Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bipartisan Juneteenth Resolution Commemorating the End of Slavery in America

June 15, 2020
Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined with over 180 Members of the House to introduce a bipartisan resolution commemorating June 19, 1865 and the end of slavery in the United States. On that date. Union forces read orders in Texas — one of the farthest reaches of the former Confederate States — enforcing the end of slavery in America. Juneteenth has been commemorated in communities across the country for 155 years.
“Though slavery officially ended following the Civil War, its consequences are still felt to this day. This resolution celebrates the end of that evil institution. It also reminds us that those consequences are an open wound carried by the descendents of its victims. Remembering our history and acknowledging that it impacts our present is crucial in helping solve the challenges of our future,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Background: Today’s House Juneteenth resolution (H.Res.1001) recalls the history of the emancipation of slaves following the Civil War as well as the more than 150 years of Juneteenth celebrations marking the end of slavery. It also notes that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.
While the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed slaves in January 1863, the Civil War had not ended with the Confederate States of America’s defeat until April of 1865. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger read orders in Galveston, Texas, stating that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a vocal opponent of racism and bigotry and has drawn attention to the challenges America has and continues to face on this front.
This week, she cosponsored H.Res.988 and H.R.7120, legislation which seeks to confront and address the continued racism and implicit bias that has undermined civil rights and equal protection under the law as was highlighted by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers in May.
H.R.7120 seeks to improve police accountability and transparency, while H.Res. 988 condemns all acts of police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force as well as calling for an end to militarized policing practices in communities.
In February, she voted to pass H.R.35, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, a bill that would designate lynching as a federal hate crime. She has condemned President Trump’s racists, divisive Tweets and drawn attention to the growing divisiveness in the U.S. and contrasted it to the spirit of aloha at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, which was hosted in Honolulu, HI.
In March 2019, she joined Rep. John Lewis (GA-05) for his annual pilgrimage to Alabama to commemorate the Civil Rights Movement. She is a cosponsor of H.R.40, which calls for the creation of a commission to explore reparations proposals to address the impacts of slavery.
During her time in Congress she has commemorated the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, noting that the divisiveness and bigotry underlying Executive Order 9066 persists to this day and must be confronted with love and respect. She also confronted anti-Muslim bias and emphasized the importance of bringing communities together through compassion and justice, evoking the legacy of peace and non-violent change championed by Mahatma Gandhi.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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