March 28, 2013 10:32:20 AM
Celebration of Juneteenth
OK, here's my opinion on "Juneteenth" and the whole ball of wax. It celebrates the event of June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers landed at Galveston Bay, Texas, and informed the slaves there that the war was over and they were free. According to Our View, 03-26-13, by Presidential proclamation. A few facts, if you please.
The war was not fought over nor to end slavery. It was fought to preserve the Union. Lincoln himself said he didn't care if the institution of slavery continued, as long as the Union remained solvent. The war started in April 1860, when the Southern States rebelled against an overbearing Federal Government and unfair taxation.
Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation well after the war had started and all the states were committed one way or the other. The proclamation "freed" only the slaves in the Confederate States, a separate country, that were not under Union control. That's like Obama issuing a proclamation to "free" all the prisoners in the part of Cuba that is not under U.S. control. The slaves held in the Union States weren't affected by Lincoln's proclamation.
The war ended in the Spring of 1865, but the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing the institution of slavery, wasn't ratified until December 6, 1865, six months after the war "to free the slaves" had ended.
If people want to celebrate "Juneteenth", it's OK with me. However, I do think that those who celebrate should pay the piper and not demand everybody else pick up the tab. There is no tourism or quality of life involved with this street party. Get donations or charge ten dollars per adult to attend and fund it that way. Supervisor Leroy Brooks needs to tend to his job as a Supervisor and separate his other interests from his public servant position. Quit muck-raking, agitating, and playing the race card at every opportunity.
The only place where "Juneteenth" should rightfully be celebrated is in Texas, where the event for which "Juneteenth" is named happened.