**Editor’s Note: This Letter to the Editor was submitted by Racine resident Nick Demske. Details about Juneteenth Day have been added for clarity.
Dear White Racine–
like pretty much all cities I’ve ever been to, our city is majorly segregated. And we, as a culture, just can’t seem to figure out how to solve that problem.
I propose to you that a large part of (though by no means all of) the solution is togetherness. Togetherness is a badass, chain-breaking bit of antidote against segregation and disconnection. So–
GO TO THE DR. JOHN BRYANT COMMUNITY CENTER’S JUNETEENTH DAY CELEBRATION THIS SATURDAY!
It’s massive, it’s amazing, it’s been going on for decades and the white community of Racine has all but never heard of it. Because when our people are segregated, so is our information. So are even our holidays.
Don’t know what Juneteenth Day is? Perfect! You are on the world wide web this instant and a simple internet search will cure you of that ailment. It is a bit of American history so many of our educations were robbed of. So enjoy reclaiming that history today! And welcome to a greater knowledge of self.
Juneteenth is the traditional celebration of when the last slaves were freed in Texas on June 19, 1865, a full two years after President Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, according to the Juneteenth.com website.
“The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance,” the website reads.
Here in Racine, Juneteenth will be celebrated from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Dr. John Bryant Community Center, 601 21st St. The event is free and open to the entire public, not just residents of color. In addition to live music and great food, there will be children’s activities like a petting zoo, a Caron Butler basketball camp, and vendors selling unique crafts, food and clothing.
Dear white Racine–I will gladly celebrate the fourth of July. Because it is a summer day and (I assume) I will be alive. But it is a false holiday. Because OUR Independence–our freedom, my dear, sweet white friends and loved ones–was limited to only us. And so, in reality, it was no freedom at all.
Dear white Racine, I love you so and I can’t wait to celebrate our true independence day with you, together, this Saturday.
Now go forth and treat each other so well that it barely makes sense.