President Obama & Juneteenth Revisited

By Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.

(responding to e-mail to Dr. Myers (DOC) at below):


Thanks for the e-mail. However, it appears that you do not understand the direction that we are coming from as the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America (

As the leader of the movement, I have worked with 5 U.S. presidents before President Obama (Carter, Reagan, Bush, Sr., Clinton & Bush, Jr.) concerning the recognition and support of Juneteenth Independence Day in America.

I worked with Barack Obama as a Illinois state senator in support of Juneteenth becoming a state holiday observance in Illinois. Obama was our U.S. Senate host for the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance Congressional Juneteenth Reception during the four years he served in congress. Sen. Barack Obama, before becoming President Barack Obama, was a strong supporter of Juneteenth.

Since becoming President of the United States (for all Americans, African Americans, Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Gay & Lesbian Americans, etc.) he has recognized Cinco de Mayo (a Hispanic Mexican American holiday celebrating a historic event in Mexico, at the White House), the Jewish Holocaust (a Jewish American tragic historic event that took place in Germany by speaking at the U.S. Capitol during Holocaust Remembrance Day, a National Day of Observance in April), issued a Presidential Proclamation for Gay & Lesbian Month (observed during the month of June, like Juneteenth Independence Day, where President Obama has again refused to issue a proclamation or recognize with a celebration at the White House, built by Americans of African descent during the tyranny of enslavement, along with the U.S. Capitol), and other examples, like Obama's personal recognition of other ethnic American days, including St. Patrick's Day (for Irish Americans), etc.

So, unless I am a Hispanic, Mexican, Irish or Jewish American, etc., I should not expect recognition as an African American for the oldest African American freedom celebration, a day recognized by 36 states, including Obama's home state of Hawaii and his resident state of Illinois and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives as Juneteenth Independence Day, from 1996 through 2009, by several congressional Juneteenth Independence Day resolutions, co-sponsored and unanimously passed by Republican (conservative and moderate), Democrat (liberal, conservative and moderate, including Senator Barack Obama) and Independent members of congress, by the first African American president in U.S. history, or to recognize and participate in "June Is Black Music Month!" - CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH JAZZ - "Preserving Our African American Jazz Legacy!" by supporting a concert for the AAJC/HBCU Student All-star Big Band in at the White House, I HAD BETTER CHANGE MY ETHNICITY TO ANYTHING BUT AN AMERICAN OF AFRICAN DESCENT IF I AM GOING TO RECEIVE PERSONAL RECOGNITION FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM DURING JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Perhaps the "4th of July," where Americans of African descent were slaves, would be a good time to celebrate freedom from enslavement in America. However, one big problem is that during the "4th of July," 1776, and for over 88 years following, Americans of African descent were slaves. George Washington was a slave owner, Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner, etc. Perhaps Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick's Day, etc., all personally acknowledged by the very, very busy President of the United States, who took time to do so during the heat of the health care reform legislation battle this week, but when it comes to personal recognition of Juneteenth, President Obama has other more pressing issues to deal with, like health care reform, the economy, etc., and does not have the time because of his very busy schedule. Now, it all makes sense, or does it really?

Perhaps, based on his actions, President Obama, "Yes we can!," now believes in the new saying "No we can't!":

If you're an American and celebrate freedom on the "4th of July,"

If you're a Mexican American and celebrate freedom on Cinco de Mayo,

If you're an African American and celebrate freedom on Juneteenth,

"Together we will see Juneteenth become a national holiday in America."

Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
662-247-3364    662-247-3364


(Greg Woods, aka "The Professor" or responding to the e-mail that Dr. Myers sent out - "President Obama & Juneteenth Revisted")

--- On Thu, 3/18/10, <> wrote:

From: <>
Subject: Re: President Obama & Juneteenth Revisted,
Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010, 7:46 PM


I would probably do the same thing if I were trying to be the President of all the people. They want him to show bias toward members of his own race. In the present climate, he has a lot more on his plate than Juneteenth Day. Health Care Reform and jobs are a pressing issue that he has to deal with. If he is diverted into every cause some might want him to , he would never get anything done. When he became President , everything changed. He has different priorities now and faces a much tougher agenda. You and I are good friends and fellow musicians , but if I was Obama , I would probably have to make the same choice. If Obama was a close friend , I would not ask him to do things any differently. You are the one that has to realize that there are other alternatives and things you can do. One was my suggestion to have a white GOP senator take the lead in the bill ...if it comes to pass. Why are you avoiding that? They are looking for Obama to stumble and fall. Juneteenth would only cost him political capital he desperately needs. I can only hope you would not come after me because I am black and I am your friend, if a similar situation arose. Look at your other options and do not join in vilifying Obama like the right wing does. They have their own agenda , do not give them cannon fodder. I have criticized the National Juneteenth Day Celebration in the past for it's ties to religion and Christianity. Again, that is a touchy subject that Obama can't afford to be dragged into. You are a minister, it is all well and OK to you. But to someone that must represent Muslims, Buddhists , Aethists and whomever , it can be political dynamite. I hope you will end the attacks on Obama and give the brother a break. Let one of those Dixie senators take the heat. If Obama is the only resource you have, then you should rethink your whole strategy. Dr. Watkins wants to save his butt and his column. You were doing fine before Obama became POTUS. Continue to doing what you have been doing. Having Juneteenth Day, a national holiday, will not change the realities that black folks face. Let Obama address them.

The Professor


(correspondence received from the White House in response to a letter inviting President Obama to support and participate in the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance - (Letter to President Obama) )

White House Scheduling Request
Monday, March 15, 2010 3:47 PMFrom: "FN-WHO-Scheduling"

Dear Dr. Myers:

Thank you for inviting President Obama to recognize the 2010 Juneteenth National Holiday Observance by attending the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church's National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service on June 18, 2010, and by inviting the AAJC/HBCU Student All-Star Big Band to perform at the White House.

President Obama has recognized Juneteenth as an opportunity for all Americans to celebrate the rights and freedoms we enjoy, as well as a chance to call to mind the innumerable contributions of African Americans to our Nation. However, the constraints of his schedule and the volume of requests are such that the majority must be declined. It is with sincere regret that the President will be unable to attend this year's Juneteenth service at Lincoln Park United Methodist Church or invite the All-Star Big Band to perform at the White House. Unfortunately, a Presidential Proclamation will also not be possible this year.

Thank you for your interest in including the President in your plans, and we appreciate your understanding.


The White House Office of Appointments and Scheduling

In a message dated 3/18/2010 3:20:48 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:


(resending an earlier 2009 e-mail sent out by Dr. Myers responding to a Dr. Boyce Watkins column about black critics and President Obama)

President Obama Responds to Black Critics

Brother Watkins:

I read your comments concerning President Barack Obama and the criticism he has received concerning his lack of dealing with the concerns of the black community. It appears you left out President Obama's lack of personal acknowledgment of Juneteenth Independence Day and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign:

President Obama personally recognized Cinco de Mayo (a celebration of a historic event which took place in Mexico not America like Juneteenth) with a White House (built by Americans of African descent during the tyranny of enslavement) ceremony in May but refused to do the same for Juneteenth.

Obama Celebrates Cinco De Mayo a Day Early


Obama celebrates Cinco de Mayo early - White House-


Getty Images Photo

Myers urges President Obama to issue a Presidential
to establish Juneteenth as a National
Holiday Observance
in America
(Letter to President Obama)

President Obama spoke at the U.S. Capitol about the importance of remembering the Jewish Holocaust (a tragic historic event which took place in Germany) on Holocaust Remembrance Day, but refused to participate in the National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service (acknowledgment of a tragic series of historic events - Middle Passage, lynching and murders before and after the Civil War, etc., which took place in America or directly related to American history) at Lincoln Park U.M.C., in Washington, DC, during the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement at the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance.

Obama links slavery, Holocaust memory | JTA - Jewish & Israel News

Obama honors Holocaust victims at Capitol ceremony -


Getty Images Photo

Myers invites President Obama to speak at the annual
National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service
in Washington, DC.
(Letter to President Barack Obama)

President Obama did not respond to our invitation for a performance of the AAJC/HBCU All-star Big Band during "June is Black Music Month!" - CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH JAZZ - "Preserving Our African American Jazz Legacy!" at the White House but hosted an American jazz concert and event (leaving Juneteenth Jazz out during the week of the observance of Juneteenth in Washington, DC!).

Obama: We'll Have Jazz at the White House | Night Lights Classic ...

Video results for Obama Jazz White House


Getty Images Photo

Myers urges President Obama to support Juneteenth Jazz
during Black Music Month in June through the performance of
the AAJC/HBCU Student All-star Big Band at the annual WASHINGTON
JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance

(Letter to President Obama)

It appears that our brother, the first African American president in U.S. history, raises serious concerns about not personally acknowledging and participating in any Juneteenth activities in Washington, DC. I pray that this will not continue in 2010.

President Obama was a great supporter of Juneteenth as a state senator and U.S. Senator from Illinois before becoming president. As a U.S. Senator, Obama was the keynote speaker at several WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH Congressional Receptions and presented me with a special award for efforts to bring greater recognition of Juneteenth in congress and throughout the nation.

I also noticed that you do not have any comments or information about Juneteenth, the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, etc. on your web site! Why do you have such a glaring omission of information, discussion or inquiry about a true modern day African American grass roots movement in America?

I hope that this won't continue in the future, especially since you are considered a national spokesperson for the African American perspective on key issues and President Barack Obama.

Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.


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