Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Juneteenth! Today is the 150th Anniversary of June 19, 1865

The official flag of Juneteenth
June 19th or Juneteenth as it is more commonly known, is the day the African-American community celebrates freedom, in commemoration of the day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas finally got the word about the end of the civil war and that they were emancipated. (Too bad they didn't have the Internet back then, because this was more than 30 months, two-and-a-half years, after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863.)

Today is the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of Juneteenth. Of course, the Wall Street Journal decided today was the perfect day to publish an editorial declaring that institutional racism no longer exists in America:
Amid the horror of Charleston, it is also important to note that the U.S., notably the South, has moved forward to replace the system that enabled racist killings like those in the Birmingham church. 
Back then and before, the institutions of government—police, courts, organized segregation—often worked to protect perpetrators of racially motivated violence, rather than their victims. 
The universal condemnation of the murders at the Emanuel AME Church and Dylann Roof’s quick capture by the combined efforts of local, state and federal police is a world away from what President Obama recalled as “a dark part of our history.” Today the system and philosophy of institutionalized racism identified by Dr. King no longer exists. [emphasis added]
What causes young men such as Dylann Roof to erupt in homicidal rage, whatever their motivation, is a problem that defies explanation beyond the reality that evil still stalks humanity. It is no small solace that in committing such an act today, he stands alone.
And so it goes.

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