Vice President Kamala Harris tried to give a history lesson to an audience of young children to commemorate Juneteenth.
Juneteeth is now a federal holiday that commemorates “the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas.”
Harris told an audience of black children that black people were enslaved in America for 400 years – overstating the actual period of slavery by more than 150 years.
“I think that we all know today is a day to celebrate the principle of freedom,” Harris told a group of about two dozen elementary school-age children at the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington. “And think about it in terms of the context of history, knowing that black people in America were not free for 400 years of slavery.”
“Let this be a day that is a day to celebrate the principle of freedom, but to speak about it honestly and accurately, both in the context of history and current application,” Harris continued.
The first slaves were brought to the American colonies in 1619 and it was abolished through the 13th Amendment that was ratified in 1865. The 13th Amendment ended 246 years of slavery, not 400.
Matter of fact, it was the Spanish that first brought African slaves across the Atlantic in 1501, unlike the fake news claims made by New York Times’s Nichole Hannah Jones.
“With the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil War, it required America to really ask itself, who is free? How do we define freedom? Freedom in terms of the autonomy one should have? Is freedom given to us or are we born with freedom? Right?” Harris said.
“I would argue it is our God-given right to have freedom. It is your birthright to have freedom. And then during slavery, freedom was taken. And so we’re not going to celebrate being given back what God gave us anyway, right?”
“Amen!” a member of her audience said.
“We should think about it also in terms of current application, asking is everyone we know free?” Harris went on. “Do we know anyone who is not free? Around the world do all people have freedom? Are there those who are without freedom? When we talk about freedom, are we talking about freedom from — or are we talking about the freedom to?”
June 22, 2022