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“Scientific Man” Bill Nye caused a stir on social media when he posted about American founding and slavery.
“The America we know today was built by the labor of enslaved black Americans,” he said on Sunday, June 19, federally recognized Juneteenth.
Holding a pocket constitution and a simple selfie, Nye added: “The last one was not released (officially) until June 19, 1865. Let’s celebrate — never forget.”
The post sparked a backlash almost immediately, as some users disagreed with Juneteeth ending slavery.
Bill NYE’s ‘SCIENCE GUY’ Fired For ‘Crazy Crazy’ TIKTOK Video With President Biden
This is not true. Juneteenth does not commemorate the 13th Amendment. It commemorates the arrival of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas. Slavery was practiced in both federal states until December 1865.
— InvestingLegend (@Investinglegend) June 20, 2022
Too bad Bill Nye was wrong.
It was not until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865 that the last enslaved people were released.
The Emancipation Proclamation did not cover Kentucky as well as Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Missouri.
Read a history book Bill.
— CatsFanInOhio 🇺🇦 (@michaeldf88) June 20, 2022
In fact, Kentucky and Delaware did not free the last slaves (@JoeBidenhome) until the ratification of the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865
— JD Peterson (@JakePeterson32) June 19, 2022
Please open it up and let’s see when the 13th Amendment was ratified as the constitution to end slavery once and for all.
Hint: it’s not June 19th…
— Mom (@MisterCommodity) June 20, 2022
June 19 commemorates the day U.S. General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, and shared the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had been passed two years earlier. The Civil War ended in the first two months of June 1865.
Last year, Juneteenth became the 12th nationally federal holiday It passed by a vote of 415 to 14 in the House of Representatives.
President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on June 17, 2021.
Juneteenth: What is it and why do we celebrate it?
While the date symbolized emancipation—often referred to as “Second Independence Day”—several states still allowed slavery to continue.
Several other users disagreed that America was built entirely “by enslaved black American labor” as Native Americans, and immigrants from Europe, South and Central America, Africa, Australia, and Asia also helped build the country.
I believe your part about building America might be a bit of an overstatement, but you’re on point about when legal slavery will end in America.
— John Sweeney (@johnsweeney15) June 20, 2022
So as an immigrant to this country, am I not contributing to building this country? And countless others like me? What about the backs of the countless immigrants who “contributed” to this country? Do we all count?
— Miguel Tavilas (@Migtav) June 20, 2022
In December 1865, six months after Juneteenth, slaves were officially released after the 13th Amendment was passed.
“Slavery and involuntary servitude shall not exist in the United States or anywhere under its jurisdiction except as punishment for a crime for which a party should be duly convicted,” the Thirteenth Amendment reads.
It should be noted that slavery was discovered after the amendment was ratified, and human trafficking known as forced labor continues to this day.
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The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that there are more than 40 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, with hundreds of thousands believed to be in the United States.
The ILO, recognized as the official record-keeper by the US State Department, reported 10,583 cases of human trafficking in the US last year and 73,946 since 2007.