On June 19th a nation celebrates Juneteenth, the day in 1865 when the US government officially abolished slavery. Some argue that this should be a legal holiday, others say it should be a state holiday, and many don’t care about it. One thing is for certain though: for those of us who aren’t white, the history of slavery is not something we know much about.
As a community college student, Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, which ended slavery in the United States of America. Celebrating Juneteenth on a federal holiday is a good way to celebrate diversity and civil rights, but it’s also a way to give the holiday some “juice” by adding some national recognition.
Making the 50th anniversary a national holiday is gassing like I’ve never seen. And I feel like some of you are reading this and saying: Black people are never happy. – You’re right, they are. We will not be satisfied with crumbs being thrown off the table of freedom and equality to silence us or ignore our hunger for justice – because that is what the legalization of Juneteenth is all about. And we will not rest until all black lives truly count for and in this country.
Ask me a question: How can you justify making Nineteenth Day a federal holiday when there are large groups of people determined to protect their privilege and remove white children from the unpleasant truths of this country by fighting to ban history teaching and discussions of race in the classroom? Please make it meaningful to me! So #JuniTenth2021 is now a federal holiday, but you still don’t teach it in schools – so our kids are supposed to think that all blacks became free when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation? Make it count.
Better yet, make the story clear for once! – PeeplesVoice (@PeeplesChoice85) June 16, 2021 Florida – as if that should surprise us – was the last state to join the League of Unjust States and ban the teaching of critical race doctrine. And of course, being an additional ghetto, they went further and banned the 1619 project from being used for education. Basically, they said: McGraw Hill does a good job of feeding our children half-truths, false patriotism, and embellished history – let’s keep at it.
For me, it was a great feeling. Governor DeSantis, who is competing with Mitch McConnell for Donald Trump’s favor, justified the ban by saying that critical race theory teaches children to hate our country and hate each other. This is state-sanctioned racism that has no place in Florida schools. Florida’s education system exists to create opportunities for our children. Critical race theory teaches kids to hate our country and each other.
This is state-sanctioned racism that has no place in Florida schools pic.twitter.com/ludv7ARgNP – Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 10, 2021 Brother, are you laughing at me? This is in a state whose own teachers say these conversations are necessary because white kids in classrooms call Arab students terrorists. The debate over critical race doctrine distracts from racism in Florida schools. This could be the goal of DeSantis | Opinion https://t.co/3C2TX9pDyp – Sharif El-Mekki (@selmekki) 12.
June 2021 The state has also seen an increase in student arrests due to the increased presence of security guards in schools, with black students in Miami facing a disproportionate number of arrests. What about state-sanctioned racism, Ron? The most blatant insult is that this is being said in a country that routinely turns a blind eye to state-sanctioned violence, including the police brutality that took the lives of 181 black men after the murder of George Floyd.
We won’t even go into the details of the intentional neglect and death of black women by the health care system, the mistreatment of black men in the criminal justice system, and the daily murders of all black people suffering from trauma and just trying to survive in America. And just so we’re clear… The legislature, out of the goodness of its heart, did not make the nineteenth anniversary a federal holiday.
Activists had to fight for this recognition – just as we fight for reparations. As for reparations, I wonder how you so easily manage to make the nineteenth anniversary a federal holiday that recognizes that blacks were wronged from at least 1619 to 1865, and yet you pat yourself on the back about reparations? Especially when they paid slave owners to free their slaves. ? ??? Make me understand.
Somebody, please! But if you think about it, the 85% of Americans who reject reparations for blacks – believing that the government can make things right by apologizing – are probably the ones who are starting the fight to ban activism in the classroom because they fear that propaganda and activism can actually make a difference.
From the summer reading site in Medfield, Mass. This is an option, not an obligation. This served as a warning to some parents. (Some of these books are for very young children.) Anyone have an idea? pic.twitter.com/DiD37W4yTB – Erika Sanzi (@esanzi) June 16, 2021 I have one final question, aside from the blatant attacks on history teaching and the denial of reparations. How can a country boast of celebrating the freedom of blacks when it has consistently blocked a proven path to self-determination in public education.
Our children are in educational plantations disguised as public schools. Schools where their genius is stifled by staff who don’t believe in them. Buildings where they are dehumanized and terrorized by guards in security and police uniforms. They are hijacked by the zip code – their access to quality and investment is determined by their race and socio-economic status. They are owned by the system that judges them in terms of funding per student, because they are now the new gossips. This is not freedom.
America, you tried. Whether Juneteenth is recognized as a national holiday or not, we will continue to celebrate it and fight for our freedom. We will not forget that you owe us and our history much more, and we do not want your phony policies to be presented as compensation for the kidnapping, enslavement, murder, extermination and continued brutality against our people. So thank you for the recognition 156 years later, but no, thank you is not enough.