On Thursday, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ed Markey (D-MA) expressed their support for the imminent Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. In so doing, they intoned "systemic racism" and that this "independence day" would be not just a celebratory holiday but one that "acknowledges pain and suffering."
"Juneteenth unquestionably deserves a place among our nation's most important celebrations, but it will be a day of remembrance as well as a day of celebration," Schumer said.
"Like MLK day, it will be a day for Americans to reflect on the great unfinished businesses of our society, the long march to achieve full justice for all our citizens," he said.
"By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, we're recognizing the sins of the past, grappling with them, teaching them and learning from them as we work towards a more perfect union."
"It'll be the only federal holiday that recognizes the terrible legacy of slavery, as well as the noble truth that none of us are free until we are all free."
Senator Ed Markey joined Schumer, saying "Today, we join together to celebrate a momentous day in American history. A step forward for racial equality and a clarion call for us to do even more."
"A day in which we finally acknowledge our nation's ugly past, and which we re-commit to fixing the injustices which our country still faces."
"Today, we celebrate the Senate passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, and come one step closer to commemorating Juneteenth as a federal holiday," Markey said.
"And, this afternoon, the House of Representatives is poised to take a vote, and send our legislation one step closer to President Biden's desk," he continued.
"For far too long, the story of our nation's history has been incomplete. The truth has been hidden, as we have failed to acknowledge, address and come to grips with our nation's original sin of slavery."
"We cannot ignore the ugly toll that it took, and we cannot turn away as it continues to worsen inequality and injustice for black Americans today. The disparate treatment and mistreatment of black and brown Americans still permeates our society."
"It affects our courts, our schools, our hospitals and our places of work. It reflects the unfulfilled promise of a nation built upon the notion that all are created equal, and it has its roots in our nation's original sin: slavery, a crime against humanity that we have for far too long failed to full acknowledge, address and come to grips with."
"Juneteenth is the holiday that fills that gap in our history, that recognizes the wrong that was done, that acknowledges the pain and the suffering of generations of slaves and their descendants, and it finally celebrates their freedom."
President Biden is expected the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act Into law later on Thursday or by the week's end, assuming it passes the House of Representatives without a hitch.
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