WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall issued the following statement Friday to mark the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States:
“Today, on the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, we remember the long road to freedom, and we honor the committed individuals who made that journey, who traveled that road, and also those who continue to fight for a better world.
We especially honor African American freedom and achievement. Early African American settlers in New Mexico endured isolation, discrimination and great challenges. But they persevered, and they also experienced great triumphs and helped our state become the beautiful and culturally rich place it is today.
The tragic events in Charleston, S.C., this week remind us that we must be ever vigilant against hate and intolerance. But I think it’s also important to remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., who said: ‘Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.’ This is a day for love, for remembrance, for reflection, and for renewed commitment to the march for justice that is at the heart of our history and the core of our most cherished values.
We must continue to work toward equality by ensuring all our children get a fair shot at success. And that all New Mexicans can find good paying jobs, all women are paid equally for equal work, and all communities are free from hate and prejudice.”