Who Needs a Juneteenth Holiday When We Have Independence Day?

Project 21 has brought attention to the emancipation-related celebration of “Juneteenth” for over 20 years. But, despite our members using the annual observance for more than a generation to promote self-help and the value of seizing on America’s opportunity, there has been little interest among them to make Juneteenth an official federal holiday on the level of Presidents’ Day, Independence Day or Veterans Day.

In a Project 21 press release, members of this National Center program for black conservatives warned against creating a holiday that is “not something… in the best interests of the country, especially now.” There is concern it might be co-opted by the left to advance radical agendas such as critical race theory, and be used as “another tool to demonize white Americans under the pretense of racial justice.”

Donna Jackson

In a nationally syndicated commentary published in newspapers including the Orlando Sentinel, Madison State Journal, Jacksonville Sun Sentinel and Colorado Springs Gazette, Project 21 member Donna Jackson added that “[i]t’s time for blacks to counter such extremism with a productive agenda based on faith, patriotism and a love for all mankind.”

In the commentary, distributed by InsideSources, Donna noted that “the push now to make this celebration of emancipation a national holiday certainly didn’t come from me or anyone I know.” And pushing at this moment in time for a holiday centered around the issue of race is troubling:

It sure seems as though it’s part of a bigger agenda being imposed on the black community by those who never bothered to ask us. And while elevating Juneteenth to such prestige may seem relatively harmless, it comes with the baggage of radicals who are also promoting critical race theory, reparations and self-segregation.

As far as Donna is concerned, there’s already a national holiday falling just after Juneteenth that covers freedom for all Americans:

So as far as Juneteenth goes, I am happy to have the 4th of July — Independence Day — instead. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are unrivaled among other nations. And I say that, knowing full well that Blacks didn’t get their freedom until several generations after 1776.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also understood this, and he remained hopeful. His belief in America radiated throughout his “I Have a Dream” message — his goal that one day people would not be judged by their skin color but by their character, and that all would receive the promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Dr. King strongly believed in America, and he was confident that it would someday live up to its full potential. He never saw any reason to give up on the American experiment or harbor bitterness and hatred. And he applied the fight for freedom and equality to all of God’s children despite superficial differences.

“The future can be bright,” Donna remarked, “so long as we black Americans stay true to ourselves and reject the hateful nonsense being thrust upon us.”

Click here to read all of Donna’s Juneteenth commentary.

To read Project 21’s 2021 Juneteenth press release, click here.

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