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As many Republican controlled states rush to “cancel” critical race theory, Juneteenth became a federal holiday. While the Emancipation Proclamation outlawed slavery in the South in 1862 (going into effect in 1863), it was not until June 19, 1865 that Union Army general Gordon Granger announced General Order No. 3. This order proclaimed freedom for slaves in Texas. Starting in 1866 this event was celebrated, and June 19th became known as Juneteenth, Jubilee Day, Black Independence Day, and Emancipation Day. The official holiday is  now called Juneteenth National Independence Day. From a moral standpoint, I see this as a good thing. It symbolically elevates the end of slavery in America, thus “officially” marking it as an important historical event. One hopes that this makes it clear that this change was a good thing. It can also be seen as a positive sign; one can also hope that it signals that the arc of history is still bending in the right direction. That said, these are troubled times and one can be worried that the holiday will be exploited by bad actors. While some might think that the “woke” radicals would be the ones exploiting Juneteenth, the real risk is the holiday being misused by those on the right. Ironically and shamelessly, they could attempt to use the holiday to “argue” that systematic racism is over (if it ever existed). After all, since Juneteenth was made into a federal holiday with bipartisan support, then how could racism still exist in America? One could use the same logic with Armistice Day (now Veteran’s Day in the United States). Armistice Day celebrates the end of the war to end all wars (World War One), so we must infer that war came to an end and there are no longer any problems. That is, of course, absurd. Obviously, the continued existence of systematic racism is consistent with having Juneteenth become a holiday. One could also draw an analogy to Independence Day—having that day as a holiday does not prove that the rights and. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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