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Juneteenth is Not Exclusively a Black Holiday

Juneteenth is Not Exclusively a Black Holiday

It was on June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, where the last elements of the Confederate military surrendered.  The Union commanders declared that all enslaved people were … free.  

It was the final end of the hostilities and the last nail in the coffin of slavery.  It was more than two months after General Robert E. Lee officially surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in the home of Wilmer McLean — which also served as the local courthouse.

Juneteenth – also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day — was made a national holiday in 2021.  Ironically, that status was never afforded to the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and Lee’s surrender.  Regardless, the end of slavery in America is worthy of national recognition and celebration.  The end of slavery was the most important transitional moment in American history.  The celebration was sadly diminished and compromised by the more than 100 years of black segregation and oppression in the old Confederate states and big cities.

Juneteenth has been characterized as a “black holiday,” – and most of the events focus on the black community as celebrants and participants.  But is it really a black holiday?  Or should it be considered as such?

The idea of a NATIONAL holiday suggests it is a unifying event that we the people ALL can celebrate.  One common thread that travels through the entire national fabric is the universal view that the end of slavery was a good thing – something every American can celebrate.

While African Americans were the victims of slavery, they were not the primary force ending it – not because they did not want it ended, but because they lacked the political and military power to do so.   Slavery was ended because a predominantly white segment of the population – with a predominantly white male leadership – opposed slavery in the legislatures, the courts and on the battlefield.  The more than 100,000 Union soldiers who perished in the Civil War were mostly young white men.  Another 225,000 died from diseases – and 275,000 were wounded.

To cast Juneteenth as a black holiday with black focused celebrations omits the historical contribution of non-blacks.  Rather it is a holiday that should be celebrated by the nation as a whole.   We should not only focus on the plight of the Negro, but on the nobility, courage, and sacrifice of the greater American community.  The Juneteenth Holiday festivities should include recognition of all those who played critical roles in ending the evil institution. 

Because of the essential role played by the Republican Party, I have often suggested that the GOP should be in the fore of celebrating Juneteenth.  It was the political will and power of the new Republican Party – led by President Lincoln — that brought the issue of slavery to the breaking point and ultimately ended it. 

It is not small irony that the contemporary Democratic Party has aligned with Juneteenth as a day of black celebration.  It seems that creating Juneteenth as an exclusively black holiday is another example of woke identity politics trumping E Pluribus Unum.

If we celebrate as a significant historical event, then we should celebrate the entire history.  It should not be carried out as an ethnic event, but an event that recognizes all the forces of good – black and white – that prevailed over evil.

The folks with the greatest historic stake in celebrating Juneteenth are those who benefited from the end of slavery AND those who ended it – those who were freed from human bondage and those who led the struggle for emancipation.  

Today, I see Juneteenth as a potentially unifying celebration in which all Americans can celebrate – giving meaning to the word “national” in National Holiday.  

As a conservative that tends to identify with the Republican Party for obvious reasons, I have always found celebration in Juneteenth.  I have taken pride in the essential role my party and political ancestors played in ending slavery – and the role of the GOP in opposing the 100 years of Jim Crow de jure and de facto racism that followed the Civil War.

I have never viewed Juneteenth as a black celebration, and my only criticism of the National Holiday is not the worthiness of the celebration itself, but as it is celebrated.  It does not reflect the whole story – the reason for all Americans to celebrate.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

40 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    I don’t see how you wove woke into this, but hey……

    Step 1, we have Juneteenth
    Step 2, white people celebrate

    So, white people, what are you waiting for. Larry says it’s OK to celebrate…….

    OK, here’s my tale…it’s true, mostly. As true as stories of the past can be.

    Our ancestor, on my wife’s side, live round Kingston way on the Hudson in NY. He was doing OK, a blacksmith, and may have had a black servant. He was older, 30 or so, when the war came round and he went in via the militia.

    Phase 1 was training, so off to DC he went. As Larry’s numbers show, the lion’s share of death was from life: travel, disease, and he leaves off how many wounded succumbed which, again, was a lion’s share. My ancestor was part-way though training when the call came down: go to Gettysburg and chase Jeb Stewart. No, this was not the battle of Gettysburg, much before, but IF they had caught Stewart, it would be the untrained Union against the South’s best. It would be infantry against cavalary; my ancestor would probably not have survived. But they couldn’t find him. PHEW — number 1 and 2 — no Stewart and no death from disease.

    Phase 2 was go down round New Orleans way and destroy Southern depots. Again, a long travel, much death, and then pretty fun time burning stuff down.

    Phase 3 was head up North, a number of good battles, and one where these guys, inexperienced still, decide to charge across a pretty good river, act foolish, save the day and become hero’s.

    Phase 4 was continue North, where ancestor, now an officer, now with bravery medals, suddenly takes disease, digestive, and must be released, whereby he goes home and all is well.

    Phase 5 is the boys soon thereafter, charge a bridge, and are cut to smithereens, not many make it and the militia is disbanded.

    So, yes, Larry, white guys did some brave stuff to celebrate, and bullets were the lesser of evils of what they endured to do that. In our case, just lucky the disease sent him home. Really lucky.

    Beyond white folk celebrating the day; while I do not want to celebrate slavery, statues to the cause, or anyone who supported it; I wonder how do we celebrate the bravery of the South; the embodiment of American rebellious spirit that lifted them to do the impossible and not only to standup to the North, but to get it a run for the money. I mean how can you look at Picket’s charge and not say: WOW, how did they do that? I mean Jeb Stewart was one hell of a soldier, an American who perhaps took the wrong cause, but still —- one heck of a military guy. How do we reconcile that?

    • Larry kuhn

      Who cares? Coonteenth is just another day to let people be slackers

      • frank stetson

        From the Online Entomology Dictionary: “coon (n.) popular abbreviation of raccoon, 1742, American English. It was the nickname of Whig Party members in U.S. c. 1848-60, as the raccoon was the party’s symbol, and it also had associations with frontiersmen (who stereotypically wore raccoon-skin caps), which probably ultimately was the source of the Whig Party sense (the party’s 1840 campaign was built on a false image of wealthy William Henry Harrison as a rustic frontiersman).

        The now-insulting U.S. meaning “black person” was in use by 1837, said to be from barracoon (by 1837), from Portuguese barraca “slave depot, pen or rough enclosure for black slaves in transit in West Africa, Brazil, Cuba.” If so, no doubt this was boosted by the enormously popular blackface minstrel act Zip Coon (George Washington Dixon) which debuted in New York City in 1834. But it is perhaps older (one of the lead characters in the 1767 colonial comic opera “The Disappointment” is a black man named Raccoon).

        Also, in Western U.S., “a person” generally, especially a sly, knowing person (1832). Coon’s age is 1843, American English, probably an alteration of British a crow’s age. (Crows are famously long-lived. Compare Greek tri-koronos “long-lived,” literally “having three times the age of a crow.” But raccoons are not.) Gone coon (1839) was used of a person who is in a very bad way or a hopeless condition. also from 1742”

        The use of the word coon was never popular in America except amongst uneducated, poor, whites, who become frustrated at their inability to make good in a modern information- and technology-based society and needing a scapegoat to put down in order feel better about their own pitiful circumstances and inability to get ahead. They see Blacks getting ahead using Affirmative Action and wonder: “how come I can’t get a free ride” after being given every advantage and still failing, forced to live in houses with wheels, often with dirty, poor, uneducated children all over the place. The trend for white trash to use the word coon as demeaning to African Americans begins in the 1820’s, mostly by rural rednecks, peaks in the 1910’s and then decreases in frequent usage until 2008 when America elects it’s first Black President and the word coon is reborn into the lexicon of the great white unwashed. In 2020, usage again peaks, this time amongst Republican white, under-educated, lower income, frustrated folk as white extremists are courted by the Republican party, emboldened by the Republican President, come out in hoards to burn down the Capitol and Democracy touting the word “coon” in everyday discourse, yet still at 50% of the popularity from the 1910’s.

        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson … You history is a bit flawed … or at least incomplete. And your closing shows a tendency to spin all discussion to mendacious partisan spin. Let me first say that I abhor stereotyping pejoratives. Referring to blacks as “coons” is a degrading insult — and not commonly heard by most folks. Despite you partisan spin, i spend a lot of time with Republicans and virtually never hear the terms “coon” used. Larry Kuhn is an unfortunate exception. If you want to look at racial pejoratives from a partisan view … during my years in Chicago I found that the n-word was used much more by Democrats than Republicans,

          In terms of the use of “coon,” it was very popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In fact, black face minstrels would do “coon songs” and would be billed as “coon shouters.” The latter was applied to those — with our without blackface — who sang in black style or in the style of blackface minstrels. In the 1934 version if Showboat, the sign outside the theater billed the movie character as a “Coon Shouter.”

          In any case, pejoratives are not the fare of civil discourse. In my family, such language was never allowed by my parents … and never allowed by me as a father. We Horists are not prejudiced people … so we do not engage in prejudicial language in public or private.

          Pejoratives come out of prejudice — and prejudice comes out of stereotyping. And stereotyping of any group is always wrong. That is why I often write about the evil of identity politics because it is based on stereotyping and prejudices — and promotes pejorative language. It does not promote respect as is often claimed by its proponents.

          • frank stetson

            Great reply Larry, nice historical addition and you nailed me dead on for the off-the-rails, over the top, spinful ending. Wondered if you would catch that…..saracasm….for what it was —- wrongheaded. Just like the Kuhn was.

            And yeah, I never understood that minstrel thing, but folks gotta live and playing to the great unwashed, is still being done by orange-haired minstrels of the modern age. Still trying the figure out rapper’s using the n-word too. The justification never did it for me. Affirmative Word Action I guess.

            Just felt an appropriate response to the Kuhn-ster.

      • Tom

        Frank really dissed you Larry Coon!!!

    • Tom

      Frank, great story!!! Whew, I am glad your ancestors survived!! I do not know what Larry and I would do without you.

      Here in NC, they have “Jefferson Davis Day” which is usually celebrated the same time as Halloween although June 3 is the most popular day in the South as a holiday. There is Robert E Lee Day. I found this article that will answer what you ask. See at *https://www.axios.com/2023/01/16/mlk-day-states-confederate-holidays-slavery* I do not know of any northern states that celebrate southern soldier bravery.

      I have been to Gettysburg several times to visit the battlefield. I have seen where Picket charged. What an incredible act of following orders! When he got back from the charge, Lee asked him where his division was? Picket responded, “Sir, I have no more division.” PIcket and Lee never reconciled. Picket was never right again.

      My family did not get here until 1900’s due to WWI and that fun loving chess player they called “The Kaiser”.

  2. larry Horist

    Frank Stetson … Kudos to your ancestors. Mine arrived here after the Civil War from nations without slavery. On the other hand, my DNA confirms some Nigerian blood, so perhaps my ancestors were in the victim side of slavery. Will I be eligible for reparations?

    You ask about the other side of the Civil War. How do we honor them. We do not. Just as we are called to see the evil and sin of slavery as a permanent scar on the American experience — and one that we should remember and memorialize forever (much like the Holocaust), the role of the Democratic Party in defending slavery to the point of civil War — followed by more than 100 years of violent oppression against freed slaves and their ancestors — should also be remembered and memorialized. If slavery is to be embossed on America as an eternal shame — so should it be on the Democratic Party. Conversely, the role of the Republican Party should be eternally honored.

    I always find it curious that Democrats continue to honor Presidents Andrew Jackson (Jackson Day Dinners), Woodrow Wilson (the Wilson Center progressive think tank) and Franklin Roosevelt (endless tributes) — three avowed white supremacists and racist leaders.

    When the left calls for educating our children (and everyone else) with ALL of America’s racial history, they never want to put it ALL in the curriculum. Just their partisan version. That is the problem with CRT and the 1619 Project. I tend to fill in what they leave out.

    • frank stetson

      Larry/Frank, that was just the old set of ancestors, wife’s side that landed in MA before the revolution, headed West and stopped at the Hudson. Funny, they came South to NJ, seemed liberal, Democrats, but must have been Republicans back then…. My side was split, Dad’s were Irish not-quite-potato-famine at 1866 to the steel mills in Norristown and some Pennsylvania Dutch, most certainly not liberals, and Mom’s Slavic-pre-WWI 1910’s from Slovakia. Most certainly liberals. Funny, my grandmom, not a prejudiced bone, told me one time “nothing worse than a dumb polak,” which I found strange until I figured out it was her that was being called it. Worse than the slander was being mistaken for Polish, something most Slovaks would consider a double insult. My FIL travelled the world, before airliners, many times and impressed on me how everyone always hates someone and the North/South schism exists in many countries including his beloved Italy. One time, for fun, I told his joke about the Genovese and the Jew, to some clients from Belgium. It’s basically making fun of the tightwad nature, but in this case, it’s the Genovese, not the Jew, who is the target, for some turnabout. Totally unfunny, the folks from Belgium knew exactly the stereotype I has nailing Genoa for. Go figure, the world’s the same all over, but different…. But he concluded one thing: no one likes the Muscovite. He too, had zero prejudice so….think about it….

      And yes Larry, it’s all about the Democrats and how, in your mind, for Democrats, the sins of the father are conveyed to the sons for multiple generations tainting today’s Democrats and absolving Republicans from their recent associations with extremists, racists, and white supremacists. We get you Larry, it’s our fault and the current generation still holds the blame for the entire nation’s shame while you retain your lofty place of perfection —– at least in your own mind.

      Apparently Larry, they are still honored throughout the South, but I was hoping for a more general, more grass roots homage just to the bravery of the boys, the honor of some of the leaders. I even wonder how we save the Stars n Bars in that it speaks you our nature to rebel against authority, against overwhelming odds, for our belief, albeit misplaces, in freedom for the people. Just seems we could find even a better, national, way to do that.

      I have the same issue with FDR, the father of the modern Democratic party and a complete chickenshit about racism where he knew what was right and still knuckled under to the powerbrokers, who felt it was OK to be racist. As much as I respect his programs, I have come to believe so what, the man was a racist, but worse yet, a wimp because he knew better, he knew what was right, he clearly made an ill-informed choice so he could retain the throne. Tear down those statues…. Change that HWY name…. I can no longer reconcile the programs with the prejudice. Nor can I explain it away except to say he was weak, he made mistakes, and this was his biggest.

      Interesting Tom, I have walked, biked, most of Gettysburg, even slept on a Confederate Hospital grounds, well — spent the night, not a lot of sleeping :>). I walked Picket’s march — it’s freaking tough, looks flat, but steady uphill. I stood on the rock wall facing Picket and thought: “bwhaaaaat, these rednecks done be crazy.” It looks like a Turkey shoot. I climbed Little Roundtop (well, tried to bike it, then walked the bike). Did similar at Antietam which I find to be the more powerful of the two. I owned a house that was just below South Mountain, that’s the battle where the Union guy finds the Southern’ guys battleplans on a cigar wrapper and recognizes the written of his old friend he is about to cut apart with this info….. And the Gettysburg Union side probably walked right done my lane on their way. The original house was burned about the time of Gettysburg, my version was built next door on it’s remaining timbers a year after the war.

      So, even though I have pretty much written off FDR, thank you summer of Floydsters…. I would love to find a way to bring him back, to enjoy the Stars n Bars, on occasion, and perhaps even research Jeb Stewart, just haven’t figured out how to do that.

      • larry Horist

        Frank Stetson … Did you just address a response to me and YOURSELF? You need to understand, that when I speak of Democrat racist policies of the past — and today — I do so to push back on the disinformation propagated by the current Democratic Party and its obvious responsibility for the tragic de facto racism that is iconic in the cities the Party has controlled for generations. I believe that the vast majority of Americans are NOT racists — and that includes Democrats, Republicans and independents, But do believe that the modern Democratic Party re-writes their history and distracts from their own culpability in today’s systemic racism that has maintained segregation and second-class citizenship of millions of black Americans. You are typical of Democrats and the media that turns a blind eye to the deadly and destructive racism rampant in Democrat-run cities and point to concocted Republican racism as a distraction. My intent is to pierce the Democrats’ smoke screen on the issue. With out distraction and whataboutism … can you amidst that the system ed facto racism is prevalent in such Democrats cities as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Philadelphia, etc etc.??? How do you explain that reality?

        • frank stetson

          Larry, Joe, Frank, Tom, all us old guys look alike…..to younger folks….. And yes, meant Larry/Joe.

          Well, as long as it’s pushback, it’s OK to throw useless stones….not. I think we have walked this road before and while I agree that systemic racism exists across the land implemented in the way you mention and much, much more, I have stated, and IMO, proved, that it’s not just the Democrats, it’s not just the cities, and it is real – not de facto. My point is that there is no Republican controlled city that the same things are not happening, nor an Republican controlled State where it does not happen. The rules, regulations, and laws that create this are pretty much the same, city to city and state-to state. Most is purposeful but it may be more economic that racial as in NIMBY. Doesn’t matter, the effect is the same: systemic racism.

          “You are typical of Democrats and the media that turns a blind eye to the deadly and destructive racism rampant in Democrat-run cities and point to concocted Republican racism as a distraction.” Fuck you Larry, and please, take it personally. I am not a typical Democrat. I am not synonymous with the media. And I have told you right here, that you changed my mind, and I agree that systemic racism exists as you have noted. So, fuck you if you please. I just take it farther and say it’s all of us ——-not just the Democrats as you cleave citizens in order to believe.

          Republicans always need a boogyman to blame. You love to choose Democrats to lift your Republican spirits high that you are better, we are worse. Fact is we are all citizens and whether BLM or Trumplicant, we often act the same. We have only to look at the arrests of the Republican Insurrection at the Capitol. to see all the extremists and racists readily accepted at any Republican rally in the land. These are a significant voting block of the Republican Party and you must offer them something they like. Sure, we have BLM which means your Democrats-did-you-wrong is still not gaining significant traction even with the aggrieved constituency. You harken back to days of old when Southern Democrats held slaves, however —- slavery could be found in the North too, about 10% of all slaves are held there; the stronghold of Republicans then. You harken back to days of old when Lincoln the Republican was your man. Lincoln was also the biggest liberal the nation has ever seen, do you still own that too. Today the Proud Boys work for Republicans. Today, the Oath Keepers work for Republicans. Republicans like you go speak to them at their events, they speak at your events, they come to your leaders for fancy dinners and such, and not one of them says: “I used to be a Democrat……”

          He who lives in a glass house, should not throw the first stone. Especially if those Democrats do not exist today NOR it it just the Democratic cities in America where systemic racism remains. It’s all of America Larry.

          Can’t wait not to see the book…..

          As to your bait, sure I will take it. I explain that system racism exists in those cities just as it exists in more every town, county, city, state in America. Even Florida.

          • frank stetson

            I will add that you actually got a few comments that were not personally caustic in before this one…..was hopeful it might last.

          • larry Horist

            Framk Stetson … It is true I am weary of the personal bicker. But you recognition of that fact did not stop you from comparing me to Putin as a couple of idiots in a recent post. And you have been a master of personal insults. You seem to be projecting agains.

          • frank stetson

            Is this the punishing demeaning name-calling you allude to: “Amazing how he waxes Putin poetic pending punishing counterattacks and yet can’t man-up to mention Biden’s part in all this. Biden is the one who allowed allies to train and ultimately provide US F16’s to Ukraine. Come on man, you’ve got a emotional problems on this one. BIDEN BIDEN BIDEN. Russia to put tactical nukes in Belarus, but I know, little nukes no bother Larry.”

            That’s in comparison to your: ““You are typical of Democrats and the media that turns a blind eye to the deadly and destructive racism rampant in Democrat-run cities and point to concocted Republican racism as a distraction” blaming ME for US racism, calling me a typical Democrat, linking me to the media with a blind eye.

            Tit for tat: hardly.

            Like I said, the last few comments have been fair, and then you went into backup mode after this tame Russian commentary how you wax putin poetic but leave Biden out of the Ukraine success equation.

            It’s a choice Larry. Carry on.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson …. No, that is not what I referred to. I was referring to this one. “the concept of limited nuclear war only exists in idiots like Putin and Larry.” Of course you were writing under the “f” nom de plume. And this one … “Fuck you Larry, and please, take it personally.” that your penned under you Frank Stetson screen name. I guess you are having memories problems.

  3. Miles collins

    Speaking of affirmative action, the scotus is going to flush it down the toilet and rightfully so.

  4. Andy

    So wonderful to see at the folks here on this thread embracing Larry’s message so openly. It’s far past time that we all openly recognize the lost cause of the south, the abhorrence of slavery, It’s responses like this that give me hope for the country.

  5. John Briggs

    The government wants to appease a certain group of voters in order to keep that voter group on their side. How many national holidays do we create before they mostly become ineffectual. They do not want July 4th. Once their date is established, they will attempt to expunge July 4th which is “the white holiday.” I will not sponsor this unnecessary holiday.

  6. Joseph S. Bruder

    What I find ironic, is that Larry wants to take a holiday that no whites ever heard of until around 2016, and co-opt it for his ultra-conservative racist/mysogynist/Christian Republican Party. This would be the same Republican Party that came out against Black Lives Matter protests, has fought civil rights legislation tooth and nail for the last 50 years, continually dismantled voting rights also in the last 40-50 years, blocked entire religious groups (who also happen to be non-white) from coming to our country, and led an effort to overthrow a duly elected President and instead give the presidency to a criminal and traitor to the country.

    Yes, the leading political party in the North during the Civil war was the Republican Party, as they like to call it “the Party of Lincoln”. And the majority of voters in the south (and much of the midwest as well) were Democrats. What Larry like to ignore (always) is that Nixon and Reagan started the “Southern Strategy” of demonizing blacks, taking away voting rights, and using abortion to pull in white religious groups. The result was that in the 1970’s, the entire make-up of the Democratic and Republican parties swapped members, with all the conservative racists and misogynists moving to the Republican Party and liberal and enlightened people moved into the Democratic Party. Larry has been stuck in the Republican Party of the 1950’s while they try to dismantle all of the gains of the following 50 years.

    Larry wants to steal Juneteenth for whites in the Republican Party, the very people who deserve it the least. Larry Kuhn perfecty exmplifies the current makeup of the Party. Let blacks have their Juneteenth celebration and be happy for them. They built a large part of our country and deserve it.

    • Carol

      Remember lefty, Democrat party is the party of slavery. As far as I’m concerned, Negros can have Juneteenth . . Just try to remember who fought and died to free slaves. It certainly wasn’t and isn’t democrats.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      It was a Republican Congress that passed the Civil Rights bill in the 1960’s. And it was Democrats who insisted on the “3/5ths” legislation that made black votes 3/5 as valuable as white votes. If you are not happy with your Democrat legacy you should start a new political party. Until then, you own it. I’m a bit pissed about Juneteenth as well, if you think about it you will know why.

      And by the way, you may want to know that Larry adopted and raised several black kids (in addition to his being .1% Nigerian…).

      • Mike f

        Joe-As per usual, you need to go back to school. Congress (both the house and the senate) was controlled by the democrats from 1955-1981, so the statement that “civil rights legislation was passed by republicans” is an outright lie. There were definitely republicans who voted for it, and there were democrats who voted against it (as this was before Nixon reached out to the southern democrats), but it was legislation that passed during democrats control of both houses. And your comment about 3/5 count, while historically accurate, overlooks the fact that between the time of the civil war the composition of republicans and democrats has shifted-when the Republican Party was formed it was the liberal party, and Lincoln arguably our most liberal president ever…

        • larry Horist

          Mike f …It is you who need to go back to school and get educated. I will try to help with your remedial education. Here is a excerpt from my upcoming book. The first civil rights bills since Reconstruction were passed by Eisenhower and congressional Republicans in 1957 and 1960. Here is the play-by-play on the 1964 Civil Rights ACT from my book manuscript. The 1965 Voting Rights Act was drafted and introduced in the Senate by Republican Senator Dirksen. It only passed because of the overwhelming support of the Republicans.

          “Civil Rights Bill of 1964

          Per the Kennedy Library official website:

          “He (Johnson) used his connections with southern white congressional leaders, and with the assistance of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department and the outpouring of emotion after the president’s assassination, the Civil Rights Act was passed as a way to honor President Kennedy.”

          Although the library implies that Johnson used his connections to gain the support of southern white congressional leaders, it must be noted that his efforts were an abysmal failure. Even with the power of the White House and a long reputation for getting what he wanted in Congress, Johnson could not win over nearly enough of his southern colleagues in the House and Senate to pass the legislation – and there was always the issue of a filibuster.

          In his Election Realignment and the Outlook for the American Democracy, Arthur Paulson notes that (emphasis added):
          “… most of the opposition to the Civil Rights bill came from southern Democrats. At the start of the debate on the bill that summer, Jim Crow was still alive and living almost entirely within the Democratic Party.”
          Paulson further noted that”

          “… on the congressional roll calls on the civil rights bill, the Republicans still looked like the party of Lincoln. In both houses, the Republican majorities for the bill were larger than the Democrat majorities.”

          Paulson pointed out that the Democrats were split, with southern Democrats driving the greatest opposition to the bill, but “the Republican majorities for civil rights in the summer of 1964 were overwhelming.”

          Of the 93 members of Congress in the southern Democrat delegation, only seven voted in favor of Johnson’s Civil Rights Act, and four of the seven came from Texas, where Johnson could have been expected to exert his strongest influence over old friends. Johnson’s closest friend and ally, Albert Thomas, was among the four to break with tradition and vote in favor of the civil rights bill.

          The 1964 Civil Rights Act was on its way to passage thanks to the critical support of the Republican leadership in Congress. As the JFK Library website noted:

          “…the comprehensive civil rights bill cleared several hurdles in Congress and won the endorsement of House and Senate Republican leaders.”

          The Senate

          While passing the bill by a simple majority was fairly certain, there was less certainty if there were the sufficient 67 votes to bring cloture to the Dixiecrat’s likely filibuster. This was not an unreasonable fear since never had the Senate mustered sufficient votes to cut off a filibuster of a civil rights bill.

          The ever-eloquent Senate Republican Leader Dirksen was also the first in the Senate to rise to speak in favor of the bill, saying the law was needed:

          ” … if the unequivocal mandate of the 15th Amendment … is to be enforced and made effective, and if the Declaration of Independence is to be made truly meaningful.”

          Democrats Fail to Block the Civil Rights Bill.

          Despite their diminished influence, the southern segregationist Democrats continued in their long tradition of opposing civil rights legislation. Once again, they resorted to the filibuster. On June 9th, West Virginia’s Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, a segregationist Democrat and one-time KKK organizer, took the floor to launch the Dixiecrats’ filibuster. He spoke for more than 14 hours before there was a call for a cloture vote to force the end to the filibuster.

          Despite his racist KKK background, Democrats in the Senate, both southern and northern, elected Byrd to serve in leadership in the Senate until his retirement in 2010. Ignoring his long racist record, the Senate Democrats would laud him as a great leader and the “conscience” of the Senate.

          Republican Dirksen Leads Fight to End Filibuster

          Republican Dirksen rose to make the argument for cloture. The official United States Senate website described the Illinois Senator’s comments.

          “Noting that the day marked the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s nomination to a second term, the Illinois Republican [Dirksen] proclaimed, in the words of Victor Hugo, ‘Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come.’ He continued, ‘The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing in government, in education, and in employment. It will not be stayed or denied. It is here!’”

          Democrat Attempts to Weaken the Civil Rights Bill

          If they could not defeat the bill in a floor vote, could not bury it in committee or block it with a filibuster, Senate Democrats made every effort to water it down through the amendment process. North Carolina Democrat Sam Ervin (who would later gain fame presiding over the Watergate hearings that brought down President Richard Nixon) offered an amendment to remove a provision that would automatically trigger federal involvement in specific cases of discrimination in favor of arbitrary decisions by southern federal judges.

          The Cloture

          The cloture vote was essential to the passage of the Act. Eighty-two percent of the Senate Republicans voted in favor of cloture while only 66 percent of Democrats supported ending the Democrat filibuster.

          When the final bill came up to a vote, 82 percent of the Republicans supported the bill, but only 69 percent of the Democrats. In the house, the Republicans supported the bill by 80 percent and the Democrats could muster only 63 percent for a bill ostensibly supported by the past two Democrat presidents.

          Without the overwhelming support of the GOP, the cloture vote would have failed, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would have been blocked from passage for another generation. This represented the first time that a Democrat filibuster of a civil rights bill was successfully defeated by a cloture vote and the credit belongs to Republican Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois.

          The reputation of Kennedy, Johnson and the Democratic Party as the proponents of civil rights is an ironic legacy. In many ways, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did little more than restore powers and provisions that Kennedy, Johnson and the Democrats in Congress had removed from the Republican’s 1957 and 1960 civil rights acts. The 1964 Act closed some of the loopholes that had enabled the Dixiecrats to avoid compliance – particularly those provisions that would have enabled the Justice Department to enforce the rights of black citizens.

          The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was officially enacted on July 2, 1964. Time Magazine honored Illinois Republican Senator Everett Dirksen with its cover for his key role.”

    • larry Horist

      Joseph S Bruder … You are so full of … well you know. Perhaps YOU never heard of Juneteenth until 1960, but a lot of us white conservatives were very aware of it. Perhaps you function behind the impenetrable wall of leftwing hypocrisy. You also are ignorant in you leftwing mantra about that so-called Nixon southern strategy. Nixon was very pro civil rights. He was a close friend of Martin Luther King, who supported him in 1960. There are letters from MLK praising Nixon for his push to pass the civil rights acts of 19567 and 1960. Are you not aware of Nixon’s affirmative action legislation. Democrats controlled the south well past the Nixon years in the White House. Nixon lost the south in the 1968 election and won it in 1972 largely because he won virtually every state over George McGovern. That “southern strategy” you talk about is leftwing propaganda — and folks ignorant of the FACTS consume it like Kool Aid. And like a captive mind on the left, you push back on my commentary applauding the celebration of Juneteenth and noting that we ALL should celebrate. But you want it to be maintained as a divisive occasion to misuse as a cudgel on you personal political enemies. Shame on your for wallowing in your manifest ignorance and political biases.

      • Mike f

        Larry, Mu comment to Joe stands, all of the bills you mention were passed during a democrat congress. And your comments above regarding the ‘southern solution’ being propaganda is total BS. The south has turned Republican, and while you hate to admit it-because the democrats have embraced civil rights, the racists have fled the democrats and now vote Republican. Your leadership does nothing to stop their support-proof if you need it, comments made by trump after Charlottesville marcher waving their tiki torches and chanting “you will not replace us” referring to jews, and trumps comments about ‘many fine people on both sides’. You have hour head in the sand regarding your party and civil rights-it is not the same as it was 60 years ago….

        • larry Horist

          Mike f … As I suspected. You have no interest in the facts and are uneducable — proving once again that you are not the brightest guy posting on PBP. I have to give you and “F” in history.

          • frank stetson

            Or ineducable if you are modern and relevant :>)

            Not that there’s anything wrong with being old and arcane.

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson …. Really?? First of all, “uneducable” and “ineducable'” both pass spellcheck and Webster. Using it — and you own evaluation of usage — as yet another personal insult does require a re-examination of another word. “Petty” is insufficient to describe your level of discourse. Perhaps “hyper-petty” would do? And I thought the typewriter smiley faces went out with emojis … old man.

    • John Patterson

      Great comment, pointing out the hypocrisy of saying that Republicans ended slavery. Until Nixon, the dominant party in the South – pushing Jim Crow, outrageous literacy test (a white would be asked to spell “cow”, while a black would be asked to offer a discourse on the entire Constitution), separate entrances and drinking fountains, … , were Republicans.

      When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1965, he stated that he had lost the South for the Democratic Party for a generation. Unfortunately, he greatly underestimated!

      • larry Horist

        John Patterson … Are you kidding … or just the most ill-informed person in America. Everything you said above is untrue and ass backwards. It was the Republican Party that fought for abolition, issued the Emancipation Proclamation and fought a war to end slavery. Jim Crow, literacy test, segregations were the acts of southern Democrats — that oppressed and killed blacks for more than a century after the civil War. It was the Democrats who mounted the Massive Resistance Movement to school desegregation. It was the Democrats who voted down civil rights legislation and use the filibuster against it. Etc. Etc. Etc. No one … except you … disputes those facts. You lack of knowledge of basic history is astounding.

        • frank stetson

          And NOW it’s the Republican Party that COURTS white supremacists and extremists. It’s the Republican Party speaking at their events. It’s the Republican Party inviting over for some vittles.

          Tell us about the past one more time Mr. Horist, because in the present: while all Republicans are not racists, most racists vote Republican, if they vote at all. When I look at the Republicans convicted for their Republican Insurrection at the Capitol on 1.6.2021, I see lots of white supremacists and extremists. And they had a field day doing the same at State Capitols across the land during 2020 including Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan and others…..

          But if you want to lambast a group for supporting slavery, why stick with Democrats —- why not call it what it is: THE SOUTH. The same South that supported slavery is supporting abortion bans today. Irony or similarity?

          Living in the past won’t correct the present that is destroying the future for the Republican Party.

        • Joseph S. Bruder

          Regardless of the evidence in front of you, Larry, you are still stuck in the 1960’s. The world has changed – Republicans are “the Party of Lincoln” in name only. The Democrats have siezed the high ground, and the racists and misogynists and religious bigots have fled to a Republican Party with open arms. It’s the Republicans who steal elections now, by gerrymandering, by limiting voting times and locations in minority communities, by outright conspiracies to defraud the voters. The Republican Party has been taken over by soul-less corporations, whose greed drives everything. Billionaires are buying Supreme Court Justices, pretty much out in the open. The Republican Party is on a path to destroy this country and the entire planet… and you don’t see it. In your head, you see the Republican Party of the 1960’s, which you’ve brought up yet again in your reply. You … just … don’t … get … it.

          A lot of things happened in the between the 1860’s and the 1960’s… Sometime after the Emancipation Proclamation and Juneteenth and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments – Blacks were doing very well for themselves… and then slave owners and Confederate soldiers and supporters were given back the right to vote, and they took it all away over the next 100 years. And now, after the 1960’s, Republicans are using voting laws and the courts to take away the rights of blacks, women, and gays. Your Republican Party, Larry. Trump and about 50 other Republican members of Congress tried to cheat and lie and steal an election so they could continue to take away rights. Your Republican Party, Larry. Not the Democrats of the last 50 years, the Republicans of the last 50 years. Don’t get all so high and mighty about what the Democrats did in the past, when the Republicans NOW are much worse.

          And it must gall Old Joe tremendously that Juneteenth has co-opted his birthday. Now black people have the center stage for his entire birthday, and he just can’t stand it. The nerve of those people! Celebrating on the day they were actually freed, and not on the day that Lincoln proclaimed it. Like the 4th of July never applied to them, or President’s Day wasn’t good enough, they had to have MLK day instead. And they get a whole month for Black History! Why isn’t there White History month? Old Joe, we’ve heard all your arguments before, so just suck it.

          • larry Horist

            Joseph S. Bruder … Like a couple others who respond, you seem to be more focused on attacking me and my opinions than using you brain for comprehension and critical analyses. First, I do not entirely disagree with you that the remaining elements of the white supremacists nutcases lean toward the GOP these days — although I think a good case can be made that they are bipartisan or not partisan in their hateful ideology. I also believe that Trump has not represented the GOP’s historic stand on racial issues — as did Bush when he called out and kicked out David Duke, who flipped back and forth from Dem to GOP. I specifically wrote a commentary on Trump’s honoring Andrew Jackson when he first took office. Trump not Jackson. Trump fumbled the ball on racism and has kept fumbling. BUT … he does not represent the Republican view. What I push back on is the smear half the nation with slanderous accusations.

            As far as an attack on voting rights, I think that is a Dem talking point — and a total canard. And I expose the Dem hypocrisy for the CONTEMPORARY de facto intuitional racism in the major segregated cities that is far more damaging, deadly and oppressive than you voting rights bs. Dems ignore their complicity in that just like they ignored Jim Crow in the south. What exists in our cities is the last vestiges of the old prejudices and oppressions against the oppressed black population. You and other empower that distraction with petty accusations.

            Sorry Joe … I am not living in the 1960s. My experiences with Democrat racism is as new as AI. You, I suggest, I living in an alternative reality. You are refusing to look and absorb what is really going on in term of race relations … and the history, I am merely pointing to that which you and others want to conceal.

            Judging from what you write, I have to wonder if you have had any experience with the black population in major cities — or are just pontificating from your off-the-grid exclusion in the wilderness — physical and mental.

  7. CJ

    I think that having this holiday is a testimony to the people that were slaves, but it should NOT in anyway take the place of July 4th!

    Also, I feel that make reparations to the people who are alive today, who have never been slaves, or there parents or grandparents, or even their great grandparents, is belittling the blood spilled by 600,000 mostly white soldiers that fought to free their ancestors!

    • Tom

      I checked my calendar and in NC we still celebrate July 4th. And Juneteenth is in June. So I think you are safe buddy!

      • larry Horist

        Tom … that is a silly response. Too cute. Do you believe that American unity is as it was in our earlier days? Being on the calendrer is not the issue. How many flags did you see flying on Flag Day — and that is still on the calendar.

    • larry Horist

      CJ .. You make a good point, I see the general disrespect for the symbols of American unity — the flag, Pledge of Allegiance, and holidays — as indicative of the collapse of American culture of unity. That is why I think we need to celebrate Juneteenth as a NATIONAL holiday — as a symbol of national unity and consensus, not a my holiday/their holiday thing.

  8. Robin W Boyd

    Celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S. is a celebration all American citizens should regard. Unfortunately, Progressives pushing their woke agenda to divide the nation by any means they can think up, made the end of slavery just one more way to push racism. That same Progressive ideology has now brought slavery back to the U.S. as foreign cartels enslave illegal immigrants they bring into the U.S.

  9. John Patterson

    I need to add one comment. Juneteenth did not end slavery in the United States entirely. It ended slavery completely in the Confederate states, but not in all Union States. Kentucky and Maryland continued to have slavery until December, 1865 when the required number of states ratified the 13th Amendment.

    The 13 Amendment was introduced in 1864, and was ratified by the House and Senate and signed by President Lincoln in 1864, at which time it was introduced to the states – only Union, non-traitorous states were allowed to vote – for ratification.

    Once 3/4’s of the Union states ratified the 13th Amendment, it became part of the Constitution, and slavery was outlawed in the entire United States. This occurred on December 1, 1865.

    Prior to the addition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in December, 1865, slavery remained legal in Kentucky and Maryland – complete with all of the horrors of slavery. This is really the only reason that I sometimes regret having grown up in Kentucky.

  10. frank stetson

    Larry Joe —- we get it: juneteenth good for all, no good for anyone, democrats fault, democrats still bad due to legacy, even allowing mexican cartels to create US slavery all over again while republicans saved the day in the 1860’s, in the 1960’s, and now are shooting for the 2060’s…..

    too bad you have difficultly in convincing the national voters to agree with your feelings for facts.

    If Republicans so good then why are so many being locked up for decades for their “goodness” for their 1.6.2021 actions, many of which included racist remarks against Blacks? How many Blacks were arrested in that affair? How many Democrats?

    Did Democrats cause a Republican rally to storm the Capitol? Nope, we do baseball games. Did Democrats storm the Idaho Statehouse over vaccinations in August of 2020; did Democrats storm the Oregon statehouse with an ar-15 over the pandemic response; or the Michigan Statehouse? Did Democrats for Trump storm Capitols in Georgia, New Mexico, scuffle with police in Ohio and California over the vote?

    Maybe you should grade today’s political parties based on today’s leaders and their actions. How do you grade a Bobert, Greene, BIggs, Gosar, Hawley and Gaetz — these people are not only extreme in viewpoint, not only in concurrence with extremist group positions and views, they even have personal and professional affiliations with white supremacist and extremist groups. What does that say about the modern Republican Party that these fine folks, at minimum, forced the pick of your Speaker.

    I just don’t think history is ever as binary in choices as you seem to. I don’t tend to push sins of the father’s onto the children five generations onward into the future. I find strength in diversity, weakness in uniformity, especially forced — in either direction.