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.

Juneteenth events grow statewide, as advocates celebrate progress on reparations • Missouri Independent
As Missourians go out to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend and commemorate the end of slavery, advocates may feel a new sense of hope.
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THE NATION had an impactful Juneteenth article this week.

Celebrating Juneteenth by Emancipating History
A Black family’s pilgrimage to Mississippi.
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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 Boldest Step to Close the Racial Wealth Divide in Generations
Juneteenth celebrates the end of chattel slavery in the United States. But over 150 years later, discriminatory public policies have prevented African
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The article was also published in COLORADO NEWSLINE.

The boldest step to close the racial wealth divide in generations - Colorado Newsline
Discriminatory public policies have prevented African Americans from closing the racial wealth divide in this country they helped build.
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Other News

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.

Federal Covid Relief Funds Fuel Koch-Backed Flat Tax “Revolution” - EXPOSEDbyCMD
A decade-long push by Koch’s political and policy network to get more states to flatten or abolish income taxes is finally beginning to pay off, thanks to billions in federal Covid relief funds flowing to the states.
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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.

Don’t Debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Elon Musk and Joe Rogan aren’t interested in the “truth” about vaccines. They just want a circus.
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DESMOG reported on how the hydrogen industry is trying to package its product as renewable through a comic.

Industry-Funded Comic for Kids Casts Hydrogen Fuel as Climate Hero
None of the cartoon bots seems to know that most hydrogen produced today is far from renewable.
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