Last week, liberty conservative Rand Paul and Senate rivals Kamala Harris and Cory Booker butted heads on June 4, 2020 over Paul’s opposition to an anti-lynching bill.
This bill, which the House passed by an overwhelming margin, is now being stalled due to the Kentucky Senator’s concerns that lynching charges will be used for minor injuries.
Paul asserted that he is not pursing changes because he takes “lynching lightly but because I take it seriously. And this legislation does not.” Harris gave a livid response: “That we would not be taking the issue of lynching seriously is an insult, an insult to Sen. Booker, an insult to Sen. Scott and myself.”
This confrontation took place around the time George Floyd’s funeral service was carried out in Minneapolis after law enforcement killed him. Congress has failed to pass anti-lynching legislation in recent years and will continue to have problems as members of both parties debate reforming police practices.
Harris, Booker and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the only African Americans in the Senate, sponsored the anti-lynching bill.
“You think I’m getting any good publicity out of this? No. I will be excoriated by simple-minded people on the Internet who think somehow I don’t like Emmett Till or appreciate the history of Emmett Till,” Paul stated. “I’ll be lectured by everybody.”
Politico highlighted one scenario Paul was concerned about:
Paul presented a scenario in which, under the bill being considered, someone could be shoved to the floor in a bar and suffer minor injuries and be accused of lynching. He said that could lead to unfair incarcerations.
Harris and Booker rejected Paul’s motion to change the bill. They believe it would make the bill’s passage even more difficult because the House would “have to take up the legislation again.” Further, they contended that Paul was attempting to gut the legislation with “implausible scenarios of abusing new anti-lynching charges.”
“I object to this amendment. I object, I object,” Booker stated. “I object on substance, I object on the law. And for my heart and spirit and every fiber of my being, I object for my ancestors.”
This bill is likely a form of virtue signaling and will do nothing to curb violence in America.
All sane people are against lynching and other heinous acts of violence. Nevertheless, these activities are within the purview of state governments not the federal government.
The best way to combat such acts of violence is through better policing, stronger community action, and the expanding the right to bear arms so people can defend themselves.