On Juneteenth, Joe Biden actually sent an email about the holiday.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, though I have previously been on the mailing lists of 28 Democratic candidates! This blog breaks down recent emails with charts and excerpts. If you already know all of this, feel free to skip to the next chart!
It took some time for the Trump emails to kick in, so I started officially tracking his list on July 7. I have been tracking Biden’s for longer, but I will start comparing them as of July 7. All of these emails are going to a new email, and I have not donated, filled out surveys, signed petitions, or otherwise interacted with either candidate’s emails.
The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.
Joe Biden sent 4 emails on Friday.
To my shock, all of Biden’s Friday emails had a focus above merely fundraising.
Not to my shock, most of those focuses involved Donald Trump.
To begin with, Biden invited me to the meet-and-greet contest with him and Obama. This was sent to both my donor and non-donor accounts.
Then, Biden followed it up by talking about how much money Trump was raising and what he was spending it on, but assuring me that he was fired up too. For my donor account, he sent a PS asking me to join the grassroots fundraiser… the one I had already signed up for with my donor account.
He did NOT ask my non-donor account to join the fundraiser.
He sent another petition to save the USPS, reminding me that Trump was calling it a joke, but it wasn’t a joke, it was super important, and why haven’t I signed the petition yet? (PS, he whispered to my donor account, sign up for the fundraiser!) This was the first Biden email I labeled as “guilt-tripping,” which is a favorite tactic of Trump’s emails.
Finally, FINALLY, at the end of the day, he sent an email about Juneteenth and the Black Wall Street Massacre, and he asked me to donate to the Black Wall Street remembrance fund.
On the one hand, thank god Biden actually remembered to send a Juneteenth email on Juneteenth. I was getting rather worried that he hadn’t mentioned it, what with the HUGE AMOUNT OF ATTENTION IT WAS GETTING. But hey, Trump mentioned it loads of times, so it crossed the radar of Biden’s email team.
On the other hand… this was the fourth email of the day, when Biden usually sends three emails. And it was the last email of the day, when Biden usually sends holiday-related emails as the first email of the day. If you’ve already read three emails from Biden in the day, are you really going to open the fourth? (probably, because if you’ve already read the first three, you’re clearly a masochist like me who is determined to read every email.)
Unlike, say, Easter, where the date changes every year, Juneteenth’s date is practically in the name of the holiday: June nineteenth (also could be the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, or 18th, but that still only adds a week, and it’s the last day of those options). This is not a surprise holiday.
This has also been a holiday that has been in the news for weeks, as Trump was planning his Tulsa rally on Juneteenth. It is a day that is even more important in this moment of racial tension. You cannot be even half-interested in American politics right now and have not heard about Juneteenth, much less been writing emails for one of the two biggest campaigns in the entire country at the moment and been unaware of this day.
So why wasn’t this Juneteenth email the first one in the inbox this morning? Why is this holiday treated with less respect than Easter, which has nothing to do with the United States as a whole and isn’t ever going to be celebrated by the entire country?
My honest guess? It wasn’t on the standard calendar, so when you’re looking ahead and planning your email strategy, it’s easy to overlook.
My not-honest guess, but valid interpretations based on the timing of this email and the history of email communications from Joe Biden’s email team? (I.E. I don’t think this is true about the campaign, but the campaign is not doing themselves any favors.)
The campaign team is uncomfortable with the topic of racism, doesn’t want to discuss it, and doesn’t want to draw any more attention to it than the absolute bare minimum. Talking about racism gets in the way of raising money, and the team would rather raise money than raise Black voices. They realized too late that if they didn’t send a Juneteenth email, it would look even worse, and so they threw one together and slotted it in at the end of the day to make sure that they said SOMETHING instead of nothing.
I mean, never assign to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity: I don’t genuinely think the Biden campaign team is intentionally not being anti-racist. I believe at least one of the email writers is actually a woman of color, though it’s hard to be certain.
But that does mean that they’re just being ignorant. And that is definitely not a quality I want ascribed to the campaign that NEEDS to win in November.