Today we celebrate the 155th Juneteenth. This holiday remembers the end of slavery in the United States. On this day in 1865, Union soldiers landed in Galveston Texas with the news that all slaves in the area were freed. This was two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and three months after the end of the Civil War. This day marked an important moment in our history. No longer were African Americans considered property and this day began the long path towards equality for African Americans.
Of course, 155 years later we are still dealing with our historic past of slavery and racism. The Black Lives Matter protests are about more than a single incident, they are a reaction to hundreds of years of oppression, slavery, racism, and a failure of our country to live up to its ideal that all men (and women) are created equal.
On June 19th and everyday going forward we encourage our CWA 1298 members to take on these challenges and confront racism. Take a deep look inside yourselves and confront both the public bias that we see but also the implicit bias that we may unknowingly take part in. Today, let us remember the words of Dr. King who said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Let us continue the fight for economic and racial justice.