As The Two Year Anniversary of The Mother Emanel Massacre Passed This Past Weekend…

I thought it might be useful to compare then President Obama’s 2015 remarks on Juneteenth to those of Mr. Trump — remarks he only issued after some shaming internet hoots — around lunch time today.

First, Mr. Obama — from 2015:

. . . .On this day 150 years ago, more than the two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves of Galveston, Texas finally received word that the Civil War was over. They were free. A century and a half later, Americans still recognize this occasion, Juneteenth, as a symbolic milestone on our journey toward a more perfect union. At churches and in parks, lined up for parades and gathered around the barbecue pit, communities come together and celebrate the enduring promise of our country: that all of us are created equal.

Yet this year, our celebrations are tinged with sorrow. Our prayers are with the nine members of the Mother Emanuel community — nine members of our American family — whose God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were so cruelly snatched away. Our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and the entire city of Charleston.

We don’t have to look far to see that racism and bigotry, hate and intolerance, are still all too alive in our world. Just as the slaves of Galveston knew that emancipation is only the first step toward true freedom, just as those who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge 50 years ago knew their march was far from finished, our work remains undone. For as long as people still hate each other for nothing more than the color of their skin – and so long as it remains far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun – we cannot honestly say that our country is living up to its highest ideals. But Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. Instead, it’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, things do get better. America can change. So no matter our color or our creed, no matter where we come from or who we love, today is a day to find joy in the face of sorrow, to count our blessings and hold the ones we love a little closer. And tomorrow is a day to keep marching. . . .

And now, Mr. Trump’s whitewash of it:

. . . .Melania and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Juneteenth, a historic day recognizing the end of slavery.

Though President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, news traveled slowly from Washington, D.C., to the southern states. More than two years later, on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger stood on the Ashton Villa balcony in Galveston, Texas, to deliver the belated message of the then-deceased President: all slaves were free.

Granger’s astonishing words inspired soulful festivities and emotional rejoicing. [No mention at all, of the struggles of the following 153 years, for full civil rights.] Over the years, as freedmen and freedwomen left Texas, they took Juneteenth and its meaning with them. Today, we celebrate this historic moment in 1865, as we remember our Nation’s fundamental premise that all men and women are created equal.

On Juneteenth 2017, we honor the countless contributions [no mention of the theft of labor, and lives — no, it is all white-washed into a happy, thoughtful “gift” from African Americans(!)] made by African Americans to our Nation and pledge to support America’s promise as the land of the free. . . .

And with that, even our back up blog has seen its two-millionth unique visitor. Do not let anyone whitewash your history. Goodnight.

नमस्ते

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