<Rant> Hearing Vice President Kamala Harris describe Juneteenth on the radio made me feel much more pride than I’d thought. Pride that this country from this moment forward has a holiday grounded in acknowledging the moment when this country began to truly aspire to its better natures. We don’t celebrate independence from a foreign ruler, we celebrate the beginning of this country’s journey to achieving the ideals put forth in the constitution for ALL Americans, not a lucky few.
Do not be fooled by the celebrations though. That journey is far from over and the struggle continues for true justice and recognition of systemic oppression. The freeing of the slaves, ending of Jim Crowe, ending segregation, and the election of our first black president do not, and did not end racism and oppression in the United States. Recent economic data suggests that some metrics for African Americans in our economy ‘today’ are as bad or worse than during South African apartheid. The ever present struggle of minority communities with policing, discrimination in the work place, and new phenomenon like climate change gentrification show that until humanity itself evolves, each of us has a duty to stay vigilant.
So while today is for rest and jubilation, we must all set aside more time to ensuring that all our brothers and sisters in the American experiment are indeed treated as equally as they were created.