Biden followed familiar divisive script in Juneteenth speech

Biden followed familiar divisive script in Juneteenth speech

Biden followed familiar divisive script in Juneteenth speech

President Biden’s speech this week at a Juneteenth celebration at the White House was a disgusting and unfair attack on our country and his political opponents, says a black business owner and U.S. military veteran.

Juneteenth, or June 19, commemorates the end of slavery during the U.S. Civil War, when Union soldiers informed black slaves in Texas they were free two months earlier when the Confederacy had surrendered.

Biden signed legislation in 2021 recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Speaking to a crowd of black celebrities at a White House concert, President Biden lauded next week’s June 19 holiday as a “testimony” to the resilience of black Americans, according to the White House transcript.

“It was testimony of a testament to the resilience of generations of black Americans who kept their eyes set on the nation’s North Star,” he said. “That North Star was the idea that we’re all created equal in the image of God and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives.”

Then, in the next paragraph, President Biden warned about an unnamed enemy – Republicans – who are “taking away your freedoms; making it harder for black people to vote or have your vote counted; closing doors of opportunity; attacking the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion; if you can believe it, banning books about black experiences in America; trying to erase and rewrite history.”  

Republican political activist Tim Parrish, a member of Project 21, tells AFN he considers Biden’s speech “disgusting” after watching it in its entirety.

Parrish, Tim (Project 21) Parrish

“And the reason I say that is, as a black American who just has been afforded so many opportunities in this country, and also as a black American who has traveled the world, I know first of all that this is the greatest on planet Earth,” Parrish says.

President Biden’s speech included a positive recollection about the famous “Red Ball Express” black soldiers of World War II, but even that reference went on to point out one of those veterans was Medgar Evers, the slain civil rights leader.

Biden then bragged he had given Evers the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.

“I thought that it was a sad moment for the office of the presidency,” Parrish says, “that someone who should be leading with a hopeful vision, and a way forward for the country, is attempting to divide us based on race."

What he heard in the speech, Parrish adds, was Biden attempting to “take us back,” meaning the president is attempting to scare black voters about voting for the supposedly racist Republican Party.

Biden has followed that script in the past, such as his angry “you ain’t black” comment in 2020 to Lenard McKelvey, a black radio host known as “Charlamagne tha God.”  

Last month, Charlamagne made headlines when he publicly refused to endorse Biden’s re-election. “The reality is I think both candidates are trash,” he told the Biden-supporting women on “The View.”