US president Donald Trump declared recently that his reelection campaign rallies will commence on June 19th (Juneteenth), with an event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a move with many political underpinnings.
The date and the location Trump and his campaign team have decided to start their campaign suggests racial trolling on another level, and here is why.
June 19 marks a significant celebration for (black) communities in the United States and has long been an unofficial date celebrated as Juneteenth, got from the “nineteenth” of “June” (June, 19th), the official date the United States ended its practice of slavery, legally and in reality.
In this sense, Juneteenth is a day for commemorating the “freedom” of all people living in the United States.
So of all dates, many liberals, blacks and minority groups in America have reacted with the opinion that for Trump picking that date must be significant and also choosing Tulsa in the state of Oklahoma is very significant.
How Juneteenth became important in the US history.
President Abraham Lincoln on Janurary 1, 1863, issued the Emancipation Proclamation which ordered many slave owners to free all slaves.
But President Lincoln had in an earlier open letter to Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, described his actions as intent to preserve the Union rather than to abolish slavery.
He was quoted to have written to Greeley, stating that; “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery,” Lincoln wrote.
“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union.”
Meanwhile Lincoln’s promise of the abolishment of slavery rested on the Union army winning the Civil War, which did not happen until April 1865.
But despite the Union troops, led by Major General Gordon Granger, announcing that the war had ended on June 19, 1865, and that all slaves were now free, reports had it that more than 250,000 were held in slavery across Texas.
However, slavery officially ended in all states in December 1865 after the ratification of the 13th Amendment, of June 19 — which became known as Juneteenth — a day when the last American slaves were freed, resulting in massive celebrations.
So Where is the link between Trump and Juneteenth?
There have been series of protest which has rocked the United States in recent weeks with one theme revolving “Systemic Racism” against the black community and other minority groups in the country.
Many were looking forward to having their Juneteenth celebration and making it a historic one, while the members of the house of representatives were seeking to make the day a national holiday.
Donald Trump announced his campaign will kick off in a republican stronghold on the date that people who have felt marginalised have something to celebrate.
Jelani Cobb reported in the Newyorker that this move when taken in conjunction with the date—June 19th, or Juneteenth, the informal holiday on which African-Americans recognize the delayed emancipation of the enslaved inhabitants of Texas—the choice of the second-largest city in a sparsely populated, deeply RED STATE assumes additional significance.
Trumps decision to go ahead with his campaign in a deep red state on a date that is very significant to mostly African-Americans amidst recent protests against racism and the increased momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, President Trump may be trampling on the emotions of many Americans and most importantly the core principles of the American constitution.