I’m not hearing as much outrage over Juneteenth this year as I did last year, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
June 19, 2021, was the first Juneteenth as a federal holiday, but it wasn’t the first time it was observed. Most of white America thought we only had one independence day and weren’t even aware of Juneteenth, though millions of Americans have been observing it for decades.
This new holiday marks June 19, 1865, the day enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas were told they were free. And a lot of people, usually those who scream the loudest about freedom, don’t want to observe this holiday honoring American freedom.
We are a hypocritical nation. July 4, 1776, was not a day of freedom for all Americans. And when the Founding Fathers established rights for all Americans in the Constitution, they didn’t apply to all Americans. The white conservatives today who don’t want to observe Juneteenth send a message loud and clear that they still don’t believe Constitutional rights should apply to all Americans. People who don’t want this date to be a federal holiday obviously don’t believe we are all equal.
I haven’t heard as much discontent over Juneteenth for its second year as I did for its first, but it’s still there. These same people are able to muster outrage on a yearly basis for the War on Christmas, so I’m sure they won’t totally neglect yearly outrage over a holiday they don’t feel applies to them.
Just as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are seen as the holiday season, the two weeks before Juneteenth and the Fourth of July should be considered the freedom season.
I don’t believe we are a free country unless everyone is free and rights apply to all people equally. I’ll believe the division is waning and we’re getting closer to equality when I see June 19 abused just like all the other holidays when I see the first Juneteenth mattress sale.
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