Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth: A day that commemorates when word of the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves reached Texas in 1865. As a friend wrote: “Though Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox over two months before, and what was left of the Confederate government had declared itself dissolved four weeks before, Texas had continued to hold out. The Confederacy west of the Mississippi was effectively governed by General Edmund Kirby Smith, who paid little attention to Jefferson Davis. (And so the area was often called “Kirby Smithdom”.) Kirby Smith finally surrendered his troops on June 2, and it had taken the Union several days to load a force under General Gordon Granger and sail it to Galveston. Once there, General Granger promptly issued his decree (on June 19, 1865), at last giving the freedom that the Emancipation Proclamation had declared at the beginning of 1863, two and a half years before.”

Thought the Civil War has been ended for over 150 years, and although Civil Rights and equality of all races is the law of the land, it appears that that message hasn’t penetrated across all of this country. There are still pockets where White Supremacy reigns or defacto exists, there exist a culture of white privilege and white superiority in law enforcement and so many other areas. Spreading the word of emancipation and equality didn’t end on Juneteenth — it just began. We need to keep spreading the message that equality of the races (and indeed, equality without qualification) is the law of the land, and that racism in any form has no place in this nation.

Let’s keep fighting for the equality that is the law.

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