Happy Juneteenth to everyone but the congressional Republicans who voted for the Juneteenth federal holiday while also twisting their knickers into a knot over critical race theory, which most could not summarize accurately if their lives depended on it.

By now you know that Juneteenth, the day when enslaved people in Texas got word they were free, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, has been added to the list of federal holidays. (At MLK50, Juneteenth has been a holiday since 2018, long before it was cool.)

Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay Credit: Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay / Pixabay

It’s hard not to see this new holiday as a political pacifier. It’s giving the same pandering, cringey, performative energy of that 2020 photo op of Kente cloth-wearing congress members kneeling in the Capitol for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time that Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.  

Someone smarter than I once said: When the issue is justice, charity is sin. And that’s what this federal Juneteenth holiday feels like: Charity.

It’s like getting an Edible Arrangement when #1 on your Christmas list was limits on qualified immunity for police officers, per the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It’s like unwrapping fuzzy slippers on your birthday when you’d begged for the ballot protections in the For The People Act.

But now Republicans – including all of the U.S. senators and all but 14 members of the House – get to strain a muscle patting themselves on the back because giving folks a day off is a solid anti-racist bona fide. (Sarcasm font.)

ICYMI: In time for Juneteenth, a new look and energy for the Memphis park that until recently held the remains of a Confederate general, slaver and KKK leader.

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