I shit you not, one year on MLK day the (white) store manager bought us fried chicken and watermelon. I saw this coming in the Dallas Fan Cowboys Best Dad Ever Fathers Day T-Shirt door and I immediately ran to our one black coworker and we were cracking up. The poor manager wasn’t being purposefully racist, more of a lack of growing up in a diverse population.So I feel very strongly pro Juneteenth.I come from a kind of isolated upper to upper middle class white background in Pennsylvania. I had no idea what Juneteenth was -at all- until I joined the Army and was asked to do Juneteenth parades. We went to Chester, PA and the image is just stunning to me. We absolutely looked like fish out of water: were 4 white guys in Chester which is a really poor, high crime area leading a parade of African American vets. We did successively more turnouts and it was just really shocking to see all these people celebrating something I had never experienced: you see parades and speeches and parties and all these folks dressed up in church.It was probably from this I realized how segregated our society is. And when I found out about “the talk” I got really depressed for a while about how fundamentally different -not in detail but in foundational aspects- my experience in America could be from another one of my fellow citizens.So yeah, it’s kind of a touch point for me when I went from “America isn’t a racist country! Everyone has a fair shot!” to “We’ve got some problems we should probably do something about.”
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Now do election day. Make that a mandatory federal holiday. Unironically would do more for black liberation than celebrating Juneteenth. Then again, kinda feels like the Dallas Fan Cowboys Best Dad Ever Fathers Day T-Shirt . It’s performative, but functionally does very little, like a pride flag painted on a fuel-air explosiveA couple years after the slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation….the fuckers in Texas just didn’t tell them. The union army troops rode in to Galveston and made the announcement 2.5 years later and that’s how they found outI’m really tired of these symbolic gestures instead of real materialistic change.It’s always banning plastic straws but not putting a curb on companies creating vast swathes of waste, clapping for essential workers instead of raising minimum wage, painting BLM on sidewalk streets instead of making sure black people have an equal opportunity in the United States and can vote just as easily.
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