Is it any surprise that these Senators are 95 percent Republicans? Given this disproportion, I can't understand why anyone in the Republican Party whines when people see them as the party of and for unreconstructed racists.
Nor should anyone regard lynching as some distant, disembodied past. Go read Without Sanctuary, or go listen to Billie Holiday's great rendition of "Strange Fruit":
Southern trees bear strange fruit,Honestly, I cannot imagine any defensible reason not to vote for this resolution. The most charitable possible interpretation is a stupendous, willful ignorance of the history of black-white race relations in this country.
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
Until this country elects a Senate in which all one hundred members condemn without hesitation the many decades when the federal government took no action to stop lynching, this country will still not have faced its own racism. And until that terrible history is understood, its awful consequences embraced, those consequences will continue to live on, and yes, will need to be remedied by federal legislation and civil rights law.
Update: The press secretary for one of the senators who did not sponsor the bill, Jeff Sessions (R-AL), noted today that the Senator does support the resolution, adding, "While the South has every right to take pride in the tremendous advancement in race relations that has occurred in recent decades, true reconciliation and progress cannot be achieved without an honest recognition of the wrongs that have occurred." Amen.
On the other hand, in the "dog ate my homework" department, the other Alabama Senator, Richard Shelby, said that "he did not remember anyone asking him to co-sponsor the bill."