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Insight from Tom Gilleece:

To be clear, the celebration of Juneteenth as a national holiday is really a celebration of how long it took for Texas - or more properly, slaves in Texas - to find out that the Civil War had ended and that they were now free.

Lee had surrendered at Appomattox more than two months earlier; Lincoln had been assassinated in mid-April by Booth; his successor, Andrew Johnson, had officially declared an end to hostilities on May 9th; and slaves in New Jersey and Delaware would have to wait another six months for their own absolute abolition.

So, it makes little sense for anyone outside of tardy Texas to celebrate the fact that news traveled so slowly in 1865 or that blacks were enslaved in that state two months longer than they should have been.

But in our country, at this particularly stupid period in our history, it’s absolutely fitting.

(See also: Newark, New Jersey dedicates a statue to career criminal/drug addict George Floyd)

Wordmage 8 June 19

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