Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Okay, you twisted our arm

The Senate went out on a limb and admitted that yes, lynching was bad. And just think, it only took 125 years.

The Senate on Monday formally apologized for having rejected decades of pleas to make lynching a federal crime as scores victims' descendants watched from the chamber's gallery.

On a voice vote and without opposition, the Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the relatives as well as to the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- who were documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960.

Here's the kicker:

No lawmaker opposed the measure, but 20 of the 100 senators had not signed a statement of support of it shortly before a vote was taken on a nearly empty Senate floor.

"I think it's politics. They're afraid of losing votes from people of prejudice," Duster said of those who did not sign the statement of support.

Well, there's 20 folks destined for the vestibule of the Dantean hell, if ever I saw them.

No news story has the names of the 20 people who were two chicken to vote against lynching.

And the Senate intentionally went to a voice vote instead of a roll call vote to protect them.

Those 20 people are the real story. Why are they in the Senate at all?

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