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OPINION | LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thank the GOP

June 18, 2021 at 2:32 a.m.

Thank the GOP

Editor, The Commercial:

June 19th marks the anniversary of the day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas, -- nearly two years after the Proclamation issued by Republican President Abraham Lincoln.

The Juneteenth holiday that honors Americans of African descent is rooted in the emancipation of enslaved Africans. As a celebration of joy, therefore, we encourage Americans of African descent to celebrate their freedom but realize the origin and catalyst came from the actions of Lincoln.

The fact of the matter, when the rest of the story is told, we learn that Civil Rights for Americans of African descent started with Republicans, i.,e., the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution are most often referred to as the "Reconstruction Amendments."

They were all lumped together and passed by Republicans (immediately following the end of the Civil War) to end slavery and give former slaves some civil rights. The 13th Amendment: officially ended slavery and prohibited it for the future. The 14th Amendment: declared that former slaves were citizens and required that states provide everyone equal protection under the law.

The 15th Amendment: guaranteed voting rights for citizens regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude (slavery). Slavery was ended, blacks were given the right to vote and citizenship all provided by Republicans which is the complete history.

Many blacks across this nation celebrate Juneteenth not realizing that Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans are responsible, and for a lack of knowledge will call for Lincoln's name and statues to be removed from the public square.

The historic point, if a "Republican" president had not signed the "Emancipation Proclamation" there would not be a Juneteenth Holiday; therefore, give the Republicans credit for ending slavery.

Jesse C. Turner, pastor,

Historic Elm Grove Baptist Church,

Pine Bluff

Print Headline: Thank the GOP

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