It seems appropriate today to notice the fact that the largest civil rights movement ever is responding to the shame of ongoing racism not only in the United States, but in communities around the world.
On June 19, 1865 the Emancipation Proclamation was read out publicly in Texas, the last state to surrender in the American Civil War. The states in rebellion were united in their insistence on a way of life based on holding human beings as chattel. Even after Juneteenth, there were long delays in actually freeing slaves. Slavery was still legal and practiced in Union border states until December 6, 1865, when ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolished non-penal slavery nationwide.
It took the 14th Amendment to grant former slaves citizenship, and the 15th Amendment granting former slaves the right to vote in 1870, to fully implement Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
So the Juneteenth celebration is somewhat artificial. Unequal treatment of Blacks in America never ended.
We have often written about how suicide exists as a “hidden epidemic,” but among young Black Americans, death by police is the 6th leading cause of death, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 2019.
The Washington Post has been tracking police shooting deaths since 2015 and notes that there has been no change since then in the number of Black Americans killed by police.
The persistence of this obvious manifestation of racism in America is intolerable.
It must be stopped.
Let us stand together and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” today.