WATCH: NY Times 1619 Project Creator Nikole Hannah-Jones Discusses Historical Significance of Juneteenth on The View
New York Times 1619 Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones discussed the significance of Juneteenth on Friday’s episode of The View, commenting on law enforcements systemic racism and its historical ties to slavery.
Hannah-Jones explained that Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of those who had been enslaved in the United States, specifically marking the day that the last enslaved people were emancipated on June 19, 1865.
Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which freed the slaves in Confederate states, it was ignored in Texas until the Civil War ended in 1865 due to the state’s small number of Union troops.
“It is when General Gordan Granger, a Union general, marches to the farthest reaches of Texas,” Hannah-Jones said.”Texas was the furthest west of the slave states, so the last to get the information that slavery had ended. So several months after the civil war, people there who had been laboring in bondage found out that they were indeed free.”
She noted that the United States is one of the few countries in the Americas that does not currently celebrate emancipation as a national holiday, and questioned how the nation could heal without recognizing its path.
The journalist also explained the significance of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the location of President Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday, which was originally scheduled to take place on Juneteenth.
“There was a neighborhood called Greenwood, and this district was one of the more affluent and thriving Black business districts in the country at the time,” Hannah-Jones explained. “And as was often the case in this country, when a Black community would get too prosperous, many white Americans felt that Black prosperity was detrimental to white supremacy.”
“There was a mob of white people orchestrated, also by law enforcement, and the burned down the Black business district,” she added. “they killed estimated about 300 Black Americans… it was a massacre.”
Hannah-Jones also went after those who oppose the removal of Confederate statues, noting that it doesn’t erase history since people learn from books, but instead glorifies figures who promoted racism in America.
“This is a reckoning that’s been a long time coming,” she said. “I think we really need to understand how degrading and demeaning it is it expect Black people to go into buildings and to go into parks with images and statues glorifying the people who fought to keep them enslaved.”
When host Sunny Hostin asked about Larry Kudlow’s claim that there is no systemic racism present in policing, Hannah-Jones noted that the police departments in the South were founded to patrol Black Americans and enslaved people.
“This doesn’t mean that every police officer is racist,” she added. “But you certainly cannot look at the evidence and say there is not a problem with systemic racism within law enforcement.”
Watch above, via ABC.
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