Today, President Biden signed into law a bill to officially make Juneteenth, a celebration of the emancipation of slaves in the United States, a federal holiday. He proudly stated that he believes it will prove to be one of the greatest honors of his presidency.
Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 17, 2021
Biden on making Juneteenth a federal holiday: "I've only been president for several months, but I think this will go down for me as one of the greatest honors I will have had as president." pic.twitter.com/gX1V5lHxCZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 17, 2021
One would think that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, would see the value in commemorating the end of the vile institution of slavery. Instead, fourteen Republicans in the House of Representatives voted against the new federal holiday. Their supposed rationale for doing so is a hodgepodge of bad faith talking points that mostly revolve around painting Juneteenth as a culture war issue.
The reality, of course, is that these right-wing politicians are simply trying to pander to the racists that form a large chunk of the GOP’s base. They know that voting to formalize a holiday celebrating emancipation would alienate those conservatives who on some level wish slavery still existed in America. They also know that these very same racists hate to admit that America has any kind of racist history.
Several prominent Republicans on social media also decided to take a stance against Juneteenth, broadcasting their bigotry in the process. Charlie Kirk, the figurehead of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA, cooked up a tweet about Juneteenth that was idiotic even by his knuckle-dragging standards.
Kirk claimed that Juneteenth is somehow an “affront” to July 4th because now there will be two “summer holidays” and incorrectly stated that Juneteenth is “based on race.” It would be more accurate to say the holiday is founded on freedom, something conservatives claim to love. The idea that summer can’t have more than two holidays is so stupid as to not even be worth rebutting.
Lincoln knew America’s founding was July 4 1776. He knew that was the day our amazing nation made a step from “ideal” to reality
“Juneteenth” is an affront to the unity of July 4th. We now have 2 summer holidays—and one of them based on race
Shame on the GOP for supporting this
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) June 17, 2021
Candace Owens, a prominent right-wing personality and close friend of Kirk’s unloaded on Juneteenth in a manner engineered to make white racists more comfortable with their own racism, a practice that she has built an entire career on. She tried to downplay the significance of slavery in American history and formulated a weird, twisted argument to claim that recognizing Juneteenth actually makes Democrats the real racists.
Every single race has been enslaved at some point in human history. Africans are STILL enslaved today.
This is not a holiday. This is more emotional training from Democrats to see ourselves as somehow separate from America.
Independence Day is July 4th.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 17, 2021
Segregationist Joe Biden says Juneteenth is "a day in which we remember the moral stain and the terrible toll that slavery took on the country—and continues to take."
More emotional programming for black people that choose to opt in to the perpetual victim mentality.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 17, 2021
As is usually the case when conservatives suffer a collective meltdown over some minor grievance, the tweets mocking them ended up being the most entertaining part of the discourse.
slavery sounds like it was pretty bad. personally seems fine to celebrate getting rid of it, not sure why you're so triggered
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) June 17, 2021
When you think that the date celebrating the emancipation of the last slaves in the US is one of "America's darkest moments," you're kind of telling on yourself. https://t.co/RzyBNLCZfu
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) June 17, 2021
If making Juneteenth a holiday offends you I guess we can always celebrate April 9th as Surrender At Appomattox Day.
— Reinstated Doorknob Licker (@agraybee) June 17, 2021
Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens: pic.twitter.com/FNV1QWdTbH
— Blue Collar Bob (@BobbyBlueCollar) June 17, 2021
Who were all the GOP equating Juneteenth to the 4th of July who went to Russia on the 4th of July? I was in DC at the time. That was the weekend Jeffrey Epstein was arrested
— Sandi Bachom (@sandibachom) June 17, 2021
Everybody who is against teaching in schools why Juneteenth is now a holiday is also well-versed at blurting the words "I'm not a racist, but…"
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 17, 2021
Showing up to the office at 8AM and working a full day on Juneteenth to own the Libs
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) June 17, 2021
listen up, stupids: you can celebrate Juneteenth *and* the 4th of July
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) June 17, 2021
The effort to establish of a Juneteenth holiday certainly wasn’t a project to troll the cons, but if you’re a con who’s trolled by it, you might just have a more twisted and culpable mind than you're capable of admitting. pic.twitter.com/Aab6tFLrLR
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) June 17, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.