Barack Obama is continuing to provide leadership in areas where Donald Trump has failed. This Friday, he spoke out to commemorate Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery at the conclusion of the Civil War. Specifically, the date of “Juneteenth” — June 19 — commemorates the day on which news of the liberation of slaves arrived in Texas, one of the most geographically far-flung areas of the then-defunct Confederacy. On Friday, Obama spoke out to point people towards “progress,” offering the hope of a brighter future as a guiding principle for political actions in the present.
‘Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible––and there is still so much work to do.’
Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It's a celebration of progress. It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible––and there is still so much work to do.https://t.co/5XCRdnk3iR
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 19, 2020
Part of the change that Obama and many others among the Democrats seek is the removal of Donald Trump from office. Obama and a large number of other Democratic leaders have long since formally endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in his bid for the presidency. Currently, Biden leads Trump in polling on the national level and in many individual swing states, although Trump frequently tries to dismiss this polling as “fake news.”
Trump: "I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous. It's actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it."
Aide says Trump WH put out statements on Juneteenth:
"Oh really? We put out a statement?…Ok, ok. Good."https://t.co/SCP0n3FfXe
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 18, 2020
Trump’s own treatment of Juneteenth has been crude, at best. As of mid-Friday afternoon, he hadn’t tweeted about it on the actual day of the holiday at all — although he did complain about federal public health official Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent suggestion that professional football may not be able to return this year due to the Coronavirus. That’s where the president’s priorities are, apparently. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published earlier in the week, Trump did address the holiday — but he ludicrously claimed that he “made” the occasion “very famous” because of his controversial initial plans to hold a rally in Oklahoma on the day. After criticism, the campaign moved the rally to the following day.
Q from @PeterAlexander: Why did President Trump say he made Juneteenth famous and that no one knew about it when millions of black people commemorate it every year?@PressSec: There were a lot of people who didn't know what Juneteenth was based on Google searches.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) June 19, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response to Obama: