Juneteenth soon to be added to the federal holiday list of the United States. Even though the bill is awaiting the signature of US President Biden but the people have considered this as the 12th federal holiday.
It is the day to celebrate the freedom of the Black enslaved people. Abraham Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation in the year 1863 on January 1. It was approximately two and half years later that the slaves were freed in the Southern states. This was declared by the Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two months after the Confederacy surrendered.
What is the take of American officials on Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the newest federal holiday, as the country did the last in 1983. It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day that was added to the national holiday list.
Rep Carolyn B Maloney’s take
The representative of the United States, Carolyn B Maloney, says that the US has always kept the federal holidays in lesser numbers for a purpose. The intention is to recognize the significant milestones the United States achieved. And among the most important milestones is Juneteenth. It marks the termination of slavery the United States has faced for years.
Rep David Scott’s take on Juneteenth
The Senate unanimously sent consent on the bill to proceed with the legislation process. However, you must know that one objection by senators can stop the agreement. Representative David Scott requested his coworkers to take this decision collectively as a Senate vote.
Rep Sheila Jackson Lee’s take
The United States, Texas representative Sheila Jackson Lee was speaking beside a poster where a Black male was beaten up badly. The poster revealed the scarring that his back bore because of being whipped.
She happily said that she would gladly visit Galveston to celebrate the occasion with John Cornyn, the Republican Senator of Texas.
She exclaimed in joy and asked if anyone could imagine that she would stand taller than Senator John Cornyn. Further, she says, it is going to be of great pleasure to her.
Why did the vote come into place?
The lawmakers could easily decide this. But the vote came into the scene as the lawmakers were struggling in overcoming the police reform legislation divisions. It was followed by George Floyd’s killing by the police. Also, the Republican state legislators delay in attending the unprecedented bills by the experts to restrict the access to the voting.
Republicans say this is to curb the chances of fraud votes, but the Democrats say the voting right determines the opinions of the minorities.
What does Matt Rosendale have to say?
According to Representative Matt Rosendale, it is an ‘identity politics’ celebration. In a press release, he said that he is a believer in treating every individual equally. Further, he said it is regardless of race, and people must focus on things that unite one another and not disparities. He concluded by saying, ‘I will vote no.’
Rep Bonnie Watson Coleman’s take
Many of the Congressional Black Caucus members spoke favoring the bill. US Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman also shares her views saying that the day is more of a commemoration than a celebrating holiday. She justifies her thoughts by saying it is because Juneteenth represents a victory that faced several delays.
She further says that the bill gives her remembrance of something that people still do not have. And things she implies by saying ‘something’ are equality, justice, and freedom. She concludes by saying that these things are not present for the people who belong to the Black community, but now they do.
Senator Edward Markey sponsors the bill along with another sixty co-sponsors. The leaders of the Democratic party passed the bill to the House as soon as the Senator voting completed. However, a few lawmakers of the Republicans were against this.
What does Rep Clay Higgins have to say?
Most of the states consider Juneteenth or June 19 as a holiday. And you will find most of the states celebrate this holiday. Moreover, it is a paid holiday in Washington, Virginia, New York, and Texas.
According to the legislation, June 19 is a federal holiday, and people would call it Juneteenth National Independence Day.
To this, Rep Clay Higgins says that he will vote and support the establishment of this holiday. However, the name included ‘independence’ instead of ’emancipation’ is what upsets him. Higgins remarks in discontent and says, why is this being ‘politicize’ and sharing the United States Independence.
The United States Representative Brenda Lawrence replied to this remark of Higgins. She says that achieving independence from enslavement in the same country is entirely separate from a nation fighting for their own country to rule their people.
Further, she said that it is the responsibility to teach all of the upcoming generations of white and Black Americans how people have endured, survived, and finally succeeded from these in spite of enslavement.
Who voted against the bill?
There were 14 Republicans who did not vote for the bill. They are:
- Alabama’s Mo Brooks
- Arizona’s Andy Biggs
- Wisconsin’s Tom Tiffany
- Texas’s Chip Roy
- Montana’s Rosendale
- South Carolina’s Ralph Norman
- Kentucky’s Thomas Massie
- California’s Tom McClintock
- California’s Doug LaMalfa
- Georgia’s Andrew Clyde
- South Carolina’s Ralph Norman
- Texas’s Ronny Jackson
- Arizona’s Paul Gosar
- Tennessee’s Scott DesJarlais