Juneteenth, the Black Emancipation Day, may have initiated as a federal holiday by President Biden, but the racial issues remain prevalent in the United States.
Juneteenth, a name made by blending June and nineteen, has a lot of significance in the Black community, but this importance is now getting tarnished by those working in the power corridors.
While the emancipation proclamation declared the freedom of southern slavery in 1863, yet its lack of implementation made Blacks suffer until 1865, the end of the Civil War. Since then, Juneteenth has been celebrated by Americans.
Although passing the bill of declaring the day holiday is a welcome move, it will have no impact on the prevailing injustices against Blacks in society after the business goes as usual.
Still there were some controversial moves by the Republican party in making the Juneteenth bill controversial.
14 Republicans Who Voted Against Juneteenth
In June 2021, 14 Republicans voted against the Juneteenth federal holiday proposal, separating their ranks with the rest of the Congress. The Senate passed the bill unanimously but 14 House Republicans did not seem interested in the bill.
Which Senators Voted Against Juneteenth
The bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday was approved unanimously by the Senate, so no Senator voted against it.
How to Celebrate Juneteenth?
Previously Juneteenth was celebrated by instructing newly freed slaves about their voting rights. However, today traditions have been changed to rodeos, voter registration drives and efforts, public readings, street Fairs and community gatherings.
Those who cannot join national traditions can celebrate Juneteenth individually by raising concerns about racial inequities in their circles or teaching people about the troubled history behind the day.
What States Is It Illegal To Teach About Juneteenth?
While teaching about Juneteenth is not restricted specifically in any state, Republican efforts against the teaching of critical race theory have obstructed the teachings of Juneteenth. This narrative against CRT eventually undermined the teachings of Juneteenth as well.
Juneteenth: Only a Ceremonial Event in Modern Day America
The only difference between pre-1865 and today’s America is that now Blacks are saved by laws but not by practice. In the pre-1865 times, they were neither protected by legislations nor by practice.
When Abraham Lincoln put his efforts to emancipate Black people, his vision was to safeguard the interests in the long run. He wanted an equal right to vote and live for all Americans despite their skin tone.
However, the persisting patterns are suggesting that Juneteenth has become a sort of a ceremonial event only. As a result, it is failing to portray the message that it was supposed to do.
Little did Abraham Lincoln know back then that an upcoming President, Donald Trump, from his party would make conclusive efforts against Blacks.
That Black people will be subjected to no discrimination was the thesis of Juneteenth. However, the embedded message in Emancipation Day has been eroded, time again and again, by the discriminatory practices.
In the subsequent years, this identity crisis has fomented in which the government and civil society, especially the white supremacists, have grabbed each opportunity to malign Black people with both hands.
Over time, attempts to tamper the US history have also been made, that too from the presidents’ offices.
A classic example of this is Donald Trump’s attempts to force Republican states to pursue a “patriotic” curriculum instead of teaching the Black’s history.
The minds of the new generation have tampered with the “official version” of history, so the new generations coming have not any respect for the struggles of the Blacks.
Undoubtedly, white supremacy is an increasing phenomenon in modern-day America, with the message of Juneteenth being neglected by the masses.
The celebration of Juneteenth was started in Texas in 1865, but now the official holiday should be followed by the practical actions of eradicating the menace.
The Forgotten Message of Juneteenth
Black people are more concerned about making the Jim Crow laws null and void than declaring Juneteenth a public holiday.
They are afraid that their name can be kicked out of the voter list for one reason or another, under one of the modern-day democracies.
They are concerned that a police officer downtown can incarcerate him for no reason.
Blacks need Biden to pass legislation in favor of their protection so that no more George Floyd and Daunte Wright can be borne again.
They need the filibuster ended so that congressional Democrats could somehow pass legislation that Republicans resist.
It’s been 156 years that Juneteenth has been celebrated in the United States. But, the celebration remains only symbolic, as far Blacks are likely to be arrested by police more than whites.
When Black children become victims of the adultification crisis, they often assume that Juneteenth has no practical significance in their lives.
Black victims of gentrification decry for the ineffectiveness of Juneteenth, while leaving their houses due to the racialized neighborhoods.
When they are being put in jails just because of the faulty technology algorithm, they often think that enforcing the companies for using better technology than announcing the holiday would have made a more significant difference.
Juneteenth holds an important place in Black people’s hearts, and substantial efforts should follow their emancipation. Only then the true meaning of the event can be served.
Hypocrisy Wins, Juneteenth Lost
As the real meaning of Juneteenth is forgotten, the stakes are high for Blacks who want to make their voice count, but a combination of xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and cultural superiority are pushing them back.
This June 19th holds more importance than any other such event in the history of the United States. Last time, Black Lives Matter (BLM) movements were in full flow.
Now, this time, when the trial for the murder of George Floyd is over, and a police officer is convicted for one of such hundreds of crimes against Blacks; the Blacks are still awaiting the conclusive police reforms so that their interests can be safeguarded.
The lackluster of the legislature is evident; they are unable to pass police and voting reforms.
Any bill in Blacks’ favor is bound to be the epicenter of politics in Congress. Unfortunately, the lawmakers are all talk and no walk when it comes to Black rights.
The bills are burdened in vast piles of hypocrisy where they cannot even be passed any time soon. But one thing remains clear: when elections come near, all the lawmakers will come back to Blacks as in most states, they can be the deciding votes.
There is no place for physical slavery in the US now, but the mental slavery of white supremacy is pushing the country into the pre-1865 times.
This mental slavery is increasing racial trauma on Blacks to where they are unable to pursue their lives with equal rights.
Even on June 19, they would be afraid of police while moving around the country, frightened, that they can be next to George Floyd.
To date, white supremacy remains high, and the actual vision of Juneteenth is yet to be implemented. As Black people look toward Biden because of his promises to bring revolution in actual sense, his inaction decries that the next Juneteenth Black people will have at least the same issues, if not more.
Eli is a Political Data Scientist with over thirty years of experience in Data Engineering, Analytics, and Digital Marketing. Eli uses his expertise to give the latest information and distinctive analysis on US Political News, US Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, and Racial Justice equipping readers with the inequivalent knowledge.