In principle there's nothing wrong with Juneteenth. It's holiday celebrating some Texans kept in slavery being freed by Union troops, who arrived to inform them that their former masters had been forcing them to work after they'd been formally freed. Their freedom is good, and the fact that they were freed is worth celebrating. So too is the general idea that 'the truth shall set you free,' and that the lies of the wicked perish eventually.

As a substitute national holiday for Independence Day, however, it won't do. There's no reason not to celebrate both, but there is a definite reason to never allow the 4th of July to be replaced by it. Juneteenth is the holiday about the government freeing you. The 4th of July is the holiday about us freeing ourselves. It is the holiday about overthrowing tyrannical governments and that by force of arms. It celebrates the spirit of rebellion and lives as a defiance of all evil powers. 

That spirit is irreplaceable and ever necessary. May its flame be eternal in all free hearts; may any tyrant who ever seeks to quench that flame be scorched unto death.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

We also don't like gaps in the holiday calendar, so now that Flag Day and Father's Day are culturally unimportant, it feels culturally comfortable.

Grim said...

Apparently there were still slaves in Kentucky and Delaware at this time (those states neither being affected by the Emancipation Proclamation, nor abolishing it themselves like Maryland and Missouri did). So really it wasn't until the 6th of December, 1865, that all the slaves were freed.

But, to your other point, that would be an inconvenient date on the calendar.

Elise said...

From Wikipedia:

Known for its socially liberal politics and ethnically diverse population, Evanston nears 90% support for Democratic presidential candidates and became one of the first cities to institute a reparations program.

I had no idea. I always thought of Evanston as a well-to-do white city, which is is - that "ethnically diverse" description seems to ignore the fact that Evanston is 65% white. It's just super-woke. Kind of Berkeley Midwest, I guess, although not as wealthy.

It will be interesting to read the news reports on today's celebrations and then again on July 4th.

Dad29 said...

Evanston is the home of Northwestern U.

'Nuff said.

Aggie said...

Losing our formerly reliable Black Base of voters, are we?

Tom said...

I shouldn't be shocked at all, I suppose, but it still is a bit of a shock.

Christopher B said...

As a substitute national holiday for Independence Day, however, it won't do.

If you subscribe to the "1619 Project" distortions, it absolutely does. I saw "Juneteenth is my Independence Day" posted on FB. A central but often unremarked-on tenant of the 1619 rewrite of American history is the American Colonies declared independence from the British Empire in order to preserve slavery in the South, even though this claim is temporally impossible (there was no appreciable anti-slavery movement in Britain before 1800) and almost the exact opposite of what actually happened (Britain didn't ban slavery in the colonies first). Celebrating the Fourth of July is therefore a celebration of white supremacy and racism. One is completely incompatible with the other.

We have become two countries inhabiting the same geography.

Narr said...

One quibble about Christopher B's comment re: British anti-slavery. He's correct about policy and opinion, but IIRC the argument about Colonial concern for slavery was based on a pending court case in London involving the status of enslaved people brought INTO Britain, but with implications for the Colonies.

This was the case made by a historian and a legal scholar in a book about ten years ago, but I only read reviews and can't recall the details.

Here's a sign of the times. I live in a fairly racially mixed neighborhood which abuts majority-black neighborhoods to the south; every evening features gunshots and/or fireworks there, especially as the holidays approach.

Last night was at not quite July 4th levels, and it took me a while to figure out why. I was at least ahead of some neighbors, who filled the neighborhood message board with WTF?s this morning.

Two different movies indeed!

Cousin Eddie

Tom said...

(there was no appreciable anti-slavery movement in Britain before 1800)

The British supreme court decided that slavery was not legal in England in 1772. After that, anti-slavery movements there were about abolishing it in the greater Empire, but those efforts began in the late 1780s, after the Revolution had been won.