Juneteenth: Slowly, Surely, Inexorably!

It’s time to Break It Down!

This was not what I was inclined to write about today. My driving impulse was to highlight the 21 House Republicans who voted yesterday, against bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal on all members of law enforcement who protected the Capitol and the members of Congress who were there during the January 6th atrocities, aimed at derailing the peaceful transfer of power by preventing the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th President. To be clear, the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of passage of the bill, 406-21. Both Houses previously approved their own resolutions to award the medals. The revised bill will now award three medals – one to the entire U.S. Capitol Police force, one to the Metropolitan Police Department, and one for display in the Smithsonian Institution, accompanied by a plaque that lists all the law enforcement agencies that protected and defended the Capitol, and the members of Congress present, against the day’s assault, which, like it or not, meets the Oxford Dictionary definition of insurrection.



A violent uprising against an authority or government.

The punishment?

Whoever incites, sets foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States. (U.S. Code Statute 2383, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 115)

Lauren Boebert – CO

John Rose – TN

Andy Harris – MD

Thomas Massie – KY

Bob Good – VA

Louie Gohmert – TX

Barry Moore – AL

Ralph Norman – SC

Matt Rosendale – MN

Marjorie Taylor Greene – GA

Chip Roy – TX

Paul Gosar – AZ

Andy Biggs – AZ

Warren Davidson – OH

Scott Perry – PA

Matt Gaetz – FL

Greg Steube – FL

Andrew Clyde – GA

Jody Hice – GA

Mary Miller – IL

Michael Cloud – TX 

I do not advocate, saying their names, but if you are from one of the 15 states represented by the 18 men and 3 women above, I do suggest you remember them. Oh yeah, and vote accordingly, when the opportunity presents itself. One more thing. Do Blue Lives mater, or not? If so, when? Perhaps not when harmed or killed by right wing domestic terrorists.

Consider the summary on the Congressional Gold Medal a bonus. The double bonus is I promise to be brief in my treatment of today’s subject.

It appears yesterday was actually a fairly busy day for Congress. In recent times, that is, in itself, unusual. In addition to the House completing its work on the Congressional Gold Medal bill, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution yesterday establishing June 19th as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a US holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Momentum for this legislation has been increasing since the spate of Black Lives Matter protests last summer, sparked by police killing George Floyd, and Democrats taking over Congress and the White House in the fall. However, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson spiked the bill in 2020, saying it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Johnson relented on his opposition this week, despite lingering concerns. He said:

“Although I strongly support celebrating Emancipation, I objected to the cost and lack of debate. While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss this matter.”

The measure still needs to be approved by the House, and signed by the President, to be signed into law. With the Senate vote confirmed, it is likely the House will follow suit, and President Biden will sign the bill.

Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, the end of slavery, in accord with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Initially issued September 22, 1862, the Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863. Slave owners in Texas had for two and a half years, somehow managed not to pass that information along to their enslaved population. Go figure. 

Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980. Since then, every state but South Dakota has moved to commemorate the day, though only a few states observe it as a paid holiday.

Senators Ed Markey, D-MA, and John Cornyn, R-TX, along with Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX are among the members of Congress who spearheaded the initiative to make Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday. It’s about time. Juneteenth: Slowly, Surely, Inexorably!

I’m done; holla back!

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1 thought on “Juneteenth: Slowly, Surely, Inexorably!

  1. Pingback: Juneteenth: Why It Matters | BREAK IT DOWN!

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