Posted on June 15, 2023

Biden Calls Racism ‘Still Too Powerful’ During Juneteenth Concert at White House

Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason, Reuters, June 13, 2023

President Joe Biden on Tuesday denounced racism in the United States and said the Juneteenth holiday was meant to help underscore American values that he said were under threat.

Speaking at the White House’s first big Juneteenth celebration, a concert that featured performances by singers Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald and Ledisi, Biden urged Americans to choose love over hate and to remember history, not erase it.

“As the past few years remind us, our freedoms have been put at risk by racism that’s still too powerful a force,” he said.

“Hate only hides… And when given oxygen, just a little oxygen, it comes roaring back out again, and we have to … stand up and deny it the oxygen. So Juneteenth as a federal holiday is meant to breathe a new life into the very essence of America.”

Biden declared Juneteenth – a portmanteau of June and 19th, also known as Emancipation Day – a federal holiday in 2021. {snip}