DNC Statement on Trump’s Tone-Deaf Juneteenth Dog Whistle

DNC Director of Outreach Communications Tracy King released the following statement: 

“While President Biden and Vice President Harris celebrated Juneteenth as a federal holiday, Trump spent his day yelling into the void on Truth Social about Fox News’ editorial board. Moreover, his campaign issued a Juneteenth statement claiming that ‘light’ will triumph over ‘darkness,’ once again solidifying his record of being completely tone-deaf about Juneteenth. 

“Predictably, many of the MAGA Republicans who voted against recognizing Juneteenth didn’t release statements to celebrate the holiday, even though they did have ample time to do so during their day off (this is unsurprising, considering this is the do-nothing House majority.) Instead, several of them spent their day off talking about how to correctly pronounce the name of their constituencies, and disparaging one of the ways to help reduce the racial wealth gap for Black Americans. From making Juneteenth a federal holiday to removing Confederate monuments that honor enslavers, it’s pretty clear that President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Democrats are working to promote Black history while respecting the culture.”

Trump’s Juneteenth statement claiming that “light” will triumph over “darkness” was an extremely tone-deaf display of how out of touch he and his campaign are. 

NewsOne: “It also can’t be ignored that the statement didn’t come from Trump himself and instead was attributed to the ‘Team Trump Black Media Director.’

“It was in that context that Janiyah Thomas suggested that Juneteenth is a day that should be used in part to ‘remember that light will always triumph over darkness.’

“Thomas’s full statement, which never actually mentions ‘Juneteenth’ by name once, follows below:

“‘All slaves are free!’ This was the cry that rang out on June 19th, 1865. The principle of freedom has always been at the foundation of the Republican party. Today, we reflect on how far we have come as a nation and remember that light will always triumph over darkness. With President Trump’s leadership, our party will continue to advance the American dream for all people.’

The decision to contrast the words ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ in a statement about a federal holiday that’s also referred to as Black Freedom Day and marks the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas could easily be interpreted as the latest example of racist dog-whistling coming from Trump’s camp, what with its track record of racial rhetoric.

Several of the House Republicans who voted against making Juneteenth a federal holiday spent their day off ignoring the holiday and instead were found talking about how to correctly pronounce the name of their constituencies and disparaging a policy that would help reduce the racial wealth gap for Black Americans. 

Rep. Andy Biggs went on a tweeting spree that didn’t once mention Juneteenth. Instead, he railed against security clearances and defended Steve Bannon’s criminal case.

Rep. Thomas Massie spent Juneteenth polling his followers on the correct way to pronounce Appalachia:

Rep. Tom Tiffany spent Juneteenth railing against Joe Biden’s new protections for immigrants.

Rep. Matt Rosendale spent Juneteenth cheering extreme House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good on, saying “I hope when all the votes are counted @GoodForCongress prevails!”

Rep Chip Roy spent Juneteenth disparaging Biden’s student loan forgiveness plans, which disproportionately help Black Americans:

Reminder: House Republicans had nothing but nonsensical arguments on why they voted against marking the end of enslavement with a federal holiday.  

Vice: “Republicans’ Worst Excuses for Not Wanting a Juneteenth Federal Holiday”

Rep. Ralph Norman: “My statement on Juneteenth vote:

“First of all, our Independence Day is July 4th. Period. Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of our declared independence from Great Britain, and it’s been that way for 245 years.

“If you want to call Juneteenth, for example, Freedom Day or Emancipation Day then fine – that’s certainly worth considering. But calling it Independence Day is WHOLLY INAPPROPIATE…

“So given inflation and the obnoxious growth of the federal government, this means a Juneteenth holiday should easily cost the federal government over a billion dollars Every. Single. Year. in federal payroll & holiday premiums with no offsets!”

Wichita Falls Times Record News: “Rep. Ronny Jackson votes against Juneteenth bill”

Rep. Ronny Jackson: “Juneteenth is an important part of our history, especially in Texas. I support Texas’ Juneteenth holiday and I support all Americans who celebrate it… I do not support more days off for federal employees. Many Americans feel like the federal government is not doing a good job for them as it is. For example, over 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’ job performance. I do not know of any other organization that would reward employees with additional days off with that poor of a job evaluation,’ he said in the statement.”

Rep. Thomas Massie “The official name of the holiday is ‘Juneteenth National Independence Day.’ Bless your heart if you think that name wasn’t chosen to divide this country and diminish the Independence Day we celebrate on July 4.”

Rep. Chip Roy voted against making Juneteenth a federal holiday, but tweeted “Happy Juneteenth!” the year before.”

Vice: “Rep. Chip Roy of Texas said he opposed the bill because it referred to Juneteenth as a day of independence rather than one of emancipation, apparently unaware of who was and wasn’t included in that whole ‘All men are created equal’ part of the Declaration of Independence.”

Rep. Matt Rosendale claimed the holiday is an “effort by the Left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make Critical Race Theory the reigning ideology of our country.”

NPR: “14 House Republicans Voted Against Making Juneteenth A Federal Holiday”

“‘I voted no because this proposed holiday does not bring us together, it tears us apart,’ Arizona’s [Rep. Paul] Gosar said in a statement following the vote. ‘I cannot support efforts that furthers racial divisions in this country. We have one Independence Day, and it applies equally to all people of all races.’

“He did not expand on how a federal holiday commemorating the ending of slavery promotes racial divisions.”

About a week before Juneteenth, the federal holiday marking the end of enslavement in America, nearly every House Republican voted to reinstall a Confederate memorial. 

Business Insider: “Nearly 90% of House Republicans voted to restore a Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery”

“House Republicans were unsuccessful in their effort to reinstall a Confederate memorial to Arlington National Cemetery after two dozen members joined Democrats in rejecting the measure.

“The amendment was backed by 192 Republicans — or nearly 90% of the House GOP — while 24 Republican lawmakers rejected the measure.

Supporters of the amendment included Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, and House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik of New York.”

Missouri secretary of state candidate Valentina Gomez marked Juneteenth by telling Black Americans to “GTFO” of the country.

Newsweek: “Gomez said in the video posted on June 18 that ‘black victimization is about to be shoved down our throats’ and that African Americans should instead be ‘celebrating because they were born in the greatest nation to ever exist.’

“‘Here’s a tip; If you don’t like America, kindly, get the f*** out,’ Gomez said.”