Juneteenth is the Black Festivus

Juneteenth and Festivus: The Airing of Grievances

For those wondering why the banks, stock market and post office took an extra day off, the answer is Juneteenth. The new federal holiday commemorates the day in 1865 when Texas gave black people emancipation. Juneteenth was supported by former President Donald Trump and signed into existence by President Joe Biden in 2021. As with virtually everything else in today’s era, Juneteenth opinions are sharply divided.

The stated purpose of Juneteenth was historical and educational. By educating white Americans about the black struggle for freedom, understanding could bring racial healing. In reality, Juneteenth risks being turned into a day of negativity.

For one thing, Americans already honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday in January.

Yet Juneteenth is more than just repetitive. Leftists are already attempting to hijack this new holiday and turn it into the new Festivus. For those unfamiliar with the 1990s television show “Seinfeld,” Festivus was the fictional holiday celebrated by George Costanza’s father and inflicted upon George. The main Festivus ritual was the “airing of grievances.” Festivus achieved cultlike status in America. Every December 23rd, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz take to television and social media to air their grievances. Millions of everyday people join in the fun.

In reality, grievance politics is destructive. America fought a brutal Civil War and conquered the evils of slavery and segregation. The 1954 unanimous decision in Brown vs. Board of Education declared that “Separate is inherently unequal.” The very people who fought for integration have seen their children fight for resegregation. “Lift every voice and sing” has become for many the new Black National Anthem. Far too many black leftists have declared June 19th the new Black Independence Day.

Conservatives are already frustrated with leftists in America who fly rainbow gay pride flags throughout June but will not fly red, white and blue flags for one day on July 4th. Now there are black leftists who will fly the Juneteenth flag but not the American flag.

As with Veterans Day and Memorial Day, far too many people in America have already rendered the holiday as just another day off from school or work. Some people attended Juneteenth barbecues. Others took advantage of Juneteenth mattress day sales. Sadly, far too many young black people used the day off to kill each other. Initial reports recorded 12 deaths and over 100 injuries from Juneteenth violence, mostly black-on-black. As usual, Chicago led the carnage.

The good news is there is good news. Plenty of black conservatives led by pastors are determined to make Juneteenth a positive meaningful holiday. These black conservatives stated unequivocally that all Americans should commemorate Juneteenth and Independence Day on July 4th. Juneteenth can reflect the painful past but also celebrate how far we have come.

People did overcome. White Americans grieved over the recent deaths of Jim Brown and Tina Turner. Ray Charles and Whitney Houston performed the greatest renditions respectively of “American the Beautiful” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” Democrats went from the party of slavery to electing a biracial President Barack Obama and a multiracial Vice President Kamala Harris. Republicans from Abraham Lincoln on down abolished slavery and passed numerous civil rights laws. The GOP had a black conservative in Herman Cain leading the presidential race. Now Republicans have a serious black conservative presidential candidate in South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

Mr. Scott is running a positive campaign, declaring himself and his family the embodiment of the American dream. On Monday, his Juneteenth remarks offered the pitch perfect tone. “We honor Juneteenth not to dwell on our original sin as a nation, but to showcase just how far we’ve come.”

Heeding Scott’s approach would render Juneteenth a valuable holiday. Endless grievances will divide Americans further and make Juneteenth the Black Festivus.

Not since Booker T. Washington and W.E. Dubois has such a vital debate taken place. For this alone, Juneteenth has positive potential.

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