Remember, no 4th of July. no Juneteenth…
I’ll be honest. I’d never even heard of Juneteenth until a couple of years back. I eventually started to notice quite a few black bikers who would roll through town to rally every June 19th down in nearby Myrtle Beach. Of course, the rally was to commemorate the announcement of the end to chattel slavery.
I have no problem with that. This is still a free country, isn’t it?
But wait… there’s more.
If I recall my Constitution correctly, the XIII Amendment freed not just the African slaves, but also the European indentured servants (often called “bond slaves). Side note: If you’re black in America, there’s an overwhelming chance that you’re a descendant of African slaves. If you’re white in America, there’s a lesser chance (but still coming as a surprise to most) that those of Irish, English or German lineage that dates back to at least 1865, there’s a fairly good chance that at least one of your ancestors was an indentured servant/bond slave.
Anyhow, I thought to myself what a great thing it would be if both black and white Americans could celebrate together the simultaneous freeing of hundreds of thousands of those who suffered before us.
Here’s the part I have to deviate from the meat and potatoes of this article. You see, more than a few will go off on me screaming, “Indentured servitude wasn’t even close to the barbarity of slavery.”
Well, yes and no. Indentured servitude was usually a contract considered binding for a period of time between 4-6 years.
To be honest, on it’s face, that doesn’t seem all that bad. Especially in light that the black African slaves were “owned” until death, sold to another, or in very rare occasions, a slave could purchase his freedom (which proves that at least on some level, slaves were able to earn money for themselves, not for the slave owners).
However, from the University of Houston (emphasis mine);
In certain respects, the status of white servants differed little from that of slavery. Like slaves, servants could be bought, sold, or leased. They could also be punished by whipping. Unlike slaves, however, servants were allowed to own property, and, if they survived their term of service, received their freedom along with a small sum of money known as “freedom dues.” During the 17th century, indentured servants suffered an appalling death rate. Half of all white servants in the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland died within five years of their arrival. Since servants cost half as much as slaves, they were a more economical investment.
A couple other interesting notes from the American Enterprise Institute (emphasis mine);
Here’s an excerpt where Jason Riley compares Irish peasants coming to America in the 1840s to slaves in the U.S. at that time:
The peasants fleeing Ireland had a shorter life expectancy (19 years) than slaves in the U.S. (36 years), many of whom enjoyed healthier diets and better living quarters. Most slaves slept on mattresses, while most poor Irish peasants slept on piles of straw. The black scholar W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that freed slaves were poor by American standards, “but not as poor as the Irish peasants.”
I recall once reading that a coal mine owner was asked why he didn’t put African slaves down into the very dangerous coal tunnels. His response: “Slaves are expensive, but the Irish are free.”
On a personal note, call it what you will; slavery or indentured servitude. Those are two different phrases for the same hell.
But back to the topic at hand. As I noted earlier, Biden had a perfect opportunity to heal some of the nation’s racial wounds. But no, Biden made things worse. Much worse.
You see, the official title for the Juneteenth holiday is “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act“.
All Biden succeeded in doing was to officially declare that America has two separate, but equal Independence Day celebrations.
It’s here where I’ll make my puny attempt to correct Biden’s MASSIVE screw-up;
- No 4th of July, no Juneteenth.
- Once America achieved independence in 1783, the only people who could vote were free white males over 21 with property.
- Between 1820 and 1860 (depending on which state you were in), the only ones who could vote were free white males over 21.
- As of 1870, the only ones who could vote were males over 21 (in 1964 and 1965, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting right act were made law to counter Jim Crow laws).
- In 1920, men and women over 21 could vote.
- It was during 1971 that all men and women over 18 had the right to vote.
Here’s the point of my list — as America has strove for “a more perfect union”, it’s pretty obvious that the right to vote didn’t happen from Day One. As times changed, so did America.
Like I said, “No 4th of July, no Juneteenth.”
Let’s all pray to God that any given president in the future renames his holiday from Juneteenth National Independence Day to the more historically correct Emancipation Day or even Abolition Day.
One other thing, slavery didn’t end a century-and-a-half ago. Thanks to Joe Chi Minh, the selling of human beings is alive and well right here in the good old USA. The only difference is that we now refer to it with the antiseptic-sounding “sexual trafficking.”
Slavery is such an ugly word, huh? (Sarcasm off)