ADOS Cartoonist M. Rasheed Sparks Controversy Over Juneteenth

ADOS cartoonist M. Rasheed sparked outrage over his recent Instagram post.

Rasheed contends Juneteenth should only be celebrated by Black Americans. The federal holiday recognized on June 19 commemorates the official and final emancipation of all Black people who were enslaved in the United States with Black Texans being the last to find out about their freedom.

The  American Descendants of Slavery member has a divisive take on what is considered a holiday for all within the Black diaspora.

“#Juneteenth is not an African Holiday,” shared Rasheed. “It’s the holiday for the American Descendants of Slavery (#ADOS) commemorating the formal abolishment of the chattel slavery institution in the #USA specifically. The official colors are the red, white, and blue of Old Glory.”

Responding to a commenters, the cartoonist explains his interpretation of why Juneteenth is celebrated and not January 1 when the emancipation was actually signed:

“There were a lot of laws passed that were supposed to make things better, but lack of enforcement kept my ADOS ethnic group as a wealth-less bottom caste. You’re dismissive of when the news reached the people, but the practicality of pro-ADOS laws in action is very important.”

ADOS members claim to mainly advocate for reparations for the systemic impact of slavery. Yet, they are known for also promoting a pro-Black, right-wing rhetoric.  ADOS agenda according to a piece written by USA Today, is to exclude certain Black people who do not share ancestral ties to slavery. Juneteenth celebrations have now perpetuated more divisiveness and strife within the global community.

Though not all Black people are the descendants of enslaved people, anti-blackness is a worldwide issue. ADOS rhetoric may land squarely in anti-Black territory. As the ADOS movement continues to expand their membership and outreach the conversations regarding Black holidays may also become more polarizing.

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