“We came to speak against the racism that is still rooted in the DNA of this country.” This is how one of the participants in the American celebrations on the anniversary of the end of slavery described the state of racism rooted in American society in light of the growing attitudes against forms of racial discrimination in the United States that claim to protect human rights.
Yesterday, hundreds of gatherings were organized in many American regions such as New York to Los Angeles, especially in Galveston, Texas, the symbolic center of this anniversary, 156 years after the announcement of the end of slavery in America during the era of US President Abraham Lincoln.
In Washington, hundreds celebrated on the Sixteenth Street leading to the White House, whose name has become an “important black life square” since the massive protests sparked by the killing of African-American citizen George Floyd by a policeman.
One participant said that he "came to speak against racism that is still embedded in the DNA of this country," while another participant considered that "the struggle is still long in the face of racism and discrimination in the United States."
In New York, a statue of Floyd, who was killed by a police officer, was unveiled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020 in commemoration of his memory and the memory of the popular protests that erupted after his murder.
One participant said that it took a long time to acknowledge the suffering of African Americans, "but we will definitely achieve our goal."
As for Pennsylvania, which witnessed a march to commemorate the anniversary, Sheriff Street, a member of the state parliament, saw the celebration of this anniversary seem "a bit surreal" while Republican-led states pass laws that limit voting options in a way that greatly affects people of color.
Between last January and May, 14 US states, especially Georgia and Florida, issued laws limiting voting opportunities in a move apparently aimed at reducing the influence of minority voters, especially African Americans.
Street considered these steps "a reminder that the gains in the struggle of African Americans are not permanent."
It is reported that on June 19, 1865, the Union Army, which won the American Civil War, announced that “African American slaves” were free, and considered this day, which was called “John Tenth,” a pivotal date in the American slave movement.
Slavery was officially abolished in the United States in December of the same year with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the American Constitution, but the nineteenth of June remained the symbolic date for its abolition.
The United States witnessed a rise in the level of racism after the arrival of former President Donald Trump to the White House in 2017, during this period during which his speeches inciting racism and hatred against African Americans and Latin Americans.
In addition, the Anti-Defamation League in New York City announced that the promotion of white supremacy in the United States, especially messages of racism, doubled over the past year and reached record levels, and said in a report that it had reached 5,125 cases during 2020 compared to 2,724 cases in 2019, and this rise appeared In all US states.