Melania Trump commemorates the end of slavery from a gilded White House room while the president tweets threats at protesters
Screenshot/The White House
First Lady Melania Trump released a video on Friday commemorating Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the US, from a gilded room in the White House.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump spent the morning tweeting attacks on Fox News polling showing his approval rating sinking and threats against protesters who might gather outside his Oklahoma rally.
As of 11:30 am on Friday, the president had not tweeted anything recognizing Juneteenth. The White House released a statement commemorating the holiday.
First Lady Melania Trump released a video on Friday commemorating Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the US, while President Donald Trump tweeted about his Saturday campaign rally in Oklahoma and threatened protesters.
"As our country works through the racial issues that we still face today, it is important to remember that we are one global community," the first lady said while seated in a gilded White House room. "Let's all agree that any differences we have should be celebrated and learned from."
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She mentioned her 2018 trip to Ghana, where she visited the House of Slaves, a memorial to the Atlantic slave trade. And went on to read a picture book, "All Different Now" by Angela Johnson, about the first celebration of Juneteenth.
As of 11:30 am on Friday, the president had not put out any Twitter statement recognizing Juneteenth. Instead, he spent the morning tweeting about his upcoming campaign rally in Tulsa, attacking Fox News polling showing his approval rating sinking, and threatening protesters who might gather outside his rally.
"Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters, or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!" he wrote.
—Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 19, 2020
Trump was pressured to push his controversial Oklahoma rally back by a day amid controversy over its initial decision to hold the event on Juneteenth in the home of the 1921 Tulsa massacre, the deadliest mass killing of Black Americans in US history.
On Thursday, the president falsely claimed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that "nobody had ever heard" of Juneteenth before this year, when he made the holiday "very famous."
"I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous," Trump said. "It's actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it."
The White House put out a statement commemorating Juneteenth on Friday morning.
"This Juneteenth, we commit, as one Nation, to live true to our highest ideals and to build always toward a freer, stronger country that values the dignity and boundless potential of all Americans," the statement read.
Juneteenth, which has been celebrated since 1866, commemorates the day in 1865, when more than 250,000 enslaved Black Texans were informed by a Union general that they had been freed. This came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, freeing enslaved Black people in many states. Slavery would not be officially abolished in the US until the passage of the 13th Amendment in December 1865.
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