Top TwosDay: Juneteenth Revisited

Today is Juneteenth, marking the historical day in 1865 when Texas slaves finally heard President Lincoln’s emancipation decree.


Major General Gordon Granger called Lincoln, “the Executive of the United States” and couldn’t bring himself to refer to the President as such. He read a statement in Galveston, of which I quote:

“The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

Granger packed a mouthful in that short address, and I’ll not touch his speech, but suggest the following sites for Juneteenth information.

An older article, but very worth your time reading about this historical day, is from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., where I found Granger’s quote. Here’s the link to post.

Another great resource is today’s On Point Radio Broadcast from WBUR, with knowledgeable guests Vann Newkirk II, Daina Ramey Berry, Adrian Miller, Anastasia Pittman, and moderator Jane Clayson.

Turning to additional news of the day, we’ve seen images of children, here in the U.S., crying because they are separated from their parents who they were just with.

A lot of people are weighing in on this issue, so I’ll ask:

If you traveled to another country and had your children taken from you, would they cry?

There is a program, called The Giving Doll, whose mission is to provide a child a doll to comfort them in times of need.

Please check out their site, and if you like what you see, volunteer in some capacity.

They will be closed during the months of July and August, so stop by and let them know before they take a break.


I haven’t heard Don McLean’s American Pie in a long time, but two stanzas from the song come to mind,

“And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken…

They were singing
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die” 

In 2015, McLean said this in an interview (with, “Basically, in ‘American Pie’ things are heading in the wrong direction…It is becoming less ideal, less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right, but it is a morality song in a sense.”


Warning, soapbox ahead…

God help us if there every comes a time when we need to flee the United States, and we seek asylum elsewhere. Because the world is marking this day on its calendar.

Is there a commonality between Juneteenth and immigration?

I do see a thread, a long white one, that when we pull on it, unravels more about people’s hearts and minds than what their mouths say.

What do you think?


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  1. Each day another seam is ripped from our democracy by the current president who admires Hitler, Kim Jong Un, and Putin and insults Trudeau, Merkel, and Macron, who has made enemies of our allies and cozied up to dictators, and who lies about nearly everything in order to inflate his image and salve his base. I don’t know how anyone can look at the newscasts of children crying for their mothers and then claim, as did Ann Coulter, that they’re child actors being given lines to read. She was talking about babies and toddlers. Dolls are a sweet idea but they do not replace parents – or justice. Chain locked detention centers are not summer camps, and children who have no access to legal aid of any sort may be abused in ways we are not allowed to witness.

    Nikki Haley just resigned the US from the UN Human Rights Council, pretending it’s for one reason when in fact she and the Trump administration don’t want to face the loud denunciation of the rest of the world because of our hypocrisy. Congress is too lazy to do its job and most of the rest of us think that it isn’t us who are responsible. But it IS us. We have to face what we’ve become and we have to vote. The heartless besmirching of American values is going to haunt our national psyche for a long time.

    1. very truthful and painful words, Sharon. it’s so frustrating to know how far away we are from the experiment of our founders. it really is still an experiment, we adjust as we grow and learn, moving forward with knowledge and compassion. but this administration appears over the shoulder and drives facing backwards! I heard that about Nikki Haley, seems we’re here serving Trump’s future interests – if he opens up north korea, he’ll benefit with real estate deals there. We shouldn’t be foolish to think that what he does is out of his interests alone, not our countries. very serious times we’re walking in. I’m so glad you’ve mentioned how lazy Congress has gotten, seems that’s overshadowed by the tweets of the day! grrrrrr!

  2. Juneteenth is a big deal here, but seems odd that other states celebrate it – surely they have their own dates and events. Oh, well.
    We do better than many countries – always a work in progress trying to improve
    I will check into the doll organization…wonder if there’s also and option of something like trucks/teddybears for boys? probably.
    The mass migrations world wide are historic. I wish people could step back from the hyper emotion ( much driven by those seeking power – not to benefit these newcomers).
    The separation policy started with Bush. (Laura never said a word then, or the following First Ladies. I wish our current First Lady would put on her heels and stride over to Congressional offices to chat with those idiots…as a mom and an immigrant, her voice should carry weight) 2 court orders reinforce this law causing bad situations. Ignoring laws instead of changing them sets society up for failure. (Just like when the previous president ordered his AG to instruct the Chicago law enforcement groups not to enforce the federal gun laws there (to avoid overloading and imbalance in prisons) – the result in hindsight was/is disasterous: guns and violent criminals could have be taken on the streets and lives saved if the laws had been enforced.)
    We are a country of laws and there is an easy way to get rid of bad laws if CONGRESS will do the job we sent them there to do. Congress makes laws and fixes laws. Only Congress. It is not right for CONGRESS to tell law enforcement agencies, just ignore the law – break the law you are sworn to uphold just because we are too lazy, too worried about reelection to do what is our job.
    (and we need term limits and better candidate, but who would want into gov at this time – a time of name calling and social media bullying extending to restaurants? No civility any more. No compromises possible. No one willing to find middle ground)
    This human crisis should not be a political stunt/tool.
    The images circulating stab your heart. Some now acknowledged to be old, some staged by those who only want to inflame things, The chain link room is the McAllen intake facility where huge crowds snake through the process. Chain link – like what is used on playgrounds – is used instead of walls so agents can see what is going on and intervene if violence starts…one bad apple getting bumped into can start a fight and hurt innocent people. No one stays in that area very long- by law.
    The children’s wails are heart breaking – they are so confused which is normal. They are not mistreated in custody. In fact they are better off than some of the poor in this city. If you have children or work with preschool age kids, you know how they cry, weep, scream when mom drops them at preschool ,kindergarten, or a baby sitter. It’s their only way of protesting as they are so small.
    Over 10,000 of the “children” came alone – not with parents. A big problem to deal with. From my years of experience with new arrivals, I think the younger ones will manage and merge into life here – the ones about 4th grade up have a harder time as they do remember life back home, friends (it all becomes more idealized as time goes on) and what they had to do to survive which was often violent and what we would call illegal. They go into culture shock longer and find it harder to get up to speed – get disappointed, then angry faster. Luck of the draw with them. Real concern for those 14-17 as once they get into life here, it’s not quite what they expected.
    If there wasn’t such a huge mob, families might be able to stay together during the process like in the 80’s.
    President Obama got on tv during his time in office and tried to tell those coming from Central/South America not to come and not to trust others with their children as it was far too dangerous.
    Some families are now realizing the zero policy and turning around. Maybe we can get s minute of breathing room to settle in those already here and to get the policies changed before the migration starts up again.
    Families can go to official ports of entry and ask for asylum- and the family will stay together during the process – but they have to wait their turn and there is a line – and many do not want to wait. We need to speed up that process now: for immigration entry and for work visa programs (revamping of that is badly needed – many just need to work for money and would prefer to not leave home).
    So email, phone, and walk in those offices with solutions – not just noise.
    Those of us in the border states have dealt with this for years. Truth as always is somewhere in between.
    Fingers crossed people come to their senses
    At this moment Trump may be taking executive action to keep families together – surely no one will protest he hasn’t the legal authority to do so.

    1. Sorry for the length, but please – a request
      Please contact your elected officials in the House and Senate and ask them to support and vote FOR the immigration reform bill Florida rep. Carlos Curbelo helped to write. It sounds like this bill will come up for vote on Thurs

    2. You predicted it and then, Mrs. T walked on down clicked her heels and it happened, WOW! you are psychedelic! As my grandma would say, lol. But on the serious side, there’s so much wrong with our policies, one person, as you pointed out, is responsible, been a problem for way too long. I’m so glad you weighed in, as it is difficult for us in other states to understand the magnitude of the migration along Texas’ border. Indeed, truth stand between both sides, waiting to be heard, while the blame tug of war continues. One step forward with this executive order, or is it? we shall see.
      thanks for offering a full perspective, Phil!

      1. We have 5 established (over the past few years) holding shelters for kids in Houston – and they want another one! Noooooo. That place has razor wire around the top of the tall chain link fence. Close to downtown/warehouses. Totally unsuitable for children as there is no grass/playground. Leased under cover by a 3rd party, it has been used as hurricane evacuee shelter in emergency. Grim grim grim. And they keep changing whether it will be a “tender years” infant/toddler shelter or 12-17, for separated children or unaccompanied minors who did not come with any adult or all of the above. Massive protests at that site the pat couple of days. It’s not we do not want immigrants or not compassionate – these kids need to be with their parents! 18 days to fix this mess or it all starts over again as fed. courts say kids cannot stay in fed.custody/shelters past 20 days – they must go to foster homes after 20 days. What now? Hopefully the parents get to go where their kids are. It’s apparently a huge puzzle for parents trying to locate their children.
        Applause for Melania for surprising them by showing up and asking mom wants to know questions.
        (And another good thing about her visit is that the reporters had to stand in knee to higher water during reports due to all the flooding. Flooding in multiple states, volcano destroying houses, wild fires during subdivisions….so many of our US families and children needing help, too. Hope that doesn’t go unseen either.
        Thanks for keeping up with the kids!

        1. I heard that the holding locations are juvenile delinquent centers, totally outrageous! We all know this is harmful, and when will the separated families reunite? They have no plan for that! I agree with you, we need to keep pressure on our representatives. I heard today that 3 kids from ages 7-9 were sent here to SC fostering homes! I can’t even imagine!

          1. Some sent to NYC last week. Long distances are not in the best interests of kids or parents
            Now the older ones are walking off and disappearing – the ones in charge of the shelters say “We aren’t jailers – we can’t stop them from leaving if they want?” WHAT? I thought they were vulnerable children?
            Some of the places are better than others. The one we are protesting is in a bad area – completely unsuited.
            Backwards world for real.

  3. Amazing how humanity doesn’t seem to learn from history. The current situation is not only sad, but the person making the decision does so by blaming others. So sad. …. Even sadder is the how much support he has.

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