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On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2020 | Employment Discrimination, Firm News, Race Discrimination, Retaliation, Wrongful Termination |

Best Ohio Race Discrimination Lawyer Reply: What is Juneteenth and why does it matter? What can I do if I was fired because I’m black? How do I report racial harassment at workplace?

To many people, including employers, Juneteenth is something new. Many, including bosses and supervisors, believe that Juneteenth is a recent creation that is arising from the new focus on race discrimination following the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed. It is not.

In reality, Juneteenth is the oldest commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Many people incorrectly believe that June 19 was the day that President Abraham Lincoln made his   Emancipation Proclamation, but that was actually on January 1, 1863. It then took two and half years for that Proclamation to reach Galveston, Texas – which occurred on June 19, 1865. This coincides with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Many historians point to that moment as ending the Civil War.

So, Juneteenth celebrates the arriving of Major General Gordon Granger and the Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas to report the end of the Civil War and that all slaves were free.

Why did it take two and a half years? Obviously, Texas supported the Confederacy and President Lincoln’s authority was ignored. Another story is told that Lincoln’s messenger was murdered on his way to Texas to stop the news of the emancipation. Other historians have said that Union army troops actually waited to enforce the until the slave owners could harvest one last season of cotton. None of this history is clear.

But, what is clear is that even in the face of the law, there was push back against racial freedom and equality by the Confederacy.

With this in mind and moving to the present, how horrible is that that Confederate flags were ubiquitously flown at NASCAR races and that it was not until last week that NASCAR banned Confederate flags at all race events? What is even more atrocious is that many fans strongly opposed this ban. According to The Sporting News, one example of fan response:

This is the final straw. I’ve been watching NASCAR since the 70s. I used to go races proudly with my pops. All lives matter. Stay out of politics. You lost a fan

— Steven 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸➐ (@LjsGoat) June 10, 2020

A NASCAR driver even quit after the Confederate flag ban! This is not the same NASCAR driver that our race discrimination lawyers blogged about publicly using the n-word on an open broadcast during a virtual race. (See Does Race Discrimination Count On Video Calls?).

Now, this is not to say that everyone is racist or even that most people are. However, it is important to recognize that there is still racism in society, lots of it. Unfortunately, many of those racists may be your boss, manager, supervisor or the owner of the company that you work for. Some of these people in power in your workplace may be a little racist or may be Confederate flag waving full blown racist.  All racism is bad. Race discrimination at any level and in any amount will result in employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and unequal pay.

A little over 100 years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and shortly after the assignation of President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it against the law for employers to harass, discrimination and fire employees based on race/color, religion, gender/sex, national origin, age, disability. While it took two and half years for Texans to heed the Emancipation Proclamation, we are now 56 years after Title VII and there are employers throughout the United States who have still refuse to follow the law, still discriminate based on race or will fire or refuse to promote a worker just because he or she is Black.

The passage of laws to fight discrimination is critical. But, it took Major General Gordon Granger and the Union soldiers to march in and enforce those laws. That is exactly how our attorneys and lawyers at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm view our role. Our lawyers know that this is a fight that must be fought every single day, without stopping and without backing down. We must march on.

So, on Juneteenth, we are here fighting the battle against racism and discrimination. Our attorneys are here for you today and every day. You are not alone. It is not enough to just observe Juneteenth. To our lawyers, Juneteenth is an important reminder of the work that still needs to be done.

If you feel that you are being discriminated or harassed based because you are a black man or an African American women or any other race, call the right attorney. Race discrimination is unlawful. Race discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation, you will meet with a race discrimination lawyer from Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims. Our Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and Youngstown lawyers are here to fight for your rights.