Should Juneteenth Be A National Holiday?
I saw this trending on Facebook yesterday and thought it would make an interesting topic. A lot of people don’t even know what Juneteenth is, so to make this a national holiday would take a lot of education on a topic that is very sensitive to most and that is US History.
Juneteenth is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas. Basically, the emancipation proclamation technically freed anyone from slave labor was signed in 1863, everyone didn’t get word until 1865. In December of the same year the 13th amendment was signed basically making slavery legal again if you had broken the law. That's initially why I don't think it should be a national holiday.
After that came a bunch of Jim Crow laws and Black codes that made skin color the cause of erroneous charges being made up to force people back into slavery under the guise of being prisoners.
This behavior continued until the civil rights movement of the 60’s where people realized that these discriminatory laws impeded justice for all. Discrimination also impeded on the American economy by not allowing half of the population equal access to commerce. This fight against bias according to one's skin color continues today. Most people don't know or care enough about US History, so if Juneteenth was recognized as a holiday it would not be celebrated in an honorary fashion. U.S. History and Black History run parallel and U.S. History can’t exist without the slave labor that was forced upon people to build this country. This makes a lot of Americans feel guilty, slavery is a moment in history that can't be romanticized.
In my opinion, it would be extremely disrespectful to honor people who lived their lives under the rule of slave owners being considered personal property by barbecuing, drinking, and not going to work or school. Other US holidays that are inspired by blacks are already looked at as another day off work. Examples of this are Martin Luther King Jr’s Holiday, and most people don’t even know Memorial day was inspired by former slaves as well.
The solution isn’t creating a holiday for these historical superheroes who endured the worst part of history. The problem today is no one cares or understands what happened historically black or white. People only care about things that directly affect their person or group (family, friends, etc). If Juneteenth did become a holiday there probably would be white supremacist celebrating the good old days.
I’m good on Juneteenth becoming a national holiday. I think reparations or distribution of resources would be a better plan to honor descendants of slaves. The descendants of slaves still and to this day live in the worst conditions in the country and are often seen as an underclass.
Mass incarceration, discrimination, poverty, and poor education are still a staple in the communities of descendants of slaves. So what are we really celebrating? Do you think Juneteenth should be a national holiday?