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History is often a cycle of repeated actions and forgotten lessons. Special days are designated on our calendar to mark significant events to serve as reminders for those things we, too often, take for granted. Juneteenth, otherwise known as Emancipation Day, is one such day. Recognized in most states, Juneteenth (June 19th) is the commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas in June of 1865.
Apparently, Texas didn’t get the memo that President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior, so federal troops journeyed to Galveston Texas to deliver it. They took over the state to enforce the Order. Later that same year the 13th Amendment, adopted on December 18th, finally sealed slavery’s deserved fate throughout the fragile but United States.
Juneteenth, June 19th, is a day to celebrate freedom. America has come a long way since 1865. The racism that has marked our country’s beginnings does not exist in the same form or with the same force as it did then. Many fought and died for our civil rights, for each individual to be recognized as fully human, and for our government to enshrine these ideals in the Constitution.
Famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass once denounced that founding document as an enemy of black people but soon came to realize the power it wielded in the fight for justice and true equality. A former slave himself, he was able to see how the Constitution finally lived up to its promises of Liberty by declaring slavery was abolished, that each black person was a full citizen, and that blacks (well, at least men) could vote. The Reconstruction Amendments changed everything. But many resisted that change.
The Democrat Party, for instance, unanimously fought against every single piece of civil rights legislation including the aforementioned Reconstruction amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (which was the basis for the 14th Amendment), the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (enacted to protect southern blacks from Democrat-founded KKK terrorism), and the Civil Rights Act of 1875. This last act was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and it took nearly a century to re-emerge—as the Civil Rights Act of 1964). The Party of Lincoln, aka the Republican Party, still led the way in the fight for civil rights by voting in much larger percentages than Democrats for the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (59% of Dems, 93% of GOP), the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (63% of House Dems, 84% of House GOP, 65% of Senate Dems, 84% of Senate GOP), and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (60% of House Dems, 77% of House GOP, 70% of Senate Dems, 79% of Senate GOP).
Freedom has its political advocates and its adversaries. And when it comes to the most basic civil right—the Right to Life–the party of slavery, Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, literacy tests, and KKK lynchings is now the Party of Abortion. Their party platform demands this right to kill without any restrictions throughout the entire pregnancy. Yet they try to dress it up with euphemisms like “choice” and “reproductive freedom”. The same semantics were used to justify “separate but equal” while forcefully stripping away the humanity of black people.
A lot has changed since 1865, but some things remain the same. Our country has seen the outlawing of slavery, “three-fifths human” clause, Jim Crow laws, KKK terrorism and lynchings, poll taxes and literacy tests, anti-miscegenation laws (the banning of interracial marriages), housing discrimination, and many more acts of eugenic racism except for the one that claims over 1 million lives each year (of which a hugely disproportionate 360,000 are black babies)—abortion.
But the solution to the injustice of abortion doesn’t just rest in the hands of politicans—it’s in your hands. Americans need to know and care more about what is going on around them, and how every social policy affects us all. Back in 2011 The Radiance Foundation launched our first Juneteenth billboard campaign and were denounced by the NAACP and other liberal groups for simply speaking the truth.
Juneteenth celebrates freedom and remembrance. It’s an annual exercise in educating about the past and how that should impact our present. Last year, one of the most ironic tweets I’ve ever read was posted by Planned Parenthood’s President, Cecile Richards, to ”commemorate” the holiday. Keep in mind she’s paid $583k to lead a billion dollar abortion business. Her tweet opined: “On #Juneteenth, a historic day with TX roots, remembering MLK’s words: No one is free until we all are free.”
Planned Parenthood deliberately kills over 320,000 human beings every year. That’s not “equality”, that’s enmity.
As long as we allow the social injustice of abortion to violently take the lives of the most vulnerable among us…as long as we allow another group of human beings to be considered less than human…as long as we allow urban communities to be overwhelmingly targeted by abortion clinics (see ProtectingBlackLife.org’s alarming study)…as long as our preachers (hello NAACP’s William Barber III) seek awards from the nation’s largest abortion chain…as long as pro-abortion race hucksters hijack the civil rights movement…as long as those with the power to effect change choose apathy over action…we will never be free at last.
Ryan Bomberger is the co-founder and chief creative officer of the Radiance Foundation.