A few days ago, another national holiday was added to our list of recognized official celebrations. For those of you who are not totally familiar with this holiday, President Biden on June 17th signed legislation declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
It was on June 19, 1865 slaves were emancipated; it was the day slaves in Galveston Texas were not told they were free. This news did not travel fast to them in Galveston. They were not informed until two years after the occurrence. The slaves were actually freed on January 1, 1863 but they did not receive information of freedom until 1865, at the time of the ending of the Civil War. You might say why is this momentous? It’s momentous because even “though they had been freed in 1863, it took 2 years for approximately 250,000 Texan slaves to learn their freedom had been secured by the government.” One should also note that it took these two years because “though the Emancipation Proclamation became law in January 1863, it could not be enforced in places still under confederate control.”
Slaves went through turmoil, some survived brutal beatings for no reason other than the color of their skin others died, they worked under horrific conditions simply because they were seen as “less than.” They were subjected to inhumane living situations while being transported on slave ships to the south where they would continue living under extreme strenuous conditions. Today, the fight continues. Descendants of these former slaves must still fight for equal and fair justice. The Move the Monument Coalition and others on Saturday, June 19th expressed their inaptitude concerning moving the monument by rallying through the town of Easton. Council Members, do what’s right, what’s equitable, and what’s fair! MOVE THE MONUMENT!
It befuddles my mind the insensitivity of Council Members Callahan, Divilio, and Price. They refuse to see the Confederate Monument on the Courthouse lawn is a continuation of the racist depiction of 1863 when slavery was alive and well. This representation (the monument) continues to stand as a reminder of the indignations and suffrage unfairly put upon a culture. It is a daily reminder Council Members that sensitivity and justification are not words accepted in your mindset for all people. As long as this monument continues to stand, the divide continues and racial discriminatory actions continues in Talbot County mainly, Easton.
This monument is not a badge of honor. I know you know this by now but allow me to reiterate, the monument represents cruelty to a segment of people, it represents separation of families, and it represents treasonous men who chose to go against their own government. Again, I restate, this monument is NOT a badge of honor!
It’s heartbreaking to know just the basic qualities for people of color continues to be threatened today in 2021. Qualities such as love, respect – see me – respect me, faith to believe that things are going to change and yes, equality because you have it, I should have it too. These are qualities that should be offered to every human being without conditions. Whether you want to accept this or not, other than the differences in skin hue, we are all the same (think on that for a second). And if you think correctly, MOVE THE MONUMENT!
“We must overcome bigotry and injustice” . . . . . . . . Lyndon B. Johnson