OptOut wishes you all a reflective Juneteenth.
Today, we commemorate the anniversary of General Order No. 3 by General Gordon Granger of the Union Army, declaring that all enslaved people in Texas were free, and the broader end of slavery in America.
Last year, we noted that while the "the 'peculiar institution' upon which the U.S. was built has long since come to an end—at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives—its legacy lives on today, from a criminal justice system plagued by racial inequities to a political system that often treats Black Americans as fodder."
Indeed, we see that legacy continue on today in white politicians and their allies in right-wing media and so-called "parents' rights groups" railing against "woke" culture and the teaching of "critical race theory" in schools. Efforts to whitewash and erase the brutal mistreatment of Black Americans throughout history are an extension of white supremacy–a perpetuation of a culture that devalues Black experiences and diminishes Black pain. The result is inevitable: Violent killings of Black Americans by whites are blamed on the victims, whose families must then endure their entire lives becoming fodder–"He had a record/was scaring people/was mentally ill."
Our nation will existence in a state of perpetual adolescence until it grapples with this culture of white supremacy. The answer to demands for silence is discourse. The answer to threats of violence is refusing to bend.
And so, as we did last year, OptOut has selected a number of articles and op-eds related to Juneteenth and race in America.
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Starting off our Juneteenth coverage is THE REAL NEWS, which did a must-watch special on America's carceral state.
THE MAJORITY REPORT also did a Juneteenth segment explaining the history of the holiday.
MISSOURI INDEPENDENT covered Juneteenth celebrations and progress made in cities on the issues of reparations for slavery, which have never been paid.
THE NATION had an impactful Juneteenth article this week.
COUNTERPUNCH published an important piece about Connecticut's "Baby Bond" program, which will invest in bonds for every child born into poverty, which can be used to start businesses, pursue education, jobs training, or to buy a home. The program promises to be an important step in addressing the racial wealth divide.
The article was also published in COLORADO NEWSLINE.
THE CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY had an important story this week about how COVID relief funds are helping to fuel a "flat tax revolution" backed by right-wing billionaire Charles Koch.
Billionaire Twitter owner and conspiracy monger Elon Musk and his friend, podcaster Joe Rogan, targeted renowned vaccine scientist Dr. Peter Hotez, who developed a patent-free COVID vaccine for use by poor nations, demanding he debate Democratic presidential hopeful and noted anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr. THE NEW REPUBLIC had the story.
DESMOG reported on how the hydrogen industry is trying to package its product as renewable through a comic.
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