I wrote this on a laptop and without wifi on my wife and my 50th Anniversary campout, so now that we’re home and though a day late, here are some thoughts for you to consider.
This will be short as I am white and there are many, many sites where you can and should read about this U.S. holiday from a Black, Brown and even Indigenous perspective. Please do your homework, wisdom comes by the route of listening to the voices of others, not merely the voice in our own head.
My Christian or certainly professing Christian brothers and sisters who regularly quote Romans 13 as the final word on civil authority or conversely harp on “let’s not talk about politics because only the kingdom of God matters” miss the target on both counts. Why?
Unless folks who park on such ground NEVER VOTE AT ALL they miss, ignore or play a game with the simple truth they care a great deal about politics and the ramifications and actual NEED for FEDERAL LAW AND ACTION regardless of who is in power in the Federal government. Oh “State’s Rights” is a balance of course, but I would argue states are not sovereign over the Federal government any more than local towns, cities and counties are fully sovereign over State or Federal government laws and actions. The REAL issue is who is in power and IF you agree/like/want or disagree/dislike/don’t want the particular governmental law, action or power to be enforced.
Why do I mention this with regard to Juneteenth?
When the Feds sent the military into Texas after the Civil War to inform and enforce Federal law and policy for the emancipation of enslaved people it directly affected their lives -FOR THE BETTER-, true justice was served. Meanwhile it also certainly affected the economics of slavers and related business interests which hit them directly in the pocketbook.
This was largely the same all over what had been the Confederacy.
When Jim Crow politicians controlled laws and the Federal government literally sent troops in to enforce abolition Black and Brown folks rejoiced and still do today. Did white domination, lynchings, a stack of other atrocities and injustices all dry up and disappear forever? They did not as history clearly shows then and even to this day.
The depth of simplicity, white -dominant- thinking and demand for “rights” which so regularly disregarded the basic human, civil rights of minority people is still with us -and I mean even in the thinking and voting processes of professing followers of Jesus Christ.
If we whites cannot or will not educate ourselves and rejoice with people regarding freedoms gained by such events we are deceiving ourselves about the very freedom in Christ we so often posit as core to the Gospel Jesus preached and lived.
If Juneteenth is in your view some sort of liberal ploy you have sorely missed the point. Nobody is picnicing on your “rights” but celebrating theirs.
The force of Federal governments is, can and should be used in such matters or we might as well stop using the very biblical term “justice”. Some would rather bury that term, no?!
Too often our debates are not about freedom for ALL, but so regularly more truthfully about what we consider “freedom” for ourselves. It’s always time to mature beyond self-interest, “to also look to the interests of others.” Hmmmm… where was it I read that?!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn