While many like to think that we live in a post-racist society, that is unfortunately untrue. Systemic racism still affects people of color in a multitude of ways. For example, Coronavirus rates are higher in communities of color, the median weekly income for Black people is much lower than for white people, and Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested, convicted, and sentenced to a longer time in prison. One of the current issues of systemic racism that have spurred large protests today is police brutality. In the wake of current Black Lives Matter protests over the murders of black people throughout the U.S., it is important to recognize the racist history of the United States and orient ourselves towards a more equitable future.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Independence Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Although Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official on January 1, 1863, there were not enough Union soldiers in Texas to enforce it. Thus, the message was delayed until June 19, 1865. Now, black Americans celebrate Juneteenth across the country; however, June 19th has yet to be recognized as a federal holiday. A group of Democratic Senators announced their plan to introduce the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which would make Juneteenth a federal holiday. One of the group members, Senator Cory Booker explained, “Juneteenth is about reclaiming our history, rejoicing in the progress we’ve made, and recommitting to the work yet undone. Our nation still has a long way to go to reckon with and overcome the dark legacy of slavery and the violence and injustice that has persisted after its end. Making Juneteenth a federal holiday represents a step forward in the journey of healing America is still taking.” Sign this petition to show your support for making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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Petition: Show Support For Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

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