A lot of folks are going through it this year with engagements about Juneteenth being a “fake” and “stupid” holiday and I just want you to know that if someone says that to you, they’re not saying that from a place of knowledge about what the holiday is about. They’re not even coming from a place of ignorance.
To most of them, Black people shouldn’t get to have anything, so that’s their first hurdle.
The second hurdle is that anything that seemingly comes out of the so-called racial reckoning of 2020 is a concession. I feel the same way – I think most of the things that came out of the hiccup of justice that was the spring of 2020 was doomed to fail.
The third hurdle for many people who think Juneteenth is stupid or fake is that it concerns slavery.
These are largely the same people who think any mention of slavery – or racism for that matter – is a problem. White concerns in this lane are that immediately after acknowledging that slavery happened, they feel like they’re on the hook to do something about it.
AND THEY ARE. But white folks don’t like being on the hook for anything, so they use words like fake and stupid. You know what else people like this think is fake? The news. Actual facts. So they’re not really interested in learning anything about Juneteenth, which is why YOU SHOULD NOT BE ENGAGING PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO LEARN ABOUT IT.
You should be celebrating and reflecting and experiencing liberty. If they think the actual, verifiable end of legal slavery is stupid, then what else is there to discuss? Enjoy your Juneteenth. Remember what it’s basically about – you can do it in a one sentence elevator pitch: end of slavery – and live your life.
What did Toni Morrison tell us?
– “Eliminate the white gaze.”
– “The people who do this thing, who practice racism, are bereft. That is something distorted about the psyche. It’s a huge waste and it’s a corruption and a distortion.”
– “The very serious function of racism … is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.”
And Toni Morrison was smarter than all of us, so if nothing else just do what she says on this matter. Enjoy your holiday.
3) Live a liberated life.