The Real History Of Emancipation That Black Lives Matter Doesn't Want You To Know

powered by Surfing Waves

On June 19, 1865, a historic moment in our national history was realized: Texan black people finally were able to join the ranks of their southern and some mid-west counterparts and participate in the freedom that was rightfully theirs. Officially, all black people had now been freed from the horrific, appalling violation of humanity that is slavery. For once in their lives, black people universally across the United States could hold their head high and realize America was finally for them.

On Juneteenth, for the first time, our nation truly lived out the meaning of its creed, that all men are created equal and have basic, universal rights that apply to ALL without question. Doesn't matter ones' status, their culture, their background, or the amount of melanin in their skin. On June 19th, 1865, all men were free, all men could own property, all men were officially declared equal. The Declaration was finally recognized.

This, for better or for worse, is the TRUE history of Juneteenth. But, along the way, a vaporous poison has injected itself into what should be a universal acceptance of human rights for black people. Black Lives Matter, for instance, wants you to forget about the white people that worked alongside Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois to end slavery in America.

Black Lives Matter wants you to forget about natural rights and freedom and the commonality that made the abolitionist movement so successful and rightfully justified. They want you to forget about the true philosophical origins of Juneteenth, and instead make it about black people rioting for what's theirs.

On their article, titled, "What Is Juneteenth," Black Lives Matter makes it sound like freedom, natural rights, and unification of all humanity as one had absolutely nothing at all to do with emancipation or even Juneteenth. They state on their blog post:

As this celebration of hard-won Black freedom makes its way into the mainstream, let’s be sure that we reckon with the history of American chattel slavery, honor the Black freedom fighters who brought its end, maintain the integrity of Juneteenth as a Black self-determined celebration, and commit ourselves fully to the continued struggle for reparations and freedom.

Except this isn't how it happened. Emancipation and Juneteenth were the result of people, regardless of race, coming together to recognize that people are just people. They are not "white" and "black," they are human beings. Black abolitionists worked alongside white abolitionists to realize the end of slavery because of a shared philosophy that, because black people and white people are both people, they have equal human rights. Therefore, slavery is a violation of black people's human rights.

Most soldiers in the Civil War were white. Most abolitionist politicians were white. However, a great many, like Frederick Douglass, were black and most would rightly argue that Frederick Douglass and other black abolitionists were the real engine behind the ending of slavery and the moral cause of the Civil War.

The thing to remember here is, the abolitionist movement was a UNIFICATION of black people and white people around a shared goal of equality, empowerment, and natural rights for all. It wasn't black people fighting alone for what is theirs. It was unification, shared identity, and the realization that people are people.

If you don't believe me, then I will humbly submit Frederick Douglass, the famed black abolitionist, to explain emancipation to you himself in a speech on the matter:

That we are here in peace today is a compliment and a credit to American civilization, and a prophecy of still greater national enlightenment and progress in the future. I refer to the past not in malice, for this is no day for malice; but simply to place more distinctly in front the gratifying and glorious change which has come both to our white fellow-citizens and ourselves, and to congratulate all upon the contrast between now and then; the new dispensation of freedom with its thousand blessings to both races, and the old dispensation of slavery with its ten thousand evils to both races — white and black. In view, then, of the past, the present, and the future, with the long and dark history of our bondage behind us, and with liberty, progress, and enlightenment before us, I again congratulate you upon this auspicious day and hour.

Liberty, progress, enlightenment for both white and black people? Surely Douglass is a racist! Or so the Black Lives Matter organization would label him in 2021, since he clearly is somehow minimizing black people while championing for their freedom. But Douglass realized the significance of emancipation is not solely black freedom. It is enlightenment and a deeper realization that all are human, that all, white or black, are free, that believing this is true progress, enlightenment, and real liberty. Without emancipation, without equal rights, without natural rights for all, whether black or white or green or purple, then ALL people, black or white or green or purple, have NO rights.

Now, do not take this to be a diminishment of black peoples' contributions. Indeed, without black people, the abolitionist movement would have died faster than it rose. Indeed black people were the lifeblood behind the struggle. But black people did not fight alone. Black people and white people worked hand in hand, together, to abolish slavery. It was a UNIFICATION, not a DIVISION, that culminated into the Juneteenth we now finally celebrate as a long overdue national recognition in this country.

Granted, most of the current social commentary is spot on in the blog post. There is still much work to be done for black people in America. The criminal justice system is indeed racist. The political institutions in Republican and Democrat states and in Congress are indeed racist. The way many white people in both political parties view black people in America is indeed racist. Black Lives Matter does rightly shine a light on these abuses and the abuses deserve to be rectified and abolished just as slavery was nationally in 1863 and realized in 1865 in Texas. 

But, in their zeal and fight, Black Lives Matter wants people to forget that white people are people. They want white people to be removed from the history books in regard to their struggles alongside Frederick Douglass and other black people for freedom. In fact, Frederick Douglass expounds in another writing on emancipation day what REALLY happened in regard to emancipation:

Common sense, the necessities of the war, to say nothing of the dictation of justice and humanity have at last prevailed. We shout for joy that we live to record this righteous decree. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy, in his own peculiar, cautious, forbearing and hesitating way, slow, but we hope sure, has, while the loyal heart was near breaking with despair, proclaimed and declared: "That on the First of January, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-three, All Persons Held as Slaves Within Any State or Any Designated Part of a State, The People Whereof Shall Then be in Rebellion Against the United States, Shall be Thenceforward and Forever Free." "Free forever" oh! long enslaved millions, whose cries have so vexed the air and sky, suffer on a few more days in sorrow, the hour of your deliverance draws nigh! Oh! Ye millions of free and loyal men who have earnestly sought to free your bleeding country from the dreadful ravages of revolution and anarchy, lift up now your voices with joy and thanksgiving for with freedom to the slave will come peace and safety to your country. President Lincoln has embraced in this proclamation the law of Congress passed more than six months ago, prohibiting the employment of any part of the army and naval forces of the United States, to return fugitive slaves to their masters, commanded all officers of the army and navy to respect and obey its provisions. He has still further declared his intention to urge upon the Legislature of all the slave States not in rebellion the immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery. But read the proclamation for it is the most important of any to which the President of the United States has ever signed his name.

. . .

The careful, and we think, the slothful deliberation which he has observed in reaching this obvious policy, is a guarantee against retraction. But even if the temper and spirit of the President himself were other than what they are, events greater than the President, events which have slowly wrung this proclamation from him may be relied on to carry him forward in the same direction. To look back now would only load him with heavier evils, while diminishing his ability, for overcoming those with which he now has to contend. To recall his proclamation would only increase rebel pride, rebel sense of power and would be hailed as a direct admission of weakness on the part of the Federal Government, while it would cause heaviness of heart and depression of national enthusiasm all over the loyal North and West. No, Abraham Lincoln will take no step backward. His word has gone out over the country and the world, giving joy and gladness to the friends of freedom and progress wherever those words are read, and he will stand by them, and carry them out to the letter. If he has taught us to confide in nothing else, he has taught us to confide in his word. The want of Constitutional power, the want of military power, the tendency of the measure to intensify Southern hate, and to exasperate the rebels, the tendency to drive from him all that class of Democrats at the North, whose loyalty has been conditioned on his restoring the union as it was, slavery and all, have all been considered, and he has taken his ground notwithstanding. The President doubtless saw, as we see, that it is not more absurd to talk about restoring the union, without hurting slavery, than restoring the union without hurting the rebels. As to exasperating the South, there can be no more in the cup than the cup will hold, and that was full already. The whole situation having been carefully scanned, before Mr. Lincoln could be made to budge an inch, he will now stand his ground. Border State influence, and the influence of half-loyal men, have been exerted and have done their worst. The end of these two influences is implied in this proclamation. Hereafter, the inspiration as well as the men and the money for carrying on the war will come from the North, and not from half-loyal border States.

You will notice none of this is about black power, or taking from white people, or being labeled a racist because you simply assert natural rights for all. Frederick Douglass, the famed black abolitionist and political activist, believed emancipation and slavery have their roots in violations against all of humanity. He believed the violation of slavery was a robbery of black people of their human rights. That the ultimate goal of emancipation is the realization of human rights, not solely black freedom. It is deeper than a mere struggle for black freedom, it is a realization of human rights and dignity and equality, which is by nature black freedom.

The reason black people can lay claim to freedom in the first place, according to Frederick Douglass, is because of their shared human rights. The reason black people can claim slavery is wrong is because of equal, shared rights with their enslavers, this invalidating the right of the enslavers to hold them as captive. That it was those who enslaved them (black and white) who were violating their rights as human beings. This was the reason for emancipation, and it is an oft-forgotten about aspect of the movement as a whole.

Now, to understand the gravity of why Douglass is an expert on the meaning of Emancipation, here's a little history about Frederick Douglass, who has all but been reduced to a footnote in American history textbooks. 

Douglass grew up a slave. He was born into it, but through the underground railroad, an institution mostly run and operated by Northerners who wanted to end slavery in the South, he became a free man in the North.

After becoming a free man, in the North he was able to own property, own money, work whenever he wanted, and live alongside other people in harmony. There was no segregation, no slavery, few attacks on him for simply being black. In many respects it was like he left bondage and attained utopian freedom.

Douglass, himself, wrote hundreds of pages on the liberty and justice he had received in the north upon being a free man after making it through the underground railroad. He wrote of how white men consoled him when he feared being returned, how they told him that the hatefully vapid and poisonous institution and ideology that was slavery had no place in the North. In fact, he was assured that, instead, the soldiers of the north considered him a free man and would fight the southerners tooth and nail, dying if need be, to make sure of it. A phrase that came to fruition in the Civil War.

But such is not the history of slavery that makes it into the books. Such is not the history of racism in our great nation that makes it into the books. Nevertheless, it is the truth. Straight from the mouth of Frederick Douglass, a former slave who became one of the biggest activists for human rights. 

But Black Lives Matter doesn't want you to know that. Black Lives Matter instead wants you to believe the white man contributed nothing toward black freedom nor wanted anything to do with it. Black Lives Matter wants to paint all white men as evil oppressors, despite this being completely devoid of all fact in American history. Black Lives Matter wants people to believe emancipation was only about black people and what they could take from the white man. Black Lives Matter wants to rewrite history.

Now, what is wrong with this viewpoint? Ultimately, it removes human rights. It removes shared identity as fellow human beings. It segregates rather than unites. It promotes hatred and bigotry rather than unity and humanity. It divides rather than conquers.

Black people indeed are not treated equally in America today. Black people indeed are still not truly living out the nature of the American creed. But the solution is not to declare war on white people and rewrite history to remove human rights and shared identity as human beings from all conversation as Black Lives Matter wants. The solution is to do what Frederick Douglass did and FIGHT THE RACISTS.

The solution is to UNIFY PEOPLE together against racism and injustice as human beings with equal rights, shared humanity, and true enlightenment and progress.

The real history of Juneteenth is that it is the final emancipation of black people in the United States and making sure human rights and freedom come to those who, by nature of their being a human being, have every right to it. But it is not an anti-white holiday. In fact it wasn't even about whiteness and blackness as a cultural or political institution at all. It was about freedom, equality, and unification of the human race as a whole around a common identity as people. It was about shared human rights, coming together to recognize the shared humanity in everyone, and fighting to make sure such humanity and human rights are realized for black people AND, by extension, all other people as well.

Juneteenth is not about black people fighting whites. It is about black people fighting alongside white people for what is the black man's shared birthright with white men as human beings: freedom, equality, justice, and equal human rights. 

powered by Surfing Waves


SHARE our articles and like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

Post a Comment