the first amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is from the Constitution (see ). The First Amendment is in three parts, one of which is devoted to freedom of speech. The other two concern the prohibition of establishing religion and allowing its citizens to petition (read: protest) for a “redress of grievances.” While he was president Trump broke all three quite consistently and quite hard. The establishment of religion was in my opinion the worst, with the allowance of evangelical Christians into the White House for public “laying on of hands” and very public praying, for which Christ himself spoke of in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:5):

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Now Trump wants to make a big deal out of his being banned from all the social media platforms of consequence. And that’s where Trump shows his total ignorance of the First Amendment. When the First Amendment talks about “abridging freedom of speech,” it’s talking about Congress, meaning the federal government, from abridging freedom of speech. The government doesn’t own any of the platforms, and makes no attempt to regulate them (although regulation may come sooner than later due to documented monopolistic practices having nothing to do with free speech). Trump is pissed because a lot of people got tired of his endless lying and what it eventually led to, i.e. January 6th, which led to his being booted off those social media platforms. Or, to put it rather succinctly:

the day after juneteenth

Yesterday, Saturday 19 June 2021, was the first official federal holiday for Juneteenth. It’s way past time that it was a national holiday. More importantly, it needs to be elevated to a national concern because all Whites need to be reminded of the horror of their perpetually inflicted systemic racism that goes back to the American Civil war and earlier. We can’t keep running from it like it’s not real or never happened. Especially those living in states that formerly allowed Black slavery.

The original date of Juneteenth came three years after the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Lincoln on 22 September 1862, during the height of the American Civil War. It wasn’t until Northern General Granger marched into Galveston Texas in June 1865, two months after Lee surrendered at Appomattox, that the enslaved Blacks were told of their emancipation. The Galveston Blacks celebrated, and Juneteenth was born. Later in December 1865 the 13th Amendment was ratified, formally abolishing slavery.

Being an old White guy, I know this holiday isn’t about me. I’ve never had to live through the racism and descrimination that many Blacks have had to. Because I’m White I’ve never had to face death over the least excuse by White police. I’ve done everything in my life not to be a racist, but considering all the Blacks who’ve suffered and died at the hands of White racists (especially police), that’s cold comfort. If anything Juneteenth should be a reminder of all the evil that’s been done and continues to be done against Blacks.

Juneteenth can’t be just one day in the year. It has to become an everyday reminder to eliminate, by whatever effort necessary, all the problems that still exist so that Juneteenth becomes a real day celebrating all the good that has been done for all Blacks everywhere.