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Episode 557 – Happy Juneteenth!

Happy Juneteenth.

What the hell is that, you might be asking.

Let’s talk about it and see if it’s worth celebrating.

 

Happy Juneteenth!

Josse found out she had Monday off but had no idea why. She asked me about it and, I too, had no idea. I looked it up on my calendar and saw nothing. Finally, the mystery was solved when her manager said that it was Juneteenth, a national holiday that was established last your and accepted bx California.

So what is Juneteenth?

  • On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that as of January 1, 1863, all enslaved people in the states currently engaged in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
  • Of course, blacks were not all free. We were fighting the Civil War at the time.
  • Many historians believed that Lincoln was not initially an abolitionist for some reason. They believed he had changed his position on slavery. The inks below say that. That is not true. Lincoln ran as a Republican and an abolitionist. He just didn’t make slavery illegal because he didn’t want to start the Civil War and he didn’t want to alienate the states that bordered the Confederate states who were pro-slavery but anti-succession.
  • One person that Lincoln frequently consulted was staunch abolitionist and former slave, Fredrick Douglas.
    • He wanted Lincoln to declare an end to slavery immediately.
    • Lincoln explained his position to Douglas.
    • Though Douglas understood Lincoln’s position, he wasn’t happy about it. When the declaration was signed into law, Douglass wrote of Lincoln: “Abraham Lincoln may be slow, Abraham Lincoln may desire peace even at the price of leaving our terrible national sore untouched, to fester on for generations, but Abraham Lincoln is not the man to reconsider, retract and contradict words and purposes solemnly proclaimed over his official signature.”2
  • In 1862, the Union army had struck a major victory against the Confederacy and it was obvious the Confederacy was going to lose. That’s when he stated that slaves were to be free.
  • Because the Confederacy did not acknowledge Union law or Lincoln as the legitimate President, the Emancipation Proclamation was ignored in the Confederate states. Don’t forget, there was no 24/7 news.
  • It wasn’t until the Civil War was over that the Union soldiers went from state to state informing the leadership that slavery had been abolished.
  • The last state to be informed was Texas. They were made aware on June 19, 1865.
  • There is where Juneteenth comes from.

I have no problem with us celebrating Juneteenth. For the first time in a long time, the Left is celebrating a good thing about American history. What I do not appreciate is that the date leaves out a lot of history.

  • It ignores Abraham Lincoln’s role in the freeing of the slaves. The Left can’t admit a white man (much less, a Republican) had a role in ending slavery.
  • It ignores the Civil War, where 620,000 people died to end slavery. The Left can’t admit that white men fought and died to end slavery.

I hate that slowly but surely, our history is being wiped away and still demonized even when a good thing happens. Abraham Lincoln lost his birthday as an official holiday and his Emancipation Proclaimation, which was the reason for his assassination, is hardly acknowledged. Why not celebrate September 22, 1862 when he made that fateful speech? Why not celebrate January 1, 1863 when emanicpation became law? Because that woould make Lincoln a hero and the Left can’t have a white man as a hero.

Anyway, Happy Juneteenth.

https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/historical-legacy-juneteenth

https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/emancipation-proclamation

 

Opinion

Here is an opinion piece from the Washington Post about Juneteenth. It’s titled Juneteenth is Meant to Unite Us Like July 4th by Opal Lee and DeForest “Buster” Soaries. I do want to point out, right out, that July 4th, or Independence Day, doesn’t seem to unite us anymore. Watch, in two weeks we will have three hundred opinion pieces from the New York Times and Washington Post telling us how evil Independence Day is.

Let’s get to it:

Juneteenth is more than a holiday. It is not just a commemoration of the end of slavery. It is a day that celebrates America’s incredible capacity to self-correct by applying the timeless principles at our country’s core. Yet as we prepare to mark Juneteenth’s second year as a federal holiday, we have to ask: Will we let this celebration fall prey to the division and distraction that are tearing America down? Or will we embrace its true meaning, commit to ending the injustices that surround us, and ultimately lift America up?

As I said in the last section, I think Juneteenth is actually a division. It does not celebrate anything that went into freeing the slaves. But let’s see what these two have to say about it.

By all rights, Juneteenth should be a day of great unity. When the enslaved people of Galveston, Tex., were told of their freedom on June 19, 1865, the promise of America became much more real and attainable. It was hardly the end of all injustice, but it was the end of one of the country’s original injustices. That’s why generations of Black Americans made June 19 into a long-standing holiday. What could be more American than remembering the forward march of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Some things:

  • “The promise of America became much more real and attainable”? Sounds kind of negative.
  • Actually blacks don’t know what Juneteenth is either.

Continuing:

Yet Juneteenth is at risk of failing to be a source of unity. In these partisan times, there is a tendency to ignore or politicize it. There is also a danger of commercialization — think corporate attempts to trademark the word “Juneteenth” — which would cheapen this celebration of justice. Regardless of color, creed or country of origin, all Americans should oppose these trends, with all the urgency we can muster. If we forget the meaning of Juneteenth, we have little chance of continuing the progress this day is meant to spotlight and spark.

Juneteenth asks Americans to recognize that our nation’s principles are neither grossly hypocritical nor naively aspirational. We have inherited lofty yet practical ideals, and it falls to us to implement them as best we can.

Some things:

  • I agree, we have a tendency of messing up our holidays. We forget what Christmas means, or Easter. Even St. Patrick’s day is commercialized. Do you even know who St. Patrick is?
  • But this is the hypocrisy of the article and Juneteenth in general. Juneteenth refuses to acknowledge how we got to June 19, 1865.
    • It refuses to acknowledge America voting for an abolitionist is Abraham Lincoln.
    • It refuses to acknowledge the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 where 620,000 Americans, mostly white, died to end slavery.
    • It refuses to acknowledge September 22, 1862 when Abraham Lincoln declared the the Emancipation Proclamation.
    • It refuses to acknowledge emancipation becoming law on January 1, 1863.
    • It refuses to acknowledge that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated because of emancipation.

Continuing:

In 1865, that meant fighting attempts to reimpose slavery through violence. In 2022, it means opposing new forms of violence, whether it is violence that comes from within a community or violence perpetrated by the police. This murderous violence claims thousands of promising lives every year, breaks up families, and sows the distrust that poisons relationships and worsens situations. This crisis of violence has many sources and defies a simplistic explanation or a single solution. Yet solutions exist, and if we hope to find them, it will take Americans of all backgrounds working together.

Some things:

  • The writers ignore the 100 years if debate about slavery. Emancipation did not start in 1865.
  • The writers now step over themselves. They say we should honor Juneteenth and now they are politicizing it.
  • Most violence against blacks is not by police. It’s by other blacks and its not thousands of lives. Last year, only 249 blacks were killed by police. A little short of a thousand.
  • As of this point, this is another political piece and is lying about the statistics. I would stop reading if it weren’t because I using it in this podcast.

Continuing:

Those who made Juneteenth what it is today would be the first to say this holiday is not an event; it’s an invitation. That includes those of us who fought to make it a federal holiday. One of us, Opal Lee, spent more than two decades spreading the word about the meaning of Juneteenth and the national need to rally around it. What started with a single teacher grew every day through collaboration, until a diverse group of people achieved what previous generations thought impossible.

They fought? Really? How about an acknowledgement about who really suffered and died to lead to June 19, 1865? Still nothing.

I’m sorry, but fighting to make something a holiday is not the same as dying on a battlefield. Mind you, these are the same people who got rid of Lincoln’s birthday as a national holiday and replaced it with MLK’s birthday. I have no issues with MLK, he did great things but why get rid of Lincoln’s birthday?

Continuing:

In a similar way, rather than pointing fingers or accusing each other of bad faith, people should dedicate themselves to the hard work of combating violence in their cities and neighborhoods. The two of us have been inspired by groups that bring together police and communities for tough conversations and break the cycle of gang violence, such as the nonprofit Urban Specialists in Dallas. We think of projects that help people leaving the criminal justice system build better lives, such as Hudson Link in New York. There are dozens more we could name, and for every good effort we know about, we’re sure there are hundreds more — along with countless people whose ideas deserve to become a reality.

Juneteenth has always been about unleashing those ideas. It’s about putting the incredible power of community to work — not in an abstract sense but through the hard work of each of us as individuals. From the start, this holiday inspired Black Americans to celebrate overcoming the injustices of the past and take steps to pursue a more just future. And if our national history proves anything, it’s this: The more people who get involved in that work, the faster and better it goes. Just look at the civil rights movement, which inspired and then transformed our nation. 

They are now politicizing Juneteenth. Why should I bother with this holiday? Isn’t that what we shouldn’t have done?

We can’t let Juneteenth become just another holiday or, worse, a holiday for only one segment of the country. We should see it for what it really is: the other half of the Fourth of July. These two holidays, which fall a mere two weeks apart, represent the best of America. One celebrates the Declaration of Independence, which contains what the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass called “saving principles.” The other celebrates America’s journey to live by those principles.

Some things:

  • It has not been designed to be a second Independence Day. It has been set up to be a political holiday much like May Day for Russia.
  • Juneteenth ignores the journey that got us to those principles they are talking about.
  • By the way, just a reminder, Fredrick Douglass had several meetings with Abraham Lincoln about emancipation and Lincoln and the Civil War have not been mentioned once in this article. Why? Because most of that stuff happened by white people.

Last paragraph:

This great work is never done, and if we hope to do it, it will take the commitment of every American. Surely that’s a vision we can rally around, so we can truly celebrate freedom from the 19th of June to the Fourth of July — and move freedom forward every day of the year.

These authors believed Juneteenth should be unifying, yet their article is nothing more than how the holiday is a political, woke, activist holiday. Anyway, I’ll ignore it and just enjoy the day off.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/17/juneteenth-holidays-slavery-emancipation/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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