By Allan Wall, June 30, 2021
You’ve got to hand it to our senators and representatives in Washington, D.C.
They can’t balance the budget. They can’t defend our freedoms. They can’t do a lot of things.
What they can do is rapidly approve a dubious national holiday without even thinking or debating about what that holiday may be used for.
I refer to the “Juneteenth” celebration, formerly a regional holiday, now, suddenly, a federal holiday, and if you disagree with it you’re a horrible person.
Look how fast they rammed it through:
- June 15 – The Senate unanimously approves making Juneteenth a federal holiday. So much for the Senate being “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
- June 16 – The House approves it 415-14. Which indicates that a small group of representatives – fourteen of them – had the courage to vote no.
- June 17 – President Biden signed it.
- June 18 – Most federal workers got the day off.
- June 19 – Juneteenth.
Wow, that was quick!
According to Forbes, With Juneteenth, Federal Employees Now Get 44 Paid Days Off Each Year.
What exactly is Juneteenth? Up until recently, many Americans didn’t even know what it was.
Juneteenth is a celebration commemorating a proclamation in Galveston on June 19th, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for the slaves there based on the Emancipation Proclamation.
Contrary to popular opinion though, the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the United States.
The Emancipation Proclamation, issued January 1, 1863, officially emancipated the slaves in Confederate territory, most of which was not then controlled by the U.S.A.
There were some slaves freed that day, but most slaves in the South were freed gradually, as the Union conquered more and more Confederate territory.
On June 19th, 1865, two months after Lee’s surrender to Grant, General Granger made it to Galveston, on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and told the slaves there they were free and the war was over. That’s what Juneteenth commemorates.
(The last Confederate general to surrender was Cherokee Confederate General Stand Watie, in what is now Oklahoma, four days after the first Juneteenth.)
All slaves in the United States were not freed, and slavery was not legally ended, until the adoption of the 13th Amendment which took effect on December of 1865, after Lincoln’s death. So wouldn’t a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. be called Thirteenth Amendment Day, celebrated on December 18th?
I doubt they’d go for that. Basing a holiday on the Constitution might encourage more familiarity with that oft-ignored document.
As for the federalization of Juneteenth, did our wise lawmakers not notice the official name of the bill? “Juneteenth National Independence Day.”
Wait a minute? Isn’t Independence Day July 4th?
Some see Juneteenth as a sort of Independence Day for Black Americans, with July 4th as Independence Day for White Americans.
Isn’t that divisive?
Did none of our virtue-signaling lawmakers notice the name of the holiday when they signed off on it?
This sort of thinking didn’t start now. It’s been going on awhile.
Take a look at the titles of two articles published a year ago, in June of 2020:
Did none of our wise and far-seeing lawmakers investigate this before jumping on the Juneteenth bandwagon? Or, were they just petrified at being called “racist” if they didn’t jump on the Juneteenth bandwagon?
In summary, a harmless enough regional holiday celebrated by African-Americans has been rammed through as a national federal holiday, and renamed Juneteenth National Independence Day, implying that it’s the independence day for black Americans, with July 4th as Independence Day for white Americans.
I’ll close with a tweet from black conservative Candace Owens who hasn’t jumped on the Juneteenth bandwagon. (Candace, by the way, previously spoke at US Inc’s 2018 Writers’ Workshop. Watch her speech here).
She tweeted this on June 17: “Juneteenth is soooo lame. Democrats really need to stop trying to repackage segregation. I’ll be celebrating July 4th and July 4th only. I’m American.”
Visit Allan’s website.