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Politics West Point Apologizes for Saying Robert E. Lee Announced End of Slavery

12:16  21 june  2021
12:16  21 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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The West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) has apologized after it tweeted that Robert E. Lee announced the end of slavery in the U.S.

a person wearing a costume: The West Point Association of Graduates later apologized for the tweet. In this photo, West Point graduates stand as the Army Song is played during the 2021 West Point Commencement Ceremony on May 22, 2021 in West Point, New York. U.S. © Michael M. Santiago / Staff/Getty The West Point Association of Graduates later apologized for the tweet. In this photo, West Point graduates stand as the Army Song is played during the 2021 West Point Commencement Ceremony on May 22, 2021 in West Point, New York. U.S.

WPAOG, the official alumni association of West Point, deleted the tweet, which claimed the Confederate general had delivered General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, alongside Union General Gordon Granger, which proclaimed all slaves were free.

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The post read: "#OTD (On this day) - June 19, 1865, #Juneteenth is celebrated every year in the U.S. marking the end of slavery.

"#WestPoint Grads GEN. Gordon Granger '45 and GEN. Robert E. Lee '29 delivered the news in Texas. The first African American Grad from USMA was #HenryOFlipper Class of 1877."

After the tweet was shared, there was a fierce online backlash over the false claim that Lee had assisted Granger in delivering the order.

One commenter said: "That was sure a quick trip, surrendering in April in Virginia, then rushing to Texas to tell the slaves they were free in June."

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Another added: "'Greatest military in the world'. Can't even fact check a tweet."

A third posted: "Maybe they need to go back to school. I thought these were our best and brightest."

On its Twitter page, the WPAOG later apologized for its earlier post and said it had since removed it from the social media platform.

The June 20 message read: "WPAOG apologizes for our inappropriate Juneteenth post. It was both factually incorrect and hurtful.

"We deleted the posts so as not to extend the offense and are reviewing our process for approval of social media posts."

The apology was also shared on the WPAOG Facebook page at around the same time as when the tweet was uploaded.

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Juneteenth, a portmanteau of 'June' and 'Nineteenth,' was first celebrated by formerly enslaved people in Galveston before it became more widespread during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth Independence Day Act that made June 19 a federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.

During the signing ceremony, President Biden said: "By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history and celebrate progress and grapple with the distance we've come (and) the distance we have to travel."

The bill was opposed by 14 Republicans in the House but passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate.

Newsweek has contacted the WPAOG for comment.

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Reparations, slavery trauma: My teacher's lack of empathy was generations in the making .
Talking about trauma is not an attempt to downplay Black success. Instead, it's a call for America to rectify abuses that caused long-term damages.Those comments, while shocking, didn't come from a place of isolation. Sadly, more than a third of adults don't know how widespread slavery was in America, according to a 2019 Washington Post-SSRS poll.

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