Why Conservatives Should Celebrate Juneteenth

    Image credit: Carroll University

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident?

In a couple weeks Americans will be enjoying the celebrations of our country’s founding.  Within the confines of the Declaration of Independence, it states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Yet history teaches that was this not always the case.

Women would not earn their full constitutional rights until the passage of the 19th Amendment in June 1920.  As for millions of African-Americans, it would remain a long, twisted, and more arduous journey towards equal recognition.

There was a stanza that was omitted from the original draft of the Declaration of Independence during that hot Summer of 1776:

…he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.

Future 3rd President Thomas Jefferson, a slaveowner himself, and a lover of one of his mixed-race servants, sought the inclusion of the line.  Jefferson had called the institution a “piratical warfare,” as well as “execrable commerce,” and an “assemblage of horrors.”

Perhaps trying to put the guilt of his personal hypocrisy at ease, he would in the end lose out to the Southern Delegation more interested in protecting their economic self-interests.  Slavery had been waning at the time, until the invention of the cotton gin changed everything.

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A House Divided

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Thus America’s ‘original sin’ was cast.  It would be another 71 years of bondage and intolerable cruelty by political decisions passed by Congress and the Courts.  Nevertheless, an organized group of abolitionists defied these laws ‘choosing liberty for all’ aided runaway slaves on a journey to freedom.  These early protestors banded together and rose up against the tyranny of the Jacksonian Democrats and ‘Do NothingWhigs to create the most successful third-party movement in American History:  The Republican Party.

With the growing opposition to slavery from the Northern States, and most Western Territories, it would be the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln which lead to climatic events of the Civil War.  The apex event of the conflict would center around Proclamation 95, otherwise known as the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862.  While a mere Executive Order at the time, the Proclamation declared:

“…all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward.”

Unfortunately, that announcement would only temporarily extend to the Northern States, Western Territories, and the then described ‘Border States’.  It would be three more years until June 1865, nearly three months after the War had ended, until those still held in bondage within the Southern States had learned about Lincoln’s declaration.

Union Army General Gordon Granger who read General Order #3, the order that freed 250,000 Texas slaves, in Galveston on June 19, 1865:

This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

Image credit: CBS News

Later with the passing of the so-called ‘Freedom Amendments’:  13th Amendment; 14th Amendment, and 15th Amendment that these freedoms would finally be enshrined into the Constitution itself.  The bloodiest conflict in American history, more would die in that war than in all other American conflicts combined, or 2% of the American population.  All in an effort to correct an ill that the early American Founders failed to accomplish.

Whereas modern leaders are prone to make decisions based on popular polling numbers, Lincoln strived to hold a country together that was at war with itself.  He knew this course was the right thing that had to be done to correct the wrongs that took place ‘Four Score and Seven Years’ prior.  In the end, Lincoln would pay for it with his life.

Freedom of Opportunity

However, the endeavor for full equality for all would not end there.  The struggle for personal pride and recognition would continue to be fought not only on the streets of America; but in the world of sports, pop culture, floors of Congress, in our schools, and in the courthouses throughout America.

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Juneteenth should be seen as not merely a “black” holiday, but ought to be recognized as a Second Independence Day of freedom.  A day that fulfills the promise of the ‘American Melting Pot’ extending the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity to all of us.  So that this nation under God:

shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.

 

 

Image credit: Adriane Miller

7 Comments

  1. No, The last freed slave was after the 13 Amendment of the Constitution was passed. Slaves in Delaware, a Union state, were freed.

  2. I love reading the history of how things came about. I especially love reading those plaques that you see on the side of the road or in national parks and so forth. However, if we made a holiday out of every single plaque that reads, “On this day”, even the major feats, then nothing would be sacred, anymore. Personally, I think it was a major turn in American history every time we kicked the British and French asses and retrained our freedom, because if we’d lost, it would have changed the free America we know today, but there are no National holidays celebrating each of those victories as a singular event. With that said, I do not and will not celebrate any day or month that is designed to separate us as a nation and a people. And I believe “Juneteenth” is one of those days. That does not mean that I don’t believe that everyone of all ethnicities should be free; I simply believe Juneteenth is nothing more than a form of virtue signaling.

    I have done a fair amount of research on black slaves in the American South, and I won’t pontificate on my findings, because I know some people don’t want to hear anything other than what they, themselves, want to hear and believe. I will say there were and still are horrible people in the world, but there were many more who were good and just and carefully trying to do the best and virtuous thing they could in a very precarious time.

    Slavery is a horrible institution, but it had been around, and still is in some countries, since the beginning of humanity. So to continue to excoriate a population of people who had known slavery their whole lives and knew no other way, especially, since the atrocities of humanity have been recognized and corrected, by so many of those same people, is simply a way to continue to separate the races, only, this time, trying to conceal it in a package of sparkles and glitter! I am so glad slavery came to an end in America, which by the way, was the shortest reign of slavery than any other country in history! I just wish it would come to an end in the plethora of other countries where it still exists today, among other horrific human atrocities.

    By no means do I want to reduce the selfish heinousness of slavery, ANYWHERE BY ANYONE, but if anyone believes slavery in America was bad, then I would suggest those to research and read how slaves were treated in the reign of Attila The Hun and Genghis Khan, to start. If you are appalled at America, you will be absolutely repulsed at and changed forever by what you learn from these barbaric individuals!

    1. Thank you for the well thought out comment! We’d be happy to hear your pontifications. In fact, if you’d like to write an op-ed to be featured on our site, email me. [email protected]. I think you have some intelligent insights to share!

  3. Please. Are there any black people embarrassed at all by this pandering to the George Floydd hypocrites?
    The entire month of February… Martin Luther king day… Juneteenth…
    Slavery sucked, I get it. 95% of the worlds population had at one time or another been slaves to someone else. That’s history. But it really is time to stop segregating yourselves. How is it possible for an entire culture to see itself merely as victims? I understand that this is leading up to the reparations. But please, lets be real. This is all political pandering. It will continue as long as there are hyphenated Americans. The political class uses these separation techniques to get more votes. They don’t care about the long term damage they do, as long as they get reelected.

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