Among the most disturbing chapters in American history is that involving racist violence, primarily in southern states. But that chapter is not closed - because some of the perpetrators of that violence never have been punished.
Recently, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would establish a new task force of federal prosecutors and investigators to look into unsolved murders from the civil rights era. In addition, the bill includes $2 million a year in grants for local law enforcement agencies to do the same work.
From time to time, law enforcement officials do crack old murder cases involving racists and their organizations. There is little doubt, however, more resources devoted to the work would help the justice system catch up to even more of those responsible for such killings.
At least 100 cases will be reviewed under the new program, according to the government. That may mean justice for scores of people who were slaughtered simply because of the color of their skin - or because they enlisted in the fight against racism.
Members of the Senate should approve their version of the House bill as soon as possible. For too many, justice has been delayed. It should not be disregarded.
- Warren Tribune-Chronicle