Juneteenth and Secular Holidays as Tool of the Regime
Last year Congress officially declared Juneteenth a federal holiday. While Very Serious talking heads attempted desperately to convince those that would listen that Juneteenth was a long-celebrated American holiday, the reality is that it was largely unknown around the nation prior to congressional action. The episode is a useful illustration of how the state weaponizes secular holidays to promote a larger cultural agenda.
Prior to nationwide riots in 2020, Juneteenth was properly understood as a regional holiday celebrating the emancipation of Texas slaves. The day was understandably a time of celebration for freed Texas slaves and their descendants. Other states have their own days celebrating the end of slavery at times that correlate with their own history—such as Florida’s Emancipation Day, which the state recognizes on May 20. A more widely observed holiday has been Jubilee Day, which recognizes Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and is celebrated on January 1.
Of course, no matter the origins of Juneteenth, its elevation to federal status has nothing to do with the history of slavery in America. There has clearly been no recent public debate over the virtues of abolition. Instead, the day’s modern political momentum is obviously the direct response to the mostly peaceful protests that engulfed the nation following the death of George Floyd and other high-profile incidents of police use of deadly force against black Americans. Then president Donald Trump has loudly taken credit for last year’s official declaration after pitching federal recognition as part of a federal response to escalated racial tensions.
The end of the horrific systemic violence of slavery is indeed a great victory for human liberty and a moment for celebration and recognition. Because of this, many libertarian-inclined politicians—including Senator Rand Paul—supported the
Article from Mises Wire