In a video posted to X on the afternoon of June 19, former First Lady Michelle Obama delivered a fervent message to black Americans, underscoring the significance of the upcoming November election between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden. Mrs. Obama, known for her far-left views, used the occasion of Juneteenth to rally support for the Democratic agenda, framing the election as crucial for protecting their “freedom.”

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, marks the end of slavery in America, commemorating the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned of their emancipation. The holiday, once primarily observed in Texas, was elevated to a national holiday by President Joe Biden. Yet, Mrs. Obama seized this moment not just to reflect on history, but to politicize it.

In her video, Mrs. Obama began by linking Juneteenth to the broader fight for freedom, stating, “Juneteenth is all about celebrating our collective freedom and fighting to protect it.” She then pivoted to the upcoming election, warning that everything from black Americans’ rights to the planet itself is “on the ballot” in November. She insinuated that a Trump victory would lead to the erosion of these rights and environmental destruction, saying, “Our power, our rights, and even our planet are on the ballot this year.”

Mrs. Obama emphasized the urgency of voting, urging viewers to register and encourage friends to do the same. “Get yourself registered to vote, and then text three friends to do the same. Do not sit on the sidelines this year, because this is a critical moment for all of us,” she implored.

Accompanying the video, Mrs. Obama’s caption on X read, “On Juneteenth, we celebrate our freedom, our resilience, and our progress. Today we’re honoring all the Black folks who came before us – who helped build our country with their bare hands – who marched and fought to do everything they could to build a better future for us all.” She concluded with a call to action for voting, linking to a voter registration site.

Predictably, the reactions to Mrs. Obama’s message were sharply divided along partisan lines. Left-wing supporters praised her, while conservatives criticized her for politicizing Juneteenth and using it to push a Democratic agenda.

One commenter lambasted her, writing, “You are such a disgusting woman. You are just trying to get people to vote for Biden. You don’t give a [expletive] about Juneteenth or black people.” Another critic highlighted perceived inconsistencies in the Democratic platform, saying, “I’m sorry, ma’am. You can’t possibly expect anyone in their right mind to vote for Joe Biden. They’re talking about drafting girls. And then all this talk about how you don’t need men expect men to want to go and fight in Ukraine. I believe most of us will take the prison time instead. Then suddenly, it’s completely legal for a gay person to sexually discriminate and sexually assault straight men and women. And there’s no accountability. I don’t have to be mean. I don’t have to be nasty. I just have to simply state the facts.”

Michelle Obama’s use of Juneteenth to advocate for Democratic policies and the upcoming election reveals a broader strategy to mobilize minority voters by tying historical struggles to current political battles. However, this approach has not been without controversy, as it highlights the deepening divides in American political discourse. The former First Lady’s message underscores the increasingly partisan nature of what should be a unifying national celebration, turning a moment of historical reflection into a call for political action.