Get Ready for the Ridiculous (Racist, Insane, Pathetic) Outcry Against Juneteenth
It is coming in public and in private, whether we like it or not
Note: This essay has been updated to reflect the passage of the Juneteenth bill by Congress, as well as the signing of the bill into law by President Biden on June 17, 2021.
Here it comes. Get ready for it. As Stanley Tucci’s Nigel says in The Devil Wears Prada, “Gird your loins!” Millions across America are about to argue against a new national holiday. My guess: about 30 million or so. Only good ol’ American racism can turn a nation of hardworking, God-fearing, Best-Buy-shopping people into proud advocates for fewer days off in the working year.
The twisted Tweeting, the moral and mental gymnastics, and the outright abandonment of sanity and grace are about to begin — yet again. Yesterday, President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, will now be celebrated annually as an official federal holiday.
The bill moved smoothly through the Senate, before meeting opposition by 14 members of the House. Was the Senate just too busy delaying infrastructure investment, killing a minimum-wage hike, or blocking voting rights to take the time to damn the bill? Did they think it a hollow and easy gesture that would buy them quick PR points (from whom exactly?) in the ongoing battle for actual systemic change? Or did they think it best debated down in the House, i.e., on Twitter?
This all seems like the perfect fodder for Marjorie Taylor Green(e?) and her band of merry history geeks. Just this week, the Congresswoman happened into a Holocaust museum and discovered that 6 million Jews were annihilated in Europe. She actually held a press conference to tell the entire nation what the rest of us learned in fifth grade. Next week, she’ll learn about improper fractions, magnetism, and the fact that Africans were bought, chained, whipped, and forced to work the fields — right here in the United States.
In an America that now only has room for the edges, Juneteenth provides the perfect proof point for an extreme right intent on demonizing the left. The holiday fits their narrative rather seamlessly: The…