Juntait may soon be recognized as a public holiday in Utah, thanks to a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The holiday will be celebrated on June 19, 1865, the day federal troops liberated the rest of the enslaved population in Galveston, Texas, more than two years after the Proclamation of Liberation came into force.
“June is considered the second Independence Day, which is celebrated in this country for more than 156 years,” he said. HB238 sponsored by representative Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, who also serves on the Commission for the Promotion of Diversity in the Utah education system.
Although the bill received much support, Hollins began her presentation to fellow lawmakers by addressing some of the issues raised earlier.
She said some wondered why the liberation celebration could not replace Columbus Day – also known as Indigenous Day – instead of adding an extra holiday to the calendar. Hollins declined to replace the day, saying it would be “very disrespectful” to indigenous peoples and Native Americans.
Although he said he had “absolutely no hostility” to Junt, Norman Thurston’s spokesman, R-Provo, said he was concerned about adding another public holiday because it could become another. an afternoon when people will not be able to access government services such as a driver’s license renewal or apply for Medicaid.
“If you look at the balance between pay and benefits and vacations, we now have low wages and high vacations,” Thurston said. “So it exacerbates the problem we have in the competition for labor. We give them benefits that are less valuable than the ones we need to attract (more) people. ”
“I was going to stand by and joke about how a lot of people probably like it when the government isn’t working. But the reality is this. This is very important to me, ”said spokeswoman Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan. “It’s of great importance in the climate when we talk so much about critical racial theory and what children shouldn’t be taught and what we recognize in our history. I think the Juneteenth is a perfect example of what we need to recognize and remember, and what can … unite us as people who all want to celebrate freedom. ”
National Independence Day was June established as a federal holiday last year. Some Utah lawmakers have said the holiday is a chance to celebrate the nation’s approach to equality.
“I think the sponsor also mentioned that it would be like the second Independence Day,” said spokeswoman Cheryl Acton, R-West Jordan. “And that’s really what Juntient is, because on the original Independence Day not everyone gained independence, but before Juntient all Americans were free from captivity.”
MP Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, said the Declaration of Independence “establishes a check that hasn’t been cashed in for decades” until the Declaration of Exemption.
“This is something we should always remember, regardless of race, regardless of our heritage,” he said.
The time before Emancipation was a time when “we didn’t live up to our ideals,” said Brady Bremer’s spokesman, R-Highland. He noted that some Americans were held in slavery for almost three years after signing the proclamation.
“We missed it,” he said. “This is a great sin of our country. … It is really worth noting that we have taken a step closer to the ideals we are trying to preserve and which we are trying to have for our country. “
“If a country is in line with its ideals or is really taking a big step in that direction, it should be noted,” Brammer continued. “And we need to tell our kids why we’re celebrating this, why this ideal is so important, and let them know that sometimes we don’t do everything perfectly, but we keep trying to be better every day.”
In her closing remarks in the hall, Hollins personally invited her fellow lawmakers to celebrate June 1 this summer, promising educational experiences, roundtable discussions and “some of the best … cuisines you’ve ever had.”
“Please support this bill. It’s very important to me, it’s very important to society, ”Hollins said. “And it’s not just the Black Community. We are talking about all our communities, because … it marks a turning point in our history. “
HB238 has passed House of Representatives 68-3 and must pass the Senate and be signed by the governor to take effect.