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Senate to apologize for anti-lynching inaction


Thousands of people gather in Waco, Texas, in 1916 to watch the lynching of a black teenager in this photo provided by the Texas Collection, Baylor University in Waco. 
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Thousands of people gather in Waco, Texas, in 1916 to watch the lynching of a black teenager in this photo provided by the Texas Collection, Baylor University in Waco. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Knight Ridder

WASHINGTON – There can be no justice for the Crawford family.

In 1916, their forebear, Anthony Crawford, a successful black farmer from Abbeville, S.C., accused a white buyer of offering an unfairly low price for Crawford’s cotton.

For this, Crawford was beaten, mutilated and hanged by a white mob who repeatedly fired shots into his swinging body.

No one ever was punished.

But today, the U.S. Senate will apologize.

It will offer an apology – an act documented only a handful of times in Senate history – for failing to pass anti-lynching legislation.

Three times over the course of the 20th century, the U.S. House passed such a bill. Three times, the Senate rejected it. Seven presidents fruitlessly urged the Senate to act.

This year, it will, pressed by a group of civil rights leaders, politicians and artists who call themselves the Committee for a Formal Apology.

The apology will be addressed to the nation’s 4,749 documented victims of lynching and their descendants.

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