House approves bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday
The House voted – not unanimously; more on that in a moment – to pass S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, to designate June 19th as a federal holiday.
“June 19th is an important day for our nation and its history. Recognized as the oldest celebration to mark the end of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth commemorates the day when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received word from Union Forces that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. Juneteenth is an opportunity to reflect on our nation’s sordid history with slavery, acknowledge and commemorate the progress that has been made, and renew our commitment to advancing equity and justice for all,” Fourth District Virginia Congressman Donald McEachin said.
The vote in favor was 415-14. The 14, not surprisingly, are Republicans, none from Virginia, thankfully – in fact, credit to Virginia’s four Republicans, Ben Cline, Bob Good, Morgan Griffith and Rob Wittman, they all voted yea, so they weren’t among those voting present, trying to squirrel their way out of it.
Montana Republican Matt Rosendale, on the other hand, not only voted nay, but then also issued this tone-deaf racist statement.
“Let’s call an ace an ace. This is an effort by the Left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make Critical Race Theory the reigning ideology of our country. Since I believe in treating everyone equally, regardless of race, and that we should be focused on what unites us rather than our differences, I will vote no,” Rosendale said.
And he’s not even from the South, so he doesn’t have that as his excuse.
Back to McEachin, so that we can end this report on a high note.
“Today’s passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act is an important step in honoring the African American community and commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, but we cannot stop here,” McEachin said. “We must continue the fight to combat systemic racism and racial inequalities in all facets of American life and to ameliorate the harm African American communities have faced for generations.
“I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for passing this crucial legislation, and I look forward to celebrating Juneteenth as a federal holiday this year and in the years to come,” McEachin said.
Story by Chris Graham