Jun 13 2005

Senate Apologizes for Tragedies of the Past

WASHINGTON -- The United States Senate today passed a resolution apologizing to the victims of lynching and their descendants for the Senate’s failure to enact anti-lynching legislation. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was a co-sponsor of the bipartisan resolution. “It’s appropriate for the Senate to acknowledge its failure as a body and end a sad chapter in our nation’s history,” said Graham. “When people needed us, the Senate was not there.” Between 1882 and 1968 at least 4,742 people, predominantly African-Americans, were reported lynched in the United States. During the first half of the 20th century, nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress. The House of Representatives passed three strong anti-lynching measures between 1920 and 1940. The Senate failed to act. “Acknowledging the shortcomings of this body and formally offering an apology to the victims and their families helps heal wounds,” said Graham. “I am hopeful that this action will move us further down the road of reconciliation.” ####