynching legislation, the proposal is being blocked by a white southern representative, Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Lynching is defined by Merriam-Webster as “to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal approval or permission.”

Throughout American history, lynching has been used as a tool of terror against people of color to maintain racist social orders and prevent people of color from voting, asserting human rights or seeking employment.

Map shows lynchings from 1850 to 1964.;

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