Controversial under Trump, federal holiday under Biden

(LR) Juneteenth’s grandmother, 94-year-old activist and retired educator Opal Lee, Joe Biden, USA, after signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in the East Room of the White House. Talk to the president. June 17, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Drew Angeler | Getty Images

The White House scene on Thursday may have been difficult to understand just a year ago.

A diverse crowd of lawmakers, activists, and community leaders, including Usher, a pop icon with many photographs, gathered in the East Room to witness the president. Joe Biden Sign in to the law New federal holiday: Juneteenth, June 19th, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Coronavirus infections are approaching record lows in the United States in full-bore vaccination campaigns at all levels of government, with few indoor crowds wearing masks. did.

“We are gathering here in a house built by enslaved people,” said Vice President Kamala Harris, the first black woman to hold the title. “We are one step away from where President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and are here to witness President Joe Biden establish June 16 as a national holiday.”

“We have to come a long way and go a long way, but today is a celebration day,” Harris said.

As she said, the president got off the podium, approached the front row, and knelt to hug Opal Lee, A 94-year-old Texas activist recognized as a driving force Behind the promotion of a new holiday.

“I’ve only been president for a few months, but one of my greatest honors as president, I think it’s going to go down,” Biden said before signing the bill.

The 11th National Holiday was set just two days before Juneteenth itself, within three weeks of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. It also happened shortly after the first anniversary of the death of unarmed black man George Floyd, whose murder taped during police detention caused a national eruption of civil unrest.

In mid-June 2020, Tulsa, Juneteenth, the wave of protests, and Covid’s pandemic, all of these factors caused problems for the then president. Donald TrumpWas accused of announcing plans to hold a rally in Tulsa on holidays.

“I made Juneteenth very famous” Trump Told the Wall Street Journal After moving the date of the rally. “This is actually an important event and an important time, but no one has heard of it.”

The contrast between Trump’s last Juneteenth as president and Biden’s first Juneteenth would be less clear. It shows not only the changes in the country’s earthquakes and how they shaped the present, but also the differences in how the two presidents tackled racial issues.

Road to federal holidays

Juneteenth celebrates the date of 1865, when he finally heard that a black Texas enslaved man was released under the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years ago.

The Confederates, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, surrendered to Appomattox, Virginia, on April 9, 1865, ending the civil war. However, the Union Army under General Gordon Granger arrived and delivered to the coastal city of Galveston, Texas on June 19. General Order No. 3Officially end state slavery.

“The people of Texas are informed that all slaves are free, according to a declaration from US officials,” the order reads.

Lincoln was shot at the Ford’s Theater by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth just five days after Lee’s surrender.

The name “Juneteenth” has been born from various names and spellings over the decades. Historians are careful..

While the majority of the state already recognizes Juneteenth as a holiday, activists such as Opalley have fought for decades for the day to receive federal designation.

In 1939, when Lee was twelve, a white mob set fire to her family’s home.There was no one arrested.. 2016, Lee, then 89 years old, Started walking From her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas to Washington, DC (about 1,400 miles), she advocates making Juneteenth a national holiday.

“The fact is that not all of us are free until we are all free,” Lee told The New York Times in an interview in June 2020.

A year later, Lee attended the White House ceremony and designated Juneteenth as the first new holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Prior attempts to pass the June bill in Congress failed. In 2020, one such bill was blocked in the Senate by Long Johnson, Wisconsin. He opposed the cost of giving federal officials another holiday.

This time he said and retreated In the statement: “It is clear that Congress is not willing to discuss this issue further.”


“In two words, it’s George Floyd,” Carlos Hill, chairman of the African-American Studies Division at the University of Oklahoma, said in an interview with CNBC.

In May 2020, a video of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes sparked fierce protests across the country. Police action gathered criticism from the entire political spectrum, He urged lawmakers to draft a police reform bill in the name of Floyd.

Chauvin Convicted in April He was charged with two murders, three murders, and two manslaughter charges.

“It took a lot of something to change the conversation,” Hill said.

“These things are deeply linked,” Hill said, explaining that the impact of Floyd’s death “created space and opportunity for Juneteenth.”

When the legislation introduced by Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) Passed Congress this week, few members were in the way, even those who were dissatisfied with the bill.

Invoice Unanimously approved by the Senate on Tuesday night.. next day, It passed the House of Representatives with an overwhelming 415-14 votes.. All 14 opposition votes were Republicans, but 195 GOP lawmakers voted in favor.

Some Republican criticisms were that the decision to name the holiday “Juneteenth Independence Day” clashed with the existing Independence Day on July 4. history.

Some, like Johnson, complained about the estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in income lost by giving federal workers another holiday. And some lawmakers opposed the Democratic Party for rushing the bill to the House floor, bypassing the parliamentary committee and the opportunity to vote for amendments in the process.

A Republican, Matt Rosendale, Montana, issued a statement before the final vote announcing opposition to the bill. Because it was an effort to promote “identity politics” and “critical racial theory” in the United States.

Republican Senator John Cornyn dismissed Rosendale’s position as “strange.”

The 14 house members who voted against the bill are: Mo Brooks, Alabama; Andy Biggs, Republican, Arizona; Scott de Jare, Republican, Tennessee; Tom Tiffany, R-Wis. Doug Lamalfa, Republican, CA; Mike Rogers, R-Ala. Ralph Norman, RS.C. Chiproy, Republican-Texas; Paul Gosar, Republican, Arizona; Tom McClintock, Republican. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas; Thomas Massy, ​​Republican; Andrew Clyde, R-Ga.

Trump’s Juneteenth

In a statement on Friday afternoon celebrating June 16, Republican National Committee Chairman Rona McDaniel said of the party:

September, playing cards As part of a series of overtures to black voters We promised to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday. But the relationship between Trump and Juneteenth goes beyond what McDaniel’s statement suggests.

In June 2020, as the pandemic raged, the vaccine was invisible and Biden was a candidate at the time. Keep a clear edge in polls, Trump has announced that it will return to the campaign trail to host a direct event.

Marquee event for his campaign kick-off: A rally on June 19th in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Trump campaign initially defended the schedule decision as an opportunity for him to promote “a record of black American success.”But critics called it Slap your face Trump chose June 16 to come to Tulsa, one of the worst black slaughter in US history, and resume his reelection campaign in the midst of national turmoil over racism.

The Wall Street Journal Michael Bender, Adapted excerpt from his next book Regarding Trump’s election defeat to Biden, he “drilled down” after campaign leader Brad Parscale chose the time and place of the rally and urged others to make changes to him. I reported.

Vendor reported that Trump, confused by the rally day’s backlash, asked the Black Secret Service agent if he knew about Juneteenth. According to the vendor, the agent knew about it, adding that “it’s very unpleasant for me to hold this rally on June 16th.”

Trump in less than a week of the rally He tweeted that the event will move on June 20thAfter hearing from “Many of my African-American friends and supporters”, “I reached out to suggest that I respect this holiday and consider changing the date.”

June 16th, Trump’s White House Proclamation Celebrate the holiday as a reminder of “both the unimaginable injustice of slavery and the unparalleled joy that must have participated in liberation.”

In less than a month, Floyd’s video encouraged millions of people to participate in marches and demonstrations against organized racism and police atrocities.Numerous protests Leading to violence and looting in major cities..

Before the event at Tulsa’s BOK Center, Trump, Those who were still active at that time twitterTake me to a social media app Threatens potential opposition demonstrators ominous..

“Understand that protesters, anarchists, agitators, predators, or low-living people who go to Oklahoma are not treated as if they were in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a very different scene.”

Rev. Al Sharpton, who gave a Juneteenth speech in Tulsa that Friday, said Blame Trump at the time “Induce an incident” in a tweet.

Tulsa Tulsa Trump Crowd Below expectations, Could not fill thousands of seats in an arena with a capacity of about 20,000. However, attended was Herman Cain, a prominent black businessman, conservative critic, and former Republican presidential candidate.

74-year-old Cain, Stage 4 Cancer SurvivorWas filmed at an event sitting next to another person, but no one seemed to be wearing a mask.

In early July Cain was hospitalized with coronavirus, And he I put on a ventilator because his condition got worse..he Died on July 30thMakes him one of the most famous people in the United States to succumb to the virus. Cain’s companions say there is “no sure way to know” where and how he caught Covid.

The journal vendor reported that Trump was furious about the lack of support from black voters the day after the Tulsa rally.

“I did all these things for blacks — it’s always Jared [Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law,] Mr. Trump told a believer: “And they all hate me and no one is going to vote for me,” the vendor reported.

Hill said the United States was “unreal” compared to June last year, “in the sense that it witnessed a complete dropout from George Floyd.”

“We’ve done things as if things were fixed ourselves, but that’s not the case,” Hill said. As a federal holiday, “Juneteenth may suspend it.”

Controversial under Trump, federal holiday under Biden

Source link Controversial under Trump, federal holiday under Biden

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