Washington, DC – (Wednesday, December 5, 2007) – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson commends today’s unanimous passage of H.Res. 826, a bill that expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the hanging of nooses is a horrible act when used for the purpose of intimidation.  It continues that under certain circumstances the hanging of nooses can be a criminal act that should be thoroughly investigated by Federal law enforcement authorities and that any criminal violations should be vigorously prosecuted.

“It is imperative that we stand up against the hate that has plagued many of our communities,” said Congresswoman Johnson.  “The representation of a hanging noose is an undeniable symbol of intolerance and violence, and today’s vote shows that the Members of the House of Representatives acknowledge its harm and condemn its usage.”

“Incited by the events in Jena, Louisiana, Dallas and other communities have seen the reemergence hateful individuals displaying nooses for the purpose of intimidation.  We cannot simply stay silent in the face of hate.  Those who seek emotional or physical harm through racism must be held accountable.”

Last year there were more than 9,000 hates crimes committed nationally – nearly 300 of which occurred in Texas.  Congresswoman Johnson continues to fight to hold individuals who commit hate crimes accountable for their actions.  She was an original co-sponsor and supporter of H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007.  Congresswoman Johnson has also introduced H.R. 2216 and H.R. 2217, legislation to add homeless individuals to the protected classes under hate crimes statutes.

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