Celebrate Juneteenth by Dismantling White Supremacy

This Juneteenth, we are reminded that there is no justice without Black liberation.

June 19, 2020

Rachel Waters


(Washington, DC) — Statement by Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity on recognizing Juneteenth and the ongoing global uprising for Black lives.

“Today, we commemorate the end of chattel enslavement in the U.S. and honor the countless Black women, men, trans, and nonbinary people who, for hundreds of years, have forged a path toward a more liberated future. But, even as our hearts lift in the spirit of celebration, we recognize that the promise of freedom is as yet unfulfilled. As our nation experiences an ongoing pandemic and soaring unemployment, the Black community has endured the brunt of the pain — pain that has been compounded by state violence that has stolen Black lives at a ruthless pace. This cannot stand.”

“We must radically reimagine what ‘justice’ means in our society. Only under white supremacy is ‘justice’ so deeply tied to concepts like ‘law and order,’ and ‘crime and punishment.’ True justice has nothing to do with any of those things, but has everything to do with dignity, rights, and equity. The path to justice starts with ensuring full access to social services and health care — including abortion care — for all. It starts with defunding police departments, getting cops off campuses, decriminalizing Blackness, and investing in community-based solutions that create safer, more prosperous futures free from the threat of state violence. In short: Justice starts with dismantling white supremacy.”

“This Juneteenth, we ask that you look to the leadership of Movement for Black Lives and join their Six Nineteen mobilization this weekend. Then, we ask that you continue to help build a world in which our communities — especially Black communities — can thrive and in which boldly imagined community investment triumphs over the white supremacist cruelty of ‘law and order.’ Because that world is the only one in which true justice can prevail.”