However, the historic decision appeared to be bittersweet, and for many Black people a confusing moment. Several people online have blasted government officials for making the longest-running Black holiday a federal holiday, all while many state officials have been pushing and many, successfully, toward banning schools from teaching critical race theory, an academic concept focused on systemic racism in the U.S. The passing of laws of this nature would essentially make it illegal for educators to teach students about inequality and race and the reasons people celebrate historic moments such as Juneteenth.
Recently, TMZ caught up with comedian and actor D.L. Hughley, who expressed a sense of disappointment with the new law, noting that while Black people have been requesting basic human necessities such as equal justice, they were given a day off work.
He continued, “It’s like Amazon sends you something dope that you didn’t’ order. Well, you keep it, but you still want your original order. It’s easier to get a holiday than it is to get what we asked for, which was, you know, a kind of relief from all that kind of plagues. But I find it interesting it was easier to pass that than to pass an anti-lynching bill. It’s easier to pass that than to mitigate the voter suppression laws. It’s easier to pass that than to make sure that all Black people are treated fairly.”
The “Scrubs” actor believes that the establishment of Juneteenth National Independence Day ultimately reduces the day to “just a holiday,” adding that the politicians who voted unanimously to pass the bill are the same ones voting to erase the teaching of its significance and its role in American history. He also noted that decision doesn’t just hurt Black people. “You can’t explain to students what this holiday is all about. You also can’t explain them bronze dudes with swords on the horses and parks either, like, ‘Who is this dude,’ ” the 58-year-old said playfully. He added, “That’s the duality of our life in America.”
In conclusion, Hughley says a three-day holiday will serve as an excellent reason to BBQ and enjoy some time off, but “it doesn’t really change the fundamental equation that we are seeking a level playing field.”
As previously reported, the comedian hasn’t been the only one feeling this way since the initial announcement of the bill on Wednesday, June 16. Martin Luther King III, the oldest and living son of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King took to Twitter recently, where he wrote, “Today, Congress overwhelmingly voted to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday. But let us not forget that in Florida & Texas, educators are banned from teaching Critical Race Theory.” He added, “Let Juneteenth be both a day of celebration & day of education of our nation’s true history.”
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