Politics West Point Apologizes for Saying Robert E. Lee Announced End of Slavery
Juneteenth celebrations arrive amid culture war on race theory, voting, police reform
Juneteenth's rise in popularity after a year of racial reckoning comes amid a culture war on voting rights and American schools' teachings on race.Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and 19th, commemorates June 19, 1865 — the date when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, informing the Galveston, Texas, community that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved African Americans in rebel states. It’s also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.
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.
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.
'Grandmother of Juneteenth' celebrates federal holiday -- but there is more work to do. Here's how you can help
Before Juneteenth became an official federal holiday, 94-year-old Opal Lee was on a mission. © courtesy Larry Don Miller Jr Activist Opal Lee is at the center of Juneteenth becoming a national holiday. Known as the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," her mission pushed the day to become federally recognized. "I'm not just going to sit and rock, you know?" the determined "Grandmother of Juneteenth" told CNN. "The Lord is going to have to catch me.
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.
West Point alumni association falsely tweeted that Confederate General Robert E. Lee announced the end of slavery. Good lord pic.twitter.com/57EnoRumYO— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) June 20, 2021
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."
USA remember "Juneteenth" to the end of slavery
Washington. 156 years after the formal end of slavery in the US, the country introduces a holiday: June 19, 1865, the country intends as "Juneteenth". US President Biden calls slavery the "original sin of America". © Jim Watson US President Joe Biden after signing the law on the introduction of the holiday with the activist Opal Lee (2.V.L.) known as "Grandmother of Juneteenth". As a reminder of the formal end of slavery 156 years ago in the US, the country gets a new nationwide holiday.
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 itspage, 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."
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. pic.twitter.com/szcG8DOq5u— West Point AOG (@WPAOG) June 20, 2021
The apology was also shared on the WPAOGpage at around the same time as when the tweet was uploaded.
Commemorating Juneteenth: Learn from the past to improve the present and future
The goal of our newest national holiday should not be to make Americans hate our country for past sins, or to feel some sort of guilt, but to show us a way to express our love for our country by working to make it true to the noble ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men (and let’s add women) are created equal.”At a time when the political parties fight about almost everything, it was good to see they could agree to the long-overdue acknowledgement of what former President Barack Obama called "this nation's original sin." The Senate unanimously passed the bill creating the new holiday, to be observed every June 19.
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, Presidentsigned 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 14in the House but .
Newsweek has contacted the WPAOG for comment.
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.