Let's make Juneteenth a federal holiday

It's past time

I’m writing more on this for my Sunday column for Hearst, but the U.S. Senate voted to make Juneteenth — the time in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Texas to tell enslaved people that the Civil War was over, and that they were effectively free — a federal holiday. And then the U.S. House of Representatives approved the measure, 415-14. The bill heads to Pres. Biden’s desk, with the hope that he signs it by 2021’s Juneteenth, Saturday.

The vote is a nod to our need to broaden the scope of American history. Juneteenth is the country’s second independence day. The bill was introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. John Cornyn (I know!), and it was co-signed by some of my least favorite senators (looking at you, Josh Hawley, you moral runt of the litter).

The U.S. representatives who voted against the bill include: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Ronny Jackson (Texas), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Mike Rogers (Ala.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas) and Tom Tiffany (Wis.).

For his part, Jackson said “we have enough federal holidays.” Good God, Ron. You’re not even trying any more. A quick search of these representatives’ social media posts and press releases shows a majority of them do not accept the results of the November election. Still. Who the hell elects these guys?

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