Many Americans celebrated Juneteenth this week, marking the second year that it has been included as an official national holiday.
Celebrities from all walks of life took to social media with messages of support and solidarity with descendents of slaves in Texas who were freed on that date in 1865.
Among those who offered such a tweet was former children’s TV host Bill Nye.
The United States we know today was built with the labor of enslaved Black Americans. The last were not freed (officially) until 19 June 1865. Let us celebrate— and never forget. pic.twitter.com/AtfgkoZ3FN
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) June 19, 2022
Nye, who has become a shameless mouthpiece for the far left in recent years, clearly thought he was sharing a deeply profound bit of commentary.
Many eagle-eyed critics, however, found fault with multiple aspects of his short statement.
According to Fox News:
The post almost immediately sparked a backlash as several users disagreed that Juneteeth ended slavery.
June 19th commemorates the day that U.S. General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 — and shared the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had been passed two years earlier. The Civil War had ended two months before June 1865.
Last year, Juneteenth became the nation’s 12th federal holiday through a 415-14 vote in the House of Representatives.
President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on June 17, 2021.
Here are a few of the many replies left in response to Nye’s post:
Actually, the final slaves weren’t freed in Kentucky and Delaware (@JoeBiden’s home state) until the 13th Amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865
— J. D. Peterson (@JakePeterson32) June 19, 2022
Please open that and let us what date the 13th amendment was ratified into the constitution that ended slavery once and for all.
Hint: it's not June 19th…..
— Mommar (@MisterCommodity) June 20, 2022
This is not accurate.
— “Max” (@MaxNordau) June 20, 2022
This is not true. Juneteenth doesn’t commemorate the 13th Amendment. It commemorates news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching Texas. Two union states had slavery until December 1865.
— InvestingLegend (@Investinglegend) June 20, 2022
As for what how Juneteenth gained prominence in recent years, CNN offered a brief review:
What began as an informal celebration of freedom by locals in Galveston eventually grew into a wider commemoration of the end of slavery as African Americans in Texas moved to other parts of the country. Today, many African Americans mark Juneteenth with parties, parades and gatherings with family and friends.
Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980. In addition to it being a federal holiday, all 50 states and Washington, DC, recognize Juneteenth in some form.
As Juneteenth has made its way into the mainstream, some activists and leaders point to the systemic inequities that Black Americans continue to face, such as the racial wealth gap, disproportionate incarceration and longstanding health disparities. One coalition of civil and human rights groups, in particular, is acknowledging the holiday by installing a pan-African flag in front of the White House and calling for a commission to study reparations.
Here’s how Joe Biden commemorated the national holiday on Twitter:
One year ago, I had the great honor of signing legislation to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday.
A day to celebrate, to educate, and to act. pic.twitter.com/HAOxXkibqQ
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 20, 2022