United States: an African-American candidate for the Senate is staged with a rope around his neck

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Charles Booker, Democratic candidate from Kentucky running for the US Senate on November 8, presents himself with a rope around his neck in his campaign clip which castigates the positions of his Republican opponents.

A knotted rope hangs from a tree branch and sways in the wind. The first image of the campaign clip of the candidate for the United States Senate, in Kentucky, Charles Booker, freezes the blood. His candidacy next November is not insignificant. He is the first African-American to present himself in this American state, long segregationist and in the hands for twelve years of the racist Republican, Rand Paul.

A campaign spot on lynching

Showing this rope is not without consequences. Charles Booker, 37, recalls the history of the United States with archival images and thus implies the ubiquity of lynching in the southern states of the country until the 1950s. Hanging was used by groups white supremacists against the African-American community “to sow terror, to destroy all hope of freedom and to kill my ancestors”, Charles Booker claims in his clip. He appears, a few minutes later, in a navy blue suit, the rope around his neck.

Lynching becomes a federal crime

After more than a century of attempts, US President Joe Biden signed the first federal law, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, banning lynching in the United States. Named in memory of a teenager lynched in 1955 in Mississippi, accused of having “whistled” a “white” woman, this law provides for a thirty-year prison sentence for any murderer. According to FranceInter, Rand Paul before signing the text of the law was the only senator opposed to this law.

Joe Biden is not the first politician to want this draft signed. The first of two hundred attempts in a century was made by George Henry White, the only African-American representative in Congress in 1900.

Provocative images

Other candidates for the Senate race have already used provocative images in their campaign clips. In Louisiana, Gary Chambers Jr. burns a flag of the Confederacy to denounce that “Jim Crow laws have never disappeared”. In another campaign clip, seated in a brown armchair, he smokes cannabis to speak out against police stigma towards African Americans on the subject. Strong messages are emerging at a time when racist crimes are prevalent in the United States.

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