Score another one for President Biden


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In anticipation of Juneteenth, which is on June 19, the White House hosted a concert on the South Lawn on Tuesday. Addressing the audience, President Joe Biden remarked that “making Juneteenth a federal holiday wasn’t just a symbolic gesture” but a “statement of fact” for the United States to “acknowledge” the “original sin of slavery.”

Indeed, Biden’s signature within months of taking office made Juneteenth the newest federal holiday, commemorating the day the last enslaved Black people learned of their freedom, on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, Texas. At the time, Biden called it “one of the greatest honors I will have had as President, not because I did it; you did it—Democrats and Republicans.”

Donald Trump, by contrast, was, at best, oblivious to Juneteenth and its significance. In June 2020, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that neither he nor his staff heard of Juneteenth. This was in defense to the flak he received for having scheduled a rally on Juneteenth in Tulsa, the site of an infamous, two-day-long race massacre in 1921, even as protests continued following the death of George Floyd. Trump ultimately rescheduled the rally but not without taking credit: “I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,” the cretin boasted.

Not only did the Biden-Harris ticket’s win lead to Juneteenth’s recognition as a federal holiday, but the progress continues two years later. State governments have varied in the way they have treated Juneteenth. However, for the first time, more than half of states are officially recognizing Juneteenth. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, at least 28 states plus the District of Columbia are legally recognizing Juneteenth this year. The first state to do so was Texas, in 1980, after having been locally celebrated there since the 1860s.

Just a few years ago, Juneteenth was not a federal holiday, and the racist, twice-impeached President of the United States couldn’t care less. Elections have consequences, and Democratic administrations have consistently shown they’re about dignity and progress. Juneteenth is the latest shining example.

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