In the News June 17
Juneteenth Festivals in the United States
Celebrate Resistance to Advance the Fight
for the Rights of All!
On June 19 across the United States Juneteenth celebrations bring out the spirit of the broad and persistent resistance of African Americans to slavery. The celebrations bring together many different organizations, artists, activists and people from many walks of life to celebrate the victory over slavery and the ongoing fight for rights. It is with pride in resistance against great odds that African Americans justly stand and celebrate and organize to consolidate their best traditions. Juneteenth squarely puts forward that it is the people that are decisive and it’s their struggle for rights that moves society forward, making it a day of celebration for all.
Festivals are organized in many cities, with parades, day-long events with various organizations providing historical materials, book fairs, health pavilions, cultural displays of various types, entertainment and more.
This year’s events are taking place in the midst of frequent mass shootings, not a few deliberate massacres featuring white supremacists who get very different treatment compared to that received by Blacks, who continue to be targets of police discrimination, violence and killings.
The U.S. is also in a severe economic crisis, already at depression levels for African Americans. This can be seen in the far higher levels of unemployment, poverty and home foreclosures to which they are subjected. It can also be seen in the high incarceration rates of African American youth, a reflection of the state-organized racism that still permeates U.S. society. The mass incarceration rates, especially of the youth, are the modern day form of genocide. It is a crime, just as slavery was, that must be punished. The government has the social responsibility to guarantee the rights of all and its failure to do so maintains the unequal and far worse conditions imposed on African Americans today.
The more life itself proves that the crimes committed against African Americans in the United States are not only of the past but also of the present, the more demands for reparations for slavery and all government crimes present and past must be raised. Instead of continuing to pay the rich trillions of dollars in public funds and funding the war machine and killer police forces in the United States, the demand for reparations should be fulfilled. This would contribute to overcoming the continuing weight the crime of slavery still has today and recognize the responsibility of the government to take such action.
It is the fight for the elimination of slavery and for rights that brought Juneteenth into being and it is the fight for these rights that today provides a way forward.
Just as the enslaved people did not wait for Abraham Lincoln to organize to eliminate slavery, so too today waiting to see what the Biden administration may do will not advance the fight for rights. All working people in the U.S., united and organized for their rights, must liberate themselves from the current situation of aggressive war, genocide and increasing attacks on rights. It is this struggle of the people themselves that is decisive. By keeping initiative in their owns hands the people secure the change needed.
In Canada, in the spirit of Juneteenth, let us step up support for the fighting peoples across the United States and the demands of African Americans for reparations, justice, equality and to end state-violence against all.
TML Daily, posted June 17, 2022.