The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion A vital lesson of Juneteenth has largely been ignored

A Juneteenth flag is raised during the Celebration of Juneteenth at the African American Civil War Memorial event in D.C. on June 20. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Regarding the June 18 Style article “Juneteenth observances are growing, but is its history getting lost?”:

I have appreciated The Post’s articles celebrating Juneteenth, but it seems that an important aspect of that event and a vital lesson have largely been ignored.

The enslaved people of Texas had been freed by the federal government, yet that freedom had been denied them until the government appeared on the scene to enforce their rights. We see that same scenario even today, most recently in the Republican-controlled states that passed laws blatantly designed to suppress the votes of their Black constituents. This time, however, the Republicans in Congress, aided and abetted by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), killed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act and permitted those states to subvert the freedom of their Black populations.

The Post recites that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Tragically, it also dies in the light of day.

Eric Kravetz, Washington

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