Are you pro-Juneteenth? Charles Payne is.
On Fox Business Friday, the host of Making Money with Charles Payne remarked on our new federal holiday, noting it reminds him of his mother.
As you know, not everyone’s enthused about Juneteenth becoming official.
RedState’s Jeff Charles is for it:
Here's my two cents on the Juneteenth debate.https://t.co/73wGDp5dk9
— Jeff Charles (@JeffOnTheRight) June 17, 2021
14 congressional Republicans? Not so much:
"There were 14 Republicans who voted against it, 14 conservative Republican white guys all voted that we should not commemorate the end of slavery in the United States," @Maddow says on the House passing a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. https://t.co/3lCyS2XHjB
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 20, 2021
As for Charles Payne, he’s sad that the commemoration’s “already being politicized or deliberately misconstrued even before the ink is dried.”
And, to the opposition:
“Nobody is confusing this with July 4th, Independence Day. And its creation belies the constant screams that this nation does not admit to its past, the good and the bad.”
“[W]e can never rewrite the past,” he pointed out, “and I don’t think we should…start trying to rewrite the past.”
To Charles, the holiday is about moving forward:
“Juneteenth allows us — I’m talking all Americans — to acknowledge the past while freeing us up, all, to look ahead. This is made possible by the wisdom of the framers of the Constitution, when they created that document, that would allow a new nation to overcome the largest hurdles and obstacles toward a just and prosperous society.”
“It was heartbreaking that it took two and a half years for those enslaved in Galveston, Texas, to learn that they’d already been freed,” he continued. “By the same token, the effort to make sure that they got the news, and they got their freedom in the first place, speaks to the driving undercurrent in American history to keep marching toward what is right, to keep marching toward a more perfect union.”
Charles spoke of tears of joy on the faces of those former slaves.
“[I] really doubt they spent a lot of time lamenting on how long it took to learn of the news, or even the plight of their bondage. I believe that they moved very quickly to embrace their new lives. And I think we, today, we should take their cue.”
We could definitely take that cue.
It seems to me that the nation is currently fixated on its past.
But I’m not sure that focus is meant as a means by which to let it go.
We appear not only to be at war with the past but also repeating it.
Meanwhile, whereas the country once claimed to have been enlightened by colorblindness, it’s now squarely facing the other direction.
From that comes a considerable question: How can we move forward if we can’t agree on which way that is?
Back to Charles. He sees America’s newest holiday as a sign of hope:
“I prefer to dwell on the fact that, in this country, we have fought and beaten the worst in human nature.”
And it reminds him of his mom, who moved forward – even when it was painful:
“When I think of Juneteenth, I also think of my mother. Born and raised in Uniontown, Alabama, she saw and lived through things that no longer happen in America. She was never bitter, and she hid the pain of her life the best she could, although she would cry on Sundays while she was listening to Mahalia Jackson or other gospel greats.”
“She raised us to seize the future and not be chained to the past,” he said. “Not to allow the bondage of yesteryear (to) stall our own potential, our own opportunities.”
That’s certainly great advice.
When Charles thinks of Juneteenth, he thinks “of freedom,” of “moving forward.”
He thinks of “the greatness of people that endured the harshest of human treatment to see their children enjoy those certain unalienable rights endowed by their Creator.”
Wouldn’t it be great if the nation was full of people who thought of those things when they thought of…America?
“Juneteenth is a good thing for all Americans,” Charles asserted. “So let’s all go out and seize the day.”
Yes – let’s seize it. And only in the good ways.
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