Shnelvar Addresses Juneteenth Celebration
Juneteenth is the celebration of the freedom of slaves in America. The event was held in Colorado Springs on June 20 and sponsored by the African Voice, a local newspaper. The LP's candidate for governor, Ralph Shnelvar, addressed the crowd of about 120.
Also that day, Shnelvar met Douglas Bruce and later went off to campaign and collect signatures for Bruce's tax-cutting initiatives. That evening, Shnelvar joined other Libertarians for a "pub crawl." Despite a light weeknight crowd, Shnelvar said he was able to earn about 38 new Libertarian registrations. It was "a really good evening," he said. Shnelvar's speech he gave at Juneteenth follows.
In Colorado the law says that if you are in prison or on felony parole then you cannot vote. You are disenfranchised. Politically, you might as well not exist.
Nationally, about 1.4 million Black American males, or 14% of the adult Black male population, cannot vote as a result of felony convictions.
Listen to that astonishing number. One in every seven Black American males cannot vote; the vast majority because of the war on drugs.
We are here today to celebrate Juneteenth. In 1865 on June 19th General Granger issued General Order Number 3: The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.
137 years after the Juneteenth proclamation in Galveston, Texas -- one in seven of our Black male brethren are not free to vote.
Last Saturday night I was campaigning in Denver. At the corner of 14th and Champa I approached a small crowd of young Black men and cheerfully announced, "I want to legalize marijuana." The oldest looked at me and said, "Well I don't want pot legalized because it would kill my business."
I swear this is true and it happened exactly that way.
Again, think about that. Minimum wage laws, insurance regulations, government foot dragging, licensing fees, and the mountains of tax forms and government reports, prevent small businesses from forming and hiring people. Poor neighborhoods get hit hardest because it is hardest for a poor person to get the necessary money to start a business.
What is a smart young Black male to think? Start a legal business and work hard for chump change or have it easy, make a lot of money, have lots of friends, supply something that the market wants, and stay out of the system. What's the worst that can happen?
The worst that can happen is that this smart young Black man ends up dead or in jail. This community loses yet another electoral voice and gains a brokenhearted mother.
There is only a single answer. We must legalize drugs. In particular, we must legalize marijuana, which represents most of the arrests.
If you want to make this a better world for you and your children so that in the future Juneteenth continues to mean something then you must vote for Libertarians because the Republicans are tying the drug war to terrorism. Clinton cranked up the drug war to prove that he was serious about not inhaling.
We're the only game in town. It is I, as governor, who will pardon every non-violent victim of the war on drugs. It is I as governor and Deseree Hickson as Lt. Governor and every other Libertarian who will bring peace and prosperity to all Americans.
Together, this community voting for Libertarians, will finally bring full voting rights to the one in seven adult Black males who today do not have the right to vote because of this insane war on drugs which is really a war on minorities.
Bring Libertarians to office and Juneteenth will truly be a day of celebration. 137 years later it is finally time to free us all.
I am Ralph Shnelvar and I want to be your next governor.