Bringing Juneteenth to the Politically Enslaved

The Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan (RWFM) is celebrating Juneteenth and Women’s Suffrage on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Ladies Literary Club in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The city was selected because of its rich historical significance in the Civil War, Underground Railroad, and honoring historic figures like Harriet Tubman and Eli McCoy[1]. The MI Republican Women’s Club is hosting the event as a fundraiser and the Club’s President is both a resident of Ypsilanti and member of the Ladies Literary Club.

Upon posting the Event Brite notice[2], the RWFM began receiving calls from Ypsilanti Democrats concerned about Republican knowledge of Juneteenth and why Republican Women would come to Ypsilanti. Their concerns escalated to hate filled messages about the presumed racial make-up and racists views of the event organizers. Their communication was so foul that one of the liberals shared their private messages with the RWFM.

In a Facebook exchange, one of the liberal Juneteenth ‘resisters’ proclaimed Juneteenth is supposed to be organized by black people for black people. The woman at the heart of the ‘resistance’ threatened to contact the Ann Arbor NAACP to help with a counter-protest to rich white women coming to Ypsilanti. Republican Women come in all walks of life, races, religion, and experiences. With a little ‘google’ search, the liberal Democrats may have curtailed their manufactured indignation in realizing that the planners of the RWFM Juneteenth celebration were African-American women. They could have also saved themselves from obvious embarrassment by appreciating the NAACP Co-Founder, Suffragette, and a White Woman by the name of Mary White Ovington. In their haste to draft a ‘resistance’ against the RWFM, they lack the historical significance of NAACP leader, Suffragette, President of the Women’s Republican League, and a Black Woman by the name of Mary Church Terrell[3].

The saddest part of the liberal Ypsi-Agitators is that Juneteenth is not and will never be a Black-only celebration. June 19, 1865 is when Major General Gordon Granger, a White commander, marched to Galveston, Texas to affirm and enforce the January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation[4]. The blood of Black, White, and Brown Americans were shed in the cause of liberating slaves. Unlike some of the Democrats in Ypsilanti, the RWFM will not diminish the race, heritage, and significant historical contributions of one group to promote a political agenda.

One of the most famous Abolitionists, who, at the time would have lived through Juneteenth, was Frederick Douglass. This year marks his 200th birthday (1818-2018). He wrote, “I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.[5]” Given the political state of affairs, I share his sentiments and his resolve!

The celebration of Juneteenth is most appropriate for Republicans because the Party of Lincoln was founded in Jackson, Michigan “Under the Oaks” with a mission of abolishing slavery. The Republican Women of Michigan are proud of our Party, proud of our role in abolishing Slavery, in ensuring Civil Rights, in ensuring Human Rights, in standing up for the Right to Life, in liberty, justice, and freedom for all.

Unlike some polarized Democrats in Ypsilanti, there will never be a color-test or “black-only” event sign at our door. We, Black folks, are FREE – free to choose our political allies and our course in life. We, Black folks, are FREE – free to include those who suffered in our struggle and who we consider Sisters and Brothers. For those who find themselves politically enslaved in Ypsilanti, the RWFM bring Juneteeth-tidings!