Guest Post by Michael West
My summary observations of something that is more complex than most people make it out to be:
The Fourth of July must always be the preeminent holiday in the American “liturgy”. Even for the slaves whose lives were spent in a state of legalized kidnapping, it was their Independence Day also even while they didn’t enjoy the reality of it. Yet I understand some arguments, such as those who perpetuate Frederick Douglass’s observations on Independence Day. But frankly, anyone espousing that attitude *still* are anti-American.
BUT, it should surely be acknowledged that even while Independence Day was for ALL Americans (even those who in reality didn’t enjoy its blessings), there were those who in reality didn’t enjoy its blessings. And an end to their legalized kidnapping, finally realizing the values of the Declaration, SHOULD be celebrated.
Now, whether that celebration ought to be “Juneteenth”, or the ratification of the 13th Amendment (January 31, 1865), or the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863), or the defeat of the Confederacy, I don’t know. Still, it is appropriate for the U.S. to honor such a momentous event that all Americans should be grateful for.
Here’s what I do know. Although the official nationwide celebration of June 19th was primarily pushed by Democrats, and I don’t think Conservatives should oppose something simply because it originates with Democrats. BUT. But…when Democrats, so many of whom have proven that they *HATE* America and its Value set, propose anything “patriotic”, one should ask why. What is the undisclosed angle they are working? What does the smokescreen obscure? What are they planning down the road that the language of this “celebration” is setting up?
I am all for a celebration of the end of slavery, but ONLY if people who actually like America (and therefore NOT Democrats), get to define what that celebration is and get to define how the eventual rituals play out. In principle it is a good idea to celebrate the end of the curse of slavery. In practice, I am dubious about motives and execution.
Initial indications are that “Juneteenth” will be promoted and celebrated as “Black Independence Day”, in order to perpetuate the destructive narrative of “White America” versus “Black America.” If that is the case, this new holiday gets a hard “NO!” from me.
4 thoughts on “Further Reflections On “Juneteenth””
I was reminded today that President Trump, during the 2020 campaign, promised to make Juneteenth a national holiday if elected. Of course, that was mocked by tech news media as “pandering to black voters”—you know, unlike what Democrats do. But in Michael’s terms, Trump does like America and American values—indeed, my study of the men who have been President indicates beyond any doubt in my mind that every one of them LOVED the United States and what it stands for, with the possible exception of Barack Obama, especially considering his recent comments.about Critical Race Theory, which put his denials that he supported Rev. Wright (“God DAMN America!”) in serious question.I’d have to read his books to b sure, and I want to eat my foot first.
But back to Trump: how in the world did he miss the trick of having the Juneteenth holiday passed while he was President? Pandering or not, it would have been brilliant, and be the perfect troll of Democrats. If he knew enough to promise it in 2020, why didn’t he go the whole way? As always, where were his advisors? Why didn’t McConnell figure this out?
Thanks for this. All your edits are clear improvements. And yes, Trump should have pushed this through under his watch, allowing someone who loves America, even in his hamfisted bombastic way (is there really any other way to love America?), he would have defined it well and enjoyably.
Now, it will be an annual, let’s hate whitey fest.
Just for clarification, the 13th Amendment was approved by the Congress on January 31, 1865, with the vote in the House (the Senate having previously voted in favor on April 8, 1864). Lincoln, who had no formal role in the amendment process, nevertheless signed the Amendment as approved and transmitted it to the states. Ratification was achieved on December 6, 1865, when the 27th state (of 36) approved the Amendment. The Secretary of State issued a statement on December 18, 1865, verifying the ratification, but that last step probably didn’t matter so far as the effective date of the Amendment is concerned.
So, how many ‘Independence Days’ is this country going to have? If Juneteenth is celebrated, will the 13th Amendment get a day too? Why not June 2? That was the day in 1924 that American Indians finally all became American Citizens. Why not the date in 1962 when American Indians were all given the right to vote? We can go on forever with this. In 1790, white immigrants were allowed to become citizens. In 1850, owning property was no longer required for voting. Chinese and Asians were granted full citizenship and rights to vote until 1943 and 1946. It wasn’t until 1952 that all races and nationalities were allowed to become US Citizens. I can’t actually find out the date that white males all gained the right to vote in the US. It looks like it might be after the Civil War.