Black Lives Matter: Juneteenth

By Oscar Romero


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I’ve learned a lot in the past months. One of them is the value of Juneteenth. I had heard it mentioned in the past but I never looked into its meaning. I now celebrate this day with my black brothers and sisters. It is a day to remember the pure joy of liberation from slavery. Unfortunately, we still live in a society that enslaves blacks, latinx, asians, and indigenous people. I’ve recently learned that saying “people of color” fades each unique experience into one pot. We each have our narratives and drilling deeper every person has their narrative. With that being said, I have made a decision that I will no longer pool us together as people of color but refer to each of us directly (read more here).

I watched the documentary 13th today. The amount of knowledge dropped by this movie is amazing. If you do nothing to support the BLM movement at least watch this movie and come back in the comments section to tell me your thoughts. One of my role models, Bryan Stevenson, is in the documentary and is the inspiration for the movie Just Mercy, which you can rent for free on YouTube. 

Watch on Netflix here: 13th

The statistics are mind blowing. Not only that but the wording of the 13th amendment, 

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This explains a lot to me. We never truly ended slavery, we simply changed the rules of how we could enslave humans. Once you criminalize someone they can be enslaved. The wording that wasn’t practiced properly is,

whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,

It’s as if we stopped listening to the wording right after we realized we could still enslave criminals. 

Blacks, Latinx, Asians, and Indigenous groups have suffered from criminalization. This accomplishes one thing, it dehumanizes people. You no longer see them as your fellow Americans but as a threat. This makes it easier to ignore the issues within the justice system because they’ve let us think that their work leads to safer communities. What isn’t explicitly mentioned is that they’ve mostly been safer for whites. Every day I deal with the fear that someone in my family will be pulled over for being brown, put in jail and potentially processed for deportation. Again, some people don’t even flinch at hearing this because what they hear is another criminal being put away and sent back to their country. Our current administration uses this horrible tactic of criminalizing humans. You can hear his supporters chanting “send her back” at one of his rallies when talking about US Representative Ilhan Abdullahi Omar of Minnesota. 

This and many more reasons are why the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t only a Black issue to me. Tu lucha es mi lucha, your fight is my fight. We’ve collectively been suppressed from having standard human rights that our white counterparts have had. They’ve suppressed us through fear and violence. I say no more. We will not stand for people that push an agenda of white racial supremacy. We the people will fight back. We demand racial equity and justice for all. 

To our allies, continue to listen to us that is how you can best support us. Take our stories and echo them with your social circle. That amplifies our message. We need you to stand with us and end this idea of us vs them. No. We must be united. Without each other our society cannot function and will not improve. 

Rejoice in the recent victories we’ve had but know that we have a lot of work ahead. Give yourself time to rest and then get back to it. We’re still in the first round but united we can achieve greatness. 


P.S. I wanted to share a short video about the SCOTUS decision on DACA yesterday:

In English

En Español

About the Author
Oscar Romero
I have had DACA since early 2013. I am currently a Software Engineer at Red Ventures. I went to college at UNC Charlotte and graduated in 2017 with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Engineering. I went to high school in a small town out in eastern North Carolina. My parents brought me to the United States in 1999 when I was 3 years old. I grew up in NC and aspired to make something worthwhile out of my parent’s hard work and sacrifice.