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Juneteenth, Black Independence Day

“This name needlessly divides our nation ... by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one’s skin.” ~Rep. Chip Roy

Juneteenth, A Second Independence Day

Juneteenth, Black Independence Day

by Shari Dovale

Most Americans have little or no knowledge about “Juneteenth National Independence Day, the newest Federal holiday as of June 17th.

Juneteenth is a word combined from “June” and “Nineteenth” the day in 1865 that Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger was supposed to have led soldiers to Galveston, Texas to deliver the message that the Union had won the war and there was no more slavery in the country.

Some have likened the word to something from the failed “Ebonics” and felt that the holiday should be named along the lines of “Freedom Day”.

“I fully support creating a day to celebrate the abolition of slavery, a dark portion of our nation’s history,” Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie said on the House floor Wednesday. “However, naming this day ‘National Independence Day’ will create confusion and push Americans to pick one of those two days as their independence day based on their racial identity.”

After Wednesday’s vote, Texas Rep. Chip Roy released a statement, saying that while he believes Juneteenth should be commemorated, he has an issue with the name of the federal holiday.

I could not vote for this bill, however, because the holiday should not be called ‘Juneteenth National Independence Day’ but rather, ‘Juneteenth National Emancipation [or Freedom or otherwise] Day,” he said. “This name needlessly divides our nation on a matter that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one’s skin.”

The Senate voted unanimously for the holiday, and all House members except 14 Republicans voted in favor.

The Texas Tribune reported that Rep. Dan Crenshaw, of Houston, did not vote.

The 14 Republicans that voted against the Juneteenth bill:

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks
Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar
California Rep. Tom McClintock
California Rep Doug LaMalfa
Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie
Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale,
South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman
Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais
Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson
Texas Rep. Chip Roy
Wisconsin Rep. Tom Tiffany


Photo: Created By svgsbylisa;

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