Does Passing Juneteenth Mean Black Lives Finally Matter to America?

Or is this just for show?

L.A. Justice
3 min readJun 18, 2021

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Juneteenth, June 19, 1865 — Freedom Day in the United States of America | Tasha Art | Shutterstock.com

At the moment I am writing this, Juneteenth has just been signed into law by President Biden as a national holiday. This gesture means that America is acknowledging the importance of commemorating the freedom of African Americans in a country that enslaved us for 246 years.

And it only took 158 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation for this to happen. (hear the sarcasm there?)

So what does this mean? Does this finally mean that Black lives are now going to matter to America? Does this mean that Black bodies are no longer going to be exploited? Are Black men, women, and children no longer going to be murdered with impunity by the police? Are we now safe from the actions of racial terrorists who seek us out to rape, lynch, and slaughter us?

What exactly does this mean, other than America trying to placate Black people and lull us into a false sense of triumph?

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that it is now a nationally recognized holiday, but there are many more imperative racial justice issues that need to be addressed, issues which this country CONTINUOUSLY delays or outright ignores. Here are just a few:

1. The Emmett Till Antilynching Act

2. Qualified immunity

3. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

4. Voter suppression

5. The bans on teaching the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory

6. States passing anti-protest bills

7. The war on drugs

8. The school-to-prison pipeline

9. Mass incarceration

10. Environmental racism

11. Gentrification and housing discrimination

12. K-12 education equity gaps

13. Higher education equity gaps

14. Racial wealth gap

15. Reparations for descendants of slaves

16. Racial income inequalities

17. Racial disparities in unemployment rates

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L.A. Justice
The Antagonist Magazine

Research & Policy Coordinator | Activist | Theologian | Author | Educator | Previously a Biochemist | Previous Top Writer in Racism and BlackLivesMatter