Saturday, June 20, 2009


From Wikipedia:

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday in 31 of the United States.

More here.

Juneteenth was yesterday, but as far as I can tell most of the celebrations across the country are taking place today, so happy Juneteenth. Being from Texas, I've known about this ostensibly African-American holiday most of my life, but more recently I've started wondering why white Americans don't celebrate the holiday as well. I mean, as I've asserted here before, we're all in agreement that slavery was an awful, horrible, dehumanizing institution that stands as a bloody stain on the reputation of the United States, aren't we? Aren't we also in agreement that getting rid of slavery was an historic watershed for our nation, making us all live up to our stated democratic values a bit better? That ending slavery made us a much more civilized people, a better country?

Why the fuck aren't white people raising beverage-filled glasses toasting this radical step in our continuing evolution towards freedom and democracy? I mean, ending slavery was at least as big of a step for America as establishing our democratic republic was. This is a big fucking deal. So why all the white silence? At least the Senate finally got around to issuing an apology for slavery, albeit an apology with anti-reparation strings attached.

I guess that's a start.