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(MILWAUKEE) – Today, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) took part in the annual Juneteenth Day parade and festivities in Milwaukee. Taylor is one of the observance’s biggest advocates, as this year marks a decade since she co-authored and passed legislation making Juneteenth a state holiday. In reflecting on the day, Taylor released the following statement:
“It’s not lost on me today that while we celebrate Juneteenth day in Milwaukee, there is a congressional hearing on HR 40, to create a commission to study whether reparations are appropriate to address the injustices of slavery in this country.
After all, it has been 400 years since slavery and there has never been an official U.S. apology. The U.S. Senate Majority Leader doesn’t think reparations are “a good idea”. I guess he wouldn’t since his family wasn’t impacted. And we have an occupant of the oval office who, thirty years later, can’t acknowledge that he was wrong in calling for the execution of black and Latino youth, in a racially charged trial in 1989. So, as we commemorate word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reaching the last enslaved people in this nation, we still have to question exactly what freedom looks like for African-Americans, today.”