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This is our charge on Juneteenth:

Today is Juneteenth, the oldest annual celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, commemorating the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans from the Confederacy.

Though Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September, 1862, slavery wasn't formally abolished in the United States until nearly three years later.

Union troops arrived in Texas on June 18, 1865 – two months after Lincoln was assassinated – to reestablish federal control over the state. The following day, Major General Gordon Granger officially emancipated Texas's 250,000 enslaved people, ending legal slavery in the reunified United States.

But despite the end of slavery, the oppression of Black Americans has been built into every institution of American life from policing to education to health care. We have a lot of work to do to untangle the deep-rooted racism in our nation's DNA.

We can turn the tide. Millions of Americans have spoken out over the last three weeks, in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, and demanded a reckoning of this injustice. Discussions of systemic and institutional racism have entered even the most conservative circles. In Washington, I've co-sponsored a bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

So this Juneteenth let us confront the history of racism in America and figure out our own role in bringing an end to it. Let us lift up the voices of Black heroes, scientists, scholars, artists, educators, inventors, writers, and other leaders whose achievements have been ignored or covered up. Let us teach our children this history and prepare them to do better than we have.


P.S. Our movement is so close to hitting our goal of raising $40,000 to support frontline groups fighting for racial justice and equality. Read more about these organizations and chip in to fuel their work!

Posted on June 19, 2020.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter