June 23, 2014 10:25:14 AM
Re: Our view: Why Juneteenth matters. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation "freed" the slaves still held in the parts of the Confederate States that were not under Union control. For example, the City of New Orleans was under Union control, but any slaves still held there were not freed by Lincoln's Executive Order (which legally applied to another country, by the way).
The proclamation did not apply to slaves held in States that remained loyal to the Union. He did not issue his decree earlier in the War for fear that the slaves states that had decided to remain with the Union might decide to secede as well. The Proclamation was not issued out of concern for the welfare of any slaves, but as a military maneuver. It was hoped that the newly "freed" slaves would revolt against their masters and help to end the War sooner.
Slavery was legally ended in the United States on Dec. 6, 1865, well after the "War to end slavery" was over. That's when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified: Amendment XIII, Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Juneteenth is a politically correct celebration. In reality, it would be more appropriate to celebrate the 6th of December, but who wants to have a street/block party in the middle of winter?
While it is PC to celebrate this historical event, it is definitely not PC to celebrate anything pertaining to the Old South or the Confederacy. They are just as historically important as Juneteenth, and should be remembered as well, if for no other reason than to prevent them from happening again. If we don't learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it.
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