Juneteenth, A Celebration of Emancipation or a Disdain of We The People?
Having a national holiday that salutes the emancipation of all American people once held captive is not only needed but should be revered as one more step toward a truly “United” States of America. The transition and acknowledgment of this freedom took quite some time to enforce, that is why a premier focus is June 19th of 1865 when cavalry troops led by General Gordon Granger were sent to Houston Texas to read this order. One year later “Jubilee Day” (Juneteeth) was born. And it was Texas in 1979 that was the first to make this a holiday. A special hat tip and a smile to Abraham Lincoln, a true civil rights martyr, who was assassinated for this specific leadership in making the emancipation proclamation of 1863 all possible and should be honored within this new holiday, As well as to all the northern troops and all alliances that bled, sacrificed and died to make this transition of liberation from bondage a reality. Taking steps closer yet to a unified people, one people of one nation under God Almighty. A holiday that reflects on a time in our history that our government and its people fought for a rededication to our founder’s vision of We The People. A vision that started not from the landing of Christopher Columbus but the landing of the Mayflower and the words of its compact before stepping off the ship. To the development of the Declaration of Independence, and Benjamin Franklin’s study of the Iroquois Nation that led to the foundational threads of the Constitution of the United States. A holiday to reflect on great civil rights leaders like Frederick Douglas, born a slave, then once free became an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. Or the great Harriet Tubman was born a slave and then after her escape became an abolitionist and social activist. Then there is John Brown who believed his abolition efforts were an instrument of God. He too was assassinated trying to work with the slaves to rebel and fight for freedom at Harpers Valley before the civil war. A holiday that reemphasizes the need for all people to become one people no matter their skin color, age, gender, or wealth. To honor the efforts and mentality of Martin Luther King Jr. and his attention on the character and turn away from any judgment or focus on skin color, no matter what that color of the skin is. A holiday that gives tribute to the university of American Citizenship and not the diversity (division) of it. One that gives homage to terms like “great melting pot”, or “E Pluribus Unum” (from the many one), or We The People, as we remember the sentiment that poet Langston Hughes wrote when he said, “America, the land that never has been yet, but yet, must be.” If Juneteenth means we remember emancipation, promote synergy and unity of ALL people, and show accomplishments of ALL races living in harmony in the United States as prime examples of what America means, if this mentality is what is 100% behind Juneteenth, then yes, this would go down as one of the best unifying fabrics of future American togetherness and synchronization.
But if the purpose of Juneteenth, and what hides in its agenda is to further divide America by focusing on skin color, intimidation, and erasing history, then we have a mockery of everything equality calls for. If Juneteenth is meant to further racial divisions in our country by falsely demonizing the color of one’s skin as evil in itself or excluding a whole race of people to even be a part of Juneteenth’s focus then it becomes a derision of anything unifying and peaceful. If this holiday is to honor a criminal who made bad choices and became a victim of a single criminal officer who made some bad choices then Juneteenth is an anecdote of division and vengeance. It becomes a war cry of “us vs them” and to turn away from unity and embrace separatism and divisiveness. If Juneteenth is meant to destroy the patriotism of our country by politically targeting proud Americans that care for the foundational ideals set forth by We The People escaping tyranny, then it becomes hypocritical in nature. If Juneteenth supports domestic terrorism by hate groups that burn down neighborhoods and attack authorities and stands behind the divisive symbol of a power fist like the Nazis, and Communist Russia did, then it is an embarrassment to humanity and absolutely detrimental to human equality at any level.
So which is it? The former? Or the latter? It cannot be both. For me, it will be about the former leading towards a more perfect union and I will always condemn the latter as it always leads to more hatred and division.
Till next time,
“Charlie Mike” Continue the Mission.
Larry M. Aden
Excellent dissertation, Brother Gregg! I wholeheartedly concur with your sentiments. I might suggest that it is unlikely that those who pushed for the "Juneteenth" holiday had any motivations remotely close to your quite noble ones. If they did, wouldn't the date of Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation be a far more inclusive holiday, than the date that some lesser regional military administrator ordered Lincoln's document to be published in a small corner of Texas? The significance of that particular day is no significance, at all, when we consider the reasoning of the holiday's proponents. Those disingenuous proponents openly claimed that the date represented the date when "the last slaves learned that they were free". Such a claim is preposterous, on its face, as the Emancipation Proclamation freed only the slaves in the states in rebellion! The last slaves to learn they were free were, doubtless, those in the "Indian Territories", forcibly freed by US Marshals, even quite a lot later than the slaves in the slave states, which had remained within the Union, whose slaves were not legally freed, until the currently supposed 13th Amendment was ratified by the last requisite state, Georgia, on December 6th, 1865. Almost any date, other than Juneteenth, would be a more appropriate celebration, or don't the last slaves, held by Native Americans count? Should we not know the whole story?
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"Charlie Mike" (Continue the Mission)
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