America needs to make July 4th – Independence Day – the one and only day
in the year when
ALL Americans celebrate our independence, our freedom, our unity, our diversity, and the blessings
that have allowed us to be such a magnificent nation. We need to make America’s Independence Day THE
day to rejoice in our unity while acknowledging the diversity of all those who comprise our beloved land.
We should all take to heart the title and the words of one of Woody Guthrie’s greatest songs –
“This Land is Your Land”. Part of the lyrics are:
This land is your land, and this land is my land
From the California to the Staten New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
And saw above me that endless skyway,
And saw below me the golden valley, I said:
This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
And all around me, a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.
When the sun come shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling;
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting:
This land was made for you and me. (Ref. 1)
America doesn’t need irrelevant and meaningless made-up holidays or special days, weeks or months,
such as Juneteenth Day or Black History Month. Why in heaven’s name is there such a thing as Black History
Month? In the first place, it should not be called Black History Month! If anything, it should be called
Black-Americans History Month, because the intention is to bring to America’s attention the history of Blacks in America.
It was never intended to focus our attention on the more significant history of Blacks in Africa or elsewhere around the
Juneteenth Day is another holiday that was made up to placate, assuage and appease one minority
group of Americans. Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas
in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people there were freed. Note that The troops’
arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is supposed
to mark the end to slavery in the United States. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.
Question: Why isn’t the day when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing ALL
slaves in ALL of America celebrated instead of the irrelevant day on which federal troops unofficially ended slavery
in just one state, Texas? The answer: America is rushing to placate, assuage and appease one minority group of
Americans. To the rest of Americans, Juneteenth is less than meaningless and irrelevant!
Instead of focusing its attention on individual minority groups, Americans should be working on
focusing attention on America as a whole, on the word UNITED in our identification as the UNITED States of
America. We do not need to emphasize what differentiates us, rather we need to concentrate on what unites us.
The simple act of identifying one minority group as special and giving to it honors and/or benefits
not accorded to other minority groups or to all other Americans sets that group up for the disrespect and animosity of those
other American who feel slighted and offended by this special attention. Other Americans ask: “Why them – why not
The struggle for equality in American society is part of the larger story of the fight for equal
rights for all minorities – women, native Americans, Mexican-Americans, Hispanics, Japanese, Chinese, Catholics, Jews, Irish,
Italians, Southeast Asians, Muslims and many others.
Rather than focusing on what divides America into its minorities, it behooves America to concentrate
on what unites us. So let’s make July 4th, America’s Independence Day, THE one day when ALL
Americans celebrate their independence and when we ALL can say thank you for being “one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Let’s all reinforce the message
that WE ARE ONE PEOPLE and WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Among those irrelevant “days”, “weeks” and “months” that appear on the list of “holidays” that are
celebrated in America these days are the following: Juneteenth Day, Black History Month, Kwanzaa, Lesbian Visibility Day,
Indigenous People’s Day, LGBT History Month, and Pride Month. Let’s replace all of these and the ones I’ve missed with
July 4th, America’s Independence Day. Let’s make July 4th the all-inclusive American Peoples Day that celebrates
every American, every American heritage, America’s diversity and inclusivity, and most simply the one holiday that celebrates
America – warts and all. Let’s get rid of all those other phony holidays that focus on America’s differences.
Instead, let’s emphasize what unites us.
With respect to Kwanzaa and Black History Month, let us note that Kwanzaa was an “invented” holiday to
give African-Americans something to celebrate at the end of the year when Christians celebrate Christmas and Jews celebrate
Kwanzaa is not a festival originating in any of the 55 African countries nor is it an "African"
Christmas celebration. Kwanzaa is an African-American invention. Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced the festival in 1966 to the
United States. He “created” this festival for Afro-Americans.
Instead of having an entire month devoted to Black history, it would benefit all of us if our young
people devoted their time and energy to studying and learning “history” rather than focusing on one small segment of history.
All Americans should be learning American history and not just Black history. Why a Black History Month and not an
Irish-American History Month or a Polish-American History Month or an Italo-American History Month, etc.? It’s become all
too clear than too many Americans are ignorant of their own history. Rather than having a Black History Month, let’s
designate one month in the calendar as the American History Month!
“There are eleven Federal Holidays recognized by the United States Government (5 U.S.C. 6103). On
these days, all non-essential government employees are off work and most government offices (including post offices) are
”States and private companies are not required to observe federal holidays, but most state and local
governments as well as many private businesses are also closed on these days.”
These eleven holidays are: 1. New Year's Day; 2. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; 3. Presidents’ Day; 4.
Memorial Day; 5. Juneteenth; 6. Independence Day; 7. Labor Day; 8. Columbus Day; 9. Veterans Day; 10. Thanksgiving Day; and 11.
Christmas Day. It may be noted that nine of these eleven federal holidays are basically
all-inclusive, i.e., they do not favor, focus on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America. These nine all-inclusive
Unlike these nine federal holidays, the remaining two federal holidays - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
and Juneteenth – are very different. They both focus upon one ethnic group, African-Americans. Why should this be so? I say
that our federal holidays should concentrate on encouraging our unity and not anything that can lead to disunity. I claim that
our federal holidays should be holidays that belong to all Americans and not favor one group of Americans. If
we want one holiday to represent each and every American, then let it be the birthday of our country, the 4th of July,
America’s Independence Day.
- New Year's Day – ALL AMERICANS can celebrate the start of a new year. This holiday does not favor,
focus on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America.
- Presidents Day’ – ALL AMERICANS can honor and pay tribute to ALL our past
presidents. This holiday does not favor, focus on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America.
- Memorial Day - ALL AMERICANS pay their respect to all Americans who have lost their lives
in the defense of this nation. This holiday does not favor, focus on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America.
- Independence Day - ALL AMERICANS celebrate the birth of this great nation. This holiday does not
favor, focus on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America.
- Labor Day - ALL AMERICANS honor all American workers. This holiday does not favor, focus
on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America.
- Columbus Day - ALL AMERICANS celebrate the birthday of the man who “discovered” the Western
Hemisphere and which then led to the founding of the United States of America. In spite of what some may claim, Americans
honor Christopher Columbus, not because he was Italian, but because of what his discovery led to. This holiday does not favor,
focus on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America.
- Veterans Day - ALL AMERICANS honor all those who have served in the armed forces of these
United State. This holiday does not favor, focus on or pay homage to any one ethnic group in America.
- Thanksgiving Day – ALL AMERICANS take the opportunity to give thanks to God for the blessings
that have been bestowed upon this nation and all of its people. This holiday does not favor, focus on or pay homage
to any one ethnic group in America.
- Christmas Day – On this holiday, ALL AMERICANS take the opportunity to give expression to their
love and tolerance of each other. While Christmas was first celebrated as a religious holiday, it has now morphed into a
universal day of brotherhood and good will. Like Thanksgiving, it is also a day to thank God for the blessings that have been
bestowed upon this nation and upon all its people. Today, this holiday does not favor, focus on or pay homage to
any one ethnic group in America.
Certainly, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a great American and deserves to be remembered and honored
as such. But so do many other outstanding Americans who are not honored with a federal holiday. Juneteenth does not even
deserve to be mentioned. It’s declaration as a federal holiday was and is a disgrace. As I’ve noted, if America wants to
celebrate a day when the phrase “All men are created equal” finally became the law of the land, then let it be the day on
which Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Emancipation Proclamation is arguably one of the top ten most important documents in
the history of the United States. Lincoln actually issued the Emancipation Proclamation twice. Abraham Lincoln
issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd, 1862. It stipulated that if the Southern states did not
cease their rebellion by January 1st, 1863, then the Proclamation would go into effect. When the Confederacy did not yield,
Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation led the way
to the total abolition of slavery in the United States.
President Lincoln actually considered the Emancipation Proclamation to be the most important aspect
of his legacy. “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper,” he declared.
“If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it."
The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, was passed on December 6th,
As I’ve already said above, making Juneteenth a federal holiday is less than meaningless and
irrelevant! It is a sop from our disingenuous politicians to placate Black Americans. Our African-American citizens deserve
better than that!
Interestingly, even Afro-Americans realize the Juneteenth is a “Black person’s holiday” and not an
occasion for all-inclusive celebration.
A “large number of influential black and liberal Twitter accounts say that white people should not
get the day off work, and should refrain from celebrating it altogether.
“. . . the bill sailed through the U.S. House with only 14 Republicans . . . opposing the legislation,
and with key pro-Trump Republicans . . . voting with Republican leadership and the Democrats. . . However, some do not want
white people to participate in the new federal holiday. Many users took to Twitter to write some variation of ‘white people
having a day off for Juneteenth… Makes me angry…’
“It remains unclear if white people will celebrate the new federal holiday in large numbers.
The date was almost completely unknown outside specific racial and political circles until last year, when President Donald
Trump planned a rally on the now-sacred date, and was castigated by the media as a result.”
- This Land Is Your Land, Woody Guthrie, genius.com, Released 1 January 1940,
Accessed 4 July 2021
- The Pledge of Allegiance, ushistory.org/documents/pledge, Accessed 4 July 2021
- Kwanzaaa- What Is It?, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER,
Accessed 6 July 2021
- List of Federal Holidays - FederalPay.org, federalpay.org/holidays, Accessed 6 July 2021
- 10 Facts: The Emancipation Proclamation, American Battlefield Trust, Accessed 6 July 2021
- Juneteenth Is Officially A Federal Holiday, But Blacks Say Whites Shouldn’t Get It Off Work Or Celebrate It At
All, Tom Pappert, NATIONAL FILE, 17 June 2021