An estimated 5,000 lynchings took place during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras. Most went unsolved, but some of the people responsible for those and other horrific race murders are still alive. There is still time to hold them accountable.
That's the idea behind the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a 422 to 2 vote but has since stalled in the Senate. The bill would create a "cold case" squad in the Justice Department to pursue unsolved civil rights murders. It is the culmination of work begun two years ago by Jim Talent, then a Republican senator from Missouri, and Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat.
The legislation provides more than $10 million a year over the next decade for new prosecutors, FBI agents and other resources to investigate unsolved murders that occurred before 1970. State and local law enforcement agencies also would get funding. The Justice Department said it plans to review at least 100 unsolved cases.
The special investigations unit is long overdue. Successful prosecutions would punish those who, with guns, ropes, bombs, fists and more, killed in the name of white rights. Holding them to account for their heinous crimes not only would right past wrongs but also help heal wounds. It is crucial that those investigations get under way as quickly as possible. Justice demands it.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
We recommend this course with a heavy heart, but the dastardly American food manufacturers have left us with no choice - they're messing with our chocolate.
Last year, a "citizens' group," including folks such as the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to be able to substitute cocoa butter with cheaper fats, such as vegetable oils, and still call the resulting product "chocolate."
In a country where the gap between rich and poor is already so wide, where the differences between the haves and the have-nots are already so distinct, restricting the wonderful world of chocolate - real chocolate - to the well-off is contemptible.
- San Francisco Chronicle