Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom

We understand slavery in its brutal terms. But it can be understood exactly what it lacks: freedom – where one can work, live and move. As darkness is the absence of light, slavery is the absence of freedom. By any measure, Juneteenth is a good day, a holiday commemorating the abolition of chattel slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, two and a half months after the end of the Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger directed the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier, warning slaves. Galveston, Texas, that they were no longer in slavery. Few slaves in America would remain in captivity until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified in December 1865, and even then, their new freedom could not be said to be so free; They will go Over the years, it has faced enormous obstacles For equality and freedom. However, Juneteenth turns a page from one of the most shameful chapters in American history.

That sums up a reason to celebrate, no matter where one falls on the political spectrum. However, it was not entirely without controversy. For example, about 43 percent of Republicans say so resist It is included in the school curriculum, compared with 89 percent of Democrats, according to a Youkov poll. While it’s hard to know exactly why, it could, at the very least, come down to the ever-present culture war breakdown. In a sense the GOP still styles itself as the party of liberty. Slavery, again, is the absence of freedom. In theory, learning about the history behind the Juntain should prevent any platform that claims to advocate independence from being undermined.

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On the other side of the coin, as The reasonElizabeth Nolan Brown is outlined In 2022, there is ongoing debate surrounding the idea that Juneteenth should be reserved for black people—not something that unites Americans. African Americans were the victims of slavery, after all, affecting families for generations. But to argue that the celebration of its abolition is racially exclusive is to dignify some of those fears that it is somehow a discriminatory or divisive topic. I like to think that these objections are more in the suburbs. Slavery is bad. Freedom is good.

Opal Lee, the 97-year-old “grandmother of Juneteenth” who fought for the holiday’s recognition, agrees it’s too simple. “It means freedom for everyone. Not just black people or Texas people,” she said said. “Freedom for all.” When Lee was 12, a mob of hundreds came to his home in Fort Worth, Texas, smashing windows and furniture, angry that a black family had moved in. June 19. Last week, she Got the key His new home, in the same location, was built by Livelihood for Humanity. A reminder that these dark ages weren’t really all that long ago.

Even at the time, freedom was said to be at the heart of American exceptionalism, but we clearly didn’t live up to it. But to this day, it remains largely the ideal to which this country should aspire. It cannot be said that everyone has the same meaning; Different people have different ideas about what a free society should look like.

But there is freedom Can not Subject: Slavery. Its death is a victory for all.

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Position Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom appeared first Reason.com.

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