Juneteenth Monday ReadsPosted: June 20, 2022 Filed under: January 6 Committee Public Hearings, Juneteenth | Tags: Rep. Adam Kinzinger 35 Comments
It’s fitting, then, that Juneteenth is often referred to as Jubilee Day. In January 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation abolished chattel slavery, declaring “all persons held as slaves” to be “forever free.”
Happy Jubilee Day!
Today we recognize our newest national holiday! I’m still hoping we kick Colombus Day to the curb and replace it with one that celebrates our Indigenous peoples rather than that mass murderer that even his enablers eventually refused to pay for his horrifying time somewhere in the Caribbean. He was an enslaver and rapist.
But today we celebrate the official end to those practices in the USA. Today’s first read is from Teen Vogue‘s political writer Braxton Brewington. It is also the source for the quote at the top.
Dating back millennia, the Jubilee was a momentous celebration, a year when land was to be returned, debts forgiven, and enslaved people were to be set free. Announced by the loud blast of a ram’s horn, biblical scholars note, the Jubilee year was grounded in the idea of freedom, orchestrating an economic, cultural, and moral reordering of society. It’s fitting, then, that Juneteenth is often referred to as Jubilee Day.
In January 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation abolished chattel slavery, declaring “all persons held as slaves” to be “forever free.” But it wasn’t until two years later, on June 19, 1865, that news of liberation finally reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth, sometimes called Black Independence Day or Freedom Day, honors this actual ending of slavery.
In a way, the Emancipation Proclamation functioned as Black Americans’ first and only Jubilee — in fact, “Jubilee” is what formerly enslaved people called the phase that followed the Civil War. Abolition put an end to an entire economy of exploited labor that essentially built the modern capitalist world. But the Emancipation Proclamation went further than requiring Confederate states to simply recognize slavery’s abolition — it also instructed the United States government to “maintain” the freedom of formerly enslaved people, and to do “no act or acts to repress such persons” or any “efforts they may make for their actual freedom.” Today, in a stark deviation from President Abraham Lincoln’s instructions, the government is still sanctioning and facilitating the oppression of Black people.
Juneteenth is a Federal Holiday, but it is still not gaining traction in some states as a day off. This is from The New York Times. “Juneteenth Is a Federal Holiday, but in Most States It’s Still Not a Day Off. One year after President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, 26 states have not authorized the funding that would allow for state employees to take the day off.
Last June, President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, proclaiming it as a day for all Americans to commemorate the end of slavery.
One year later, only 24 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation or issued executive orders that would provide funding to let state employees observe the day as a paid state holiday, according to the Pew Research Center, which describes itself as “a nonpartisan fact tank.”
Opponents of bills that would create funding for the permanent holiday have complained of the costs associated with giving workers another paid day off. Some have said that not enough people know about the holiday to make the effort worthwhile.
For supporters, such arguments are painful to hear, especially as more Americans said they were familiar with Juneteenth. In June 2022, nearly 60 percent of Americans said they knew about the holiday, compared with 37 percent in May 2021, according to a Gallup poll.
“This is something that Black folk deserve and it was like we had to almost prove ourselves to get them to agree,” said Anthony Nolan, a state representative in Connecticut, where legislators argued for hours earlier this year before passing legislation to fund the holiday.
Juneteenth commemorates the events of June 19, 1865, when Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom after the Civil War had ended.
The day has been commemorated by Black Americans since the late 1800s. Though all 50 states have recognized Juneteenth by enacting some kind of proclamation celebrating it, its full adoption as an American holiday has yet to take root.
You can read about Republican resistance to the holiday in the rest of the article. It’s disgusting as expected.
It would be nice to think the traditional application of American Freedom, Justice, and Liberty for all was at the center of our attention rather than the white nationalist paranoia that is driving what’s left of the Republican Party.
We’re about to see the next set of evidence surrounding Donald Trump and his seditious enterprise. This is from The Guardian and is reported by Ramon Antonio Vargas. “Kinzinger: Trump’s actions surrounding January 6 amount to ‘seditious conspiracy. Republican member of the Capitol attack panel also says Trump’s actions surrounding the deadly riot had ‘criminal involvement’”.
A Republican member of the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol said on Sunday that he believes Donald Trump’s actions surrounding the deadly riots amount to “seditious conspiracy” and “criminal involvement by a president”.
Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger’s remarks on ABC’s This Week came after three hearings held by the House January 6 committee presented searing testimony and mounting evidence about Trump’s central role in a complex plot to overturn his defeat at the hands of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
While he was only one of at least four committee members scheduled to appear on the national news network’s Sunday talkshows, Kinzinger’s comments stood out for their candor and because they came from within the ex-president’s own political party.
“I certainly think the president is guilty of knowing what he did, seditious conspiracy, being involved in … pressuring the [justice department], vice-president [Mike Pence], et cetera,” Kinzinger said. “Obviously, you know, we’re not a criminal charges committee, so I want to be careful in specifically using that language, but I think what we’re presenting before the American people certainly would rise to a level of criminal involvement by a president.”
Kinzinger also said that Trump’s actions, as portrayed by the committee, show he “definitely” failed to maintain his oath to uphold the US constitution.
“The oath has to matter here,” Kinzinger said. “Your personal demand to stand for the constitution has to matter.”
It’s still rather amazing to me that we have a slice of our country that deliberately remains ignorant of the facts. Texas was, of course, the last place in the country that held enslaved people after the proclamation. Its existence was basically another example of white men grabbing land from other countries. This is dangerous and it’s leading to dangerous situations in Republican-held state governments. This is via Reuters. It also demonstrates how clearly they believe their religious views should dictate the lives of others.
Republicans in Texas formally rejected President Joe Biden’s election in 2020 as illegitimate and voted in a state-wide convention that wrapped up this weekend on a party platform that calls homosexuality an “abnormal lifestyle choice.”
The party’s embrace of unfounded electoral fraud allegations in a bedrock Republican state came as a bipartisan congressional committee seeks to definitively and publicly debunk the false idea that Biden did not win the election.
Biden received 7 million more votes than rival Donald Trump. Biden also received 306 votes from the Electoral College, more than the 270 needed to win.
The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is building a case that Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election — including by denying he lost — amounted to conspiracy to illegally hold onto power.
Trump, the 45th U.S. president, has denied any wrongdoing.
“We reject the certified results of the 2020 presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States,” the Texas party said in a resolution, passed in a voice vote at its convention.
Texas is a major player in U.S. national politics, with 38 electoral votes, the second highest after California. Voters there have backed Republican presidents for the past four decades.
Congressman Kinzinger also had this to say via HuffPo. “Adam Kinzinger Warns Next Presidential Election ‘Is Going To Be A Mess’. “Wake up, Republicans, because this is not going to be good for you if you think it is,” Kinzinger said.” This is reported by Marita Vlachou.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Sunday he is “very worried” about the next presidential election, warning that 2024 “is going to be a mess,” citing a recent example of voting conspiracy theories taking hold.
Speaking to ABC’s “This Week,” Kinzinger mentioned New Mexico, where a GOP-led county’s governing commission refused to certify the local election results because of unsubstantiated concerns over voting machines before a judge stepped in.
The case echoes voting conspiracy theories in the 2020 election when right-wing personalities and networks accused voting software companies of using technology to skew the election in favor of Joe Biden.
“This is the untold thing. We focused so much on what goes on in D.C. and Congress and the Senate,” Kinzinger said. “But when you have these election judges that are going to people that don’t believe basically in democracy, authoritarians, 2024 is going to be a mess.”
“And wake up, America. Wake up, Republicans, because this is not going to be good for you if you think it is,” Kinzinger continued.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection has reportedly argued over whether to refer Trump to the Department of Justice for criminal charges over his efforts in overturning the results of the 2020 election.
The next public hearing will be tomorrow. It will center on Trump’s interference in state elections including Georgia.
So, I’ll leave you to picnic and celebrate one of our Country’s finest moments, President Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Declaration. Tomorrow we restart our path of dealing with our Country’s worst President and the cult and racists that define one of our Country’s worst moments.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Lazy Saturday Reads: Another Domestic Terrorist AttackPosted: November 28, 2015 Filed under: abortion rights, Barack Obama, Civil Liberties, Crime, fetus fetishists, morning reads, U.S. Politics, Women's Rights | Tags: abortion clinic attacks, Colorado Springs, domestic terrorism, Garrett Swasey, Planned Parenthood, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Robert L. Dear, Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, Vicki Coward 36 Comments
A terrorist is in custody after he attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado yesterday, but not before he murdered a policeman and two “civilians” and injured nine more people. As we’re all aware, Colorado Springs is a hotbed of right wing “Christian” evangelical groups.
Here’s the latest from Reuters: Police name suspect in Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting.
The suspect in a deadly shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic was named on Saturday as Robert L. Dear, 57, the Colorado Springs Police public affairs’ section said in a Tweet.
The gunman who stormed the clinic on Friday killed three people and wounded nine others before surrendering to police after a bloody siege lasting several hours inside the facility, authorities said.
Local news media reported that Dear was being held without bail.
As police traded gunfire with Dear, people in local businesses were told to shelter in place.
The rampage, which took place at a clinic that provides women’s health services including abortions, was believed to be the first fatal attack on a U.S. abortion provider in six years. Police have not discussed the suspect’s motives.
The assailant in Colorado Springs, Colorado’s second largest city, was armed with a rifle when he entered the clinic – a site repeatedly targeted for protests by anti-abortion activists – and opened fire shortly before noon on Friday, authorities said.
Police swarming the scene pursued the assailant into the building, trading gunfire with the suspect as authorities tracked their movements from room to room by watching live video feeds from security cameras mounted inside.
Officers closing in on the gunman managed to finally talk him into giving himself up inside, and he was taken into custody more than five hours after the violence began.
Planned Parenthood released a statement in response to the terrorist attack on their clinic in Colorado Springs.
“The heart of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) is broken tonight as we try to make sense of the horrific tragedy that struck our beloved health center in Colorado Springs, today. Our thoughts are with the all those who were impacted and particularly the families of the two civilians and one heroic law-enforcement officer whose lives were lost. We are grateful to report that all our staff are safe and accounted for and are hoping for the best possible outcomes for the others wounded in this attack.
“We are thankful to our security personnel and to the Colorado Springs Police Department, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, and the UCCS campus officers, who came to our aid and served with such selfless valor. Their fast response, strength, and bravery undoubtedly saved countless lives today. We also appreciate that our Colorado Springs staff responded quickly following our security protocols.
“The information regarding the gunman’s motive remains unknown as does whether Planned Parenthood was targeted deliberately. PPRM’s top priority will always be the safety of our patients and staff. We maintain strong security measures and always work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure our very strong safety record.
“We share the concerns of many Americans that the continued attacks against abortion providers and patients, as well as law enforcement officers, is creating a poisonous environment that breeds acts of violence. But, we will never back away from providing critical health care to millions of people who rely on and trust us every day.
Read the rest at the link. I think we can guess Dear’s motive, but I suppose we’ll have to wait to know for sure.
President Obama also released a statement.
Business Insider: ‘This is not normal’: Obama releases emotional statement on Planned Parenthood shooting.
President Barack Obama released a statement on Saturday calling for gun control in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the day before.
“This is not normal,” Obama said. “We can’t let it become normal.”
He then called to curtail the “easy accessibility of weapons of war” for some people.
“If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them,” Obama continued.
“Period,” he added. “Enough is enough.”
Unfortunately these mass shootings have become regular events in the U.S. That is our “normal” now.
The media has been uncharacteristically hesitant to speculate on Dear’s motive.
USA Today: Gunman’s motive in Planned Parenthood shootings unclear.
Police were trying to determine Saturday why a middle-aged gunman in hunting gear allegedly went on a wild shooting spree inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, killing three people, including a police officer.
The suspect, identified as Robert Lewis Dear, 57, of North Carolina, surrendered to officers after a five-hour ordeal Friday in which he fired randomly at people in the clinic and roamed the halls shooting through walls with an assault-style rifle.
“We don’t have any information on this individual’s mentality, or his ideas or ideology,”
You’d think by this time reporters could have found out some information about this guy, wouldn’t you? Nevertheless, there is quite a bit of good information in the USA Today article.
One Republican Congressman demanded an apology from Planned Parenthood head Vicki Cowart while the attack was still ongoing. Tommy Christopher at Mediaite:
Police have finally taken a shooter into custody after the five-hour siege at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs that has left at least three people dead, including one police officer. It was while that siege was still going on, though, that Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger decided to take to CNN’s air and demand an apology from Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, if the perpetrator turned out not to be an anti-abortion terrorist.
“When I heard that statement, I thought that was very premature. We may find out this person was targeting Planned Parenthood. If we find out he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director for saying that.”
That was at about 6 pm, while there was still gunfire being reported at the scene. There is a long history of terrorism against Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health providers in this country, but the statement Kinzinger is referencing [see Planned Parenthood statement excerpted earlier in this post] actually points out that the motive is as yet unknown, and yet is still true no matter what this shooter’s mysterious motive turns out to be.
Here’s some background on Garrett Swasey, the police officer who was killed in the shootout. CNN via KTXS ABC 12: Slain officer was once champion skater.
Swasey, 44, was one of three people killed Friday when a gunman attacked at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.
The married father worked for the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and was on campus Friday morning when the shooting started 10 miles away. He rushed to the scene to support a city police officer who was under fire, the university said in a statement….
Swasey had been with university police for six years, authorities said. But long before that, he was a junior national couples ice dancing champion, The Denver Post reported.
He and his partner won the junior national championship in Orlando in 1992, the paper cited university spokesman Jared Verner as saying. A few years after the championship win, Swasey performed in a musical skating show in Maine.
As the community mourns the fallen officer, the University of Colorado football team will observe a moment of silence during its game Saturday.
I’ll end with this piece from Mother Jones: The New, Ugly Surge in Violence and Threats Against Abortion Providers.
Three people were shot dead and nine injured Friday at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, the first time since 2009 that anyone has been killed in an incident linked to activity at an abortion clinic. The attack comes amid an exponential increase in threats and violence against abortion providers since the release of a series of viral—and widelydebunked—videos.
While police have not discussed the alleged motives of the suspect, who has been arrested, the attack began at the clinic. According to authorities the gunman entered the facility Friday afternoon and began shooting. During an hours-long standoff, he exchanged fire with police, killing one officer.
Since the release of the Center for Medical Progress’ videos that purport to show Planned Parenthood selling fetal issue, harassment, threats, and attacks against abortion providers, their staff, and facilities have surged dramatically across the country, according to new numbers from the National Abortion Federation.
The clinic attacked on Friday is part of the Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains affiliate, which was featured in the Center for Medical Progress’ videos.
“Since the series of highly-edited, misleading anti-abortion videos was released in July, we have seen an unprecedented increase in hate speech and threats against abortion providers” says Vicki Saporta, the president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, which has been tracking violence against providers since the 1970s.
“We have been quite worried that this increase in threats would lead to a violent attack like we saw” on Friday, she added.
Please go read the whole thing at Mother Jones.
What else is happening? I hope to see your thoughts and links in the comment thread.