On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves held in “states in rebellion”. However, those slaves did not actually become free until roughly another 200,000 whites died fighting for the Union to make them free. Roughly 8,000 Union soldiers died and 14,000 were wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg alone, six months after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
This week, celebrities, the media, and corporate giants like Amazon and Google promoted the idea that June 19 or “Juneteenth” was an important holiday “that matters”.
The Press of Atlantic City featured protests on Juneteenth on its front page as “Significant action on a significant day”. The Press buried a far more significant story on Page 3. That story told of the courage, skill, and restraint of Atlantic City Police Officers like Dan Kramer. That same day, they pursued and arrested 19 year old Azir Abdullah had who had put dozens of lives in danger by shooting at occupants of a car in front of an elementary school, and then continuing to shoot at the car during a high speed chase through a crowded residential neighborhood. When Abudllah crashed his car at the Expressway Entrance at Milepost 2, he ran into the woods still holding his gun. Rather than shoot, police from Atlantic City and surrounding towns contained Abdullah until he peacefully surrendered two and a half hours later. During that delay occupants in the car Abdullah was shooting at escaped.
Juneteenth, or June 19, is certainly a significant day for African-Americans in Texas. It is the day that Union troops arrived in Texas after Confederate armies there surrendered and freed all slaves.
The media, Democrats, and many big corporations claim that this day was so significant, that it should be a national holiday. It is certainly important to have national holidays to make citizens, and especially young people aware of important events in our history. However, was the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas two years and six months later really that significant?
Wasn’t Abraham Lincoln far more significant in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in the first place? Why do Democrats, the media, and the pop culture completely ignore the February 12 holiday that honors him?
Weren’t the 310,000 white soldiers who died to defeat the Confederate armies and make the Emancipation Proclamation a reality in all eleven Confederate slave states more significant? Why do Democrats, Black Live Matters, and the media and pop culture do little to remember and honor them on their holiday of Memorial Day? Why do they instead cheer the destruction and desecration of the statues and monuments built to honor them?
Seth Grossman, Executive Director