Juneteenth

Juneteenth

We hadn’t expect it to be, but there it is. Today’s a holiday. Because yesterday Biden signed into law our 11th annual federal holiday, Juneteenth… which is actually June 19 but because that’s a Saturday this year, we celebrate it today.

This is a big deal in America.

(It wouldn’t be in Brazil where there are currently 353 national holidays.)

In America a federal holiday means everything closes down, the banks and post offices and schools must all close. It’s also a big deal because generally everything in America is so polarized. The Senate passed the Juneteenth federal holiday law… unanimously.

Juneteenth celebrates the true calendar day that slavery was ended in America, nearly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It marks the date that an American military officer proclaimed to Texans that their slaves were free.

Texas was the last State to concede defeat in the Civil War.

Texas never really came from behind.

While all the very crazy far-right Texas politicians like Senator Ted Cruz embrace this new holiday, they are also legislating against letting their public schools teach ‘critical race theory.’

(CRT is new buzz-phrase for institutionalized racism.)

Texans and others are on a rampage to ban schoolbook references to slavery. Lawmakers want to censor primary and secondary school text books with “too many” references to slavery or that suggest any anti-Mexican discrimination.

So why this collective kumbaya for Juneteenth?

It’s quite clear to me. Republicans just didn’t have the votes to scuttle the measure, and as close as they may have come to doing so, the bill would have passed and their No-vote would have been a bull’s-eye in the next election.

So if you can’t have your way, pretend like it never was. This isn’t easily explained as ironic. It’s moral turpitude.