There are no less than THREE holidays in Los Angeles this weekend, and that doesn’t include the celebration of the lifting of masks for the vaccinated or the opening up of tens of thousands of businesses nationwide.
Not that I’m rushing to take off my mask if you’re standing next to me or jonesing to get back to a packed gym or movie theatre.
For one thing, I can jog around the hills of my neighborhood and have weights at home. And secondly, what movie am I going to go out and risk my life to see?
Peter Rabbit 2? A Quiet Place 2? Fast and Furious 9?
Yes, 9!!! Or as it’s better known, F9.
To which I say to the studios – f U.
But let’s not go there, even though I went there, in this celebratory time.
And yes, OF COURSE, I’m exaggerating.
I’ve been vaccinated and so have almost 70% (oh wait, that’s 60% receiving at least one dose) of California. So truly, I’m not risking MY life by going out to a movie theatre and sitting or standing next to you – Delta Variant – at least according to medical science.
But if life is at all worth living for any reason it is for these times of celebration. And, I’ll admit it, I like a party.
But am I the only one trying to balance the demands of Father’s Day, Gay Pride and now Juneteenth, all in the space of a single long weekend?
It feels strange. Even for a fella who has lived more than half his life in L.A., headquarters of the Trump Resistance and a place more than half of America considers the strangest city of them all.
Juneteenth commemorates that day in 1865 – June 19th – when the Union Army issued a special order to proclaim and enforce freedom for all slaves when it advanced into the state of Texas.
See, even though Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation “ended” U.S. slavery, Texas was a bastion of Confederacy AND the most remote of the slave owning states. Meaning it didn’t adhere to federal law and needed a little…um…prodding…to make Lincoln’s proclamation true reality.
Yet leading conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation are already using the Juneteenth Holiday to say that while there were issues or problems in our history, look at how we…are overcoming them.
Nice sentiment, right? Cause well, Juneteenth is finally a holiday – WHOPEEE!!!!
Well, this would be fine if the half-century struggle to make it a holiday hadn’t been continually squelched by ultra right wing Republican U.S. senators like Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson.
His most recent argument?
Giving workers another day of paid leave would cost too much.
Of course, one presumes he meant money. But the ugly truth is that, as any thinking white person who ever heard a racist sentiment expressed in a segregated room knows, these are coded words to avoid saying out loud that its real threat is to the superiority and dominance of Whiteness as an American institution.
Open the door to Juneteenth, as we now have, and well…THAT COULD ALL BE GONE!!! OMG!!!!!!
See, the new Fox News/Republican Party talking point this week, and likely all through to Election Day, 2022, is the danger of what Juneteenth demands – teaching something called critical race theory in schools.
So much so that there is now legislation in Texas (Note: Of all places) that would ban any teacher from the discussion of slavery and the possibility of any institutional racism in America.
Which begs the question of how exactly they will handle explaining future Juneteenth holidays to their students. Perhaps, try to NOT discuss it?
Well, as any one of us who learned about sex from our friends or from porn knows, THAT always works.
Critical race theory is more than 40 years old and hardly the MARIXIST conversion of America’s children that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is now shouting to anyone who unwisely still tries listening to him. In fact, all it really asks is for us to discuss the idea that racism may have contributed to American public policy over the years (i.e. slavery, criminal justice, housing, etc.).
Which is why it’s so confusing when a group like the Heritage Foundation and its chief spokesperson now says making Juneteenth a holiday is the perfect answer to those who are promoting critical race theory…Juneteenth says no, we don’t need to destroy the very structures of this nation, the things that make us great.
That’d be like Anita Bryant proclaiming the legalization of gay marriage, gay adoption and gay teachers in schools proves just how great of a country America is.
(Note: For those of you who don’t know, Ms. Bryant was a C-list singer who spent half her life screaming that we gays were an abomination, a threat to children and a festering infection on the social fabric of American society. Or, well, words to that effect).
Though Ms. Bryant and her ilk are part of the reason why June is Gay Pride Month nationwide, why this weekend in Los Angeles there is a virtual/live celebration parade on the streets for the 51st straight (Note: No pun intended) year, and why White Straight People don’t need one.
Still, if Cruz, Heritage, Johnson, et. al. keep up their intransigence and hypocrisy, who knows? They might marginalize themselves right down the evolutionary scale just enough to lay claim to OUR status. And without mass, or masked, snickers.
I’m clearly joking, kind of. Though no one can say the evils of homophobia and racism didn’t contribute to Pride and Juneteenth. You need an oppressor to break free of in order to celebrate the gloriousness of your survival.
Which is yet another reason why this weekend is confusing.
Especially when you realize both these holidays fall on FATHER’S DAY!!!
Who among us doesn’t have some loaded history with our parents, much as we may love them? And if you don’t, get some therapy or just, well, go away.
I had to look it up in order to find out that Father’s Day was started in the U.S. in 1910 by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd in honor of her father William, who fought in the Union Army (Note: Thank God!!!) during the Civil War. Sonora was 16 when her Mom died in childbirth and, together with her Dad, helped raise her five other siblings. As the story goes, her single Dad was so exemplary that when he passed away she, and her brothers, wanted to find a way to honor him and all the great fathers of the world.
Nothing about Father’s Day feels controversial until you realize that its origins were around a single man who shared co-parenting duties with his underage daughter for his five other kids. I mean, is that the kind of thing we want to promote? And what about the costs of all of those presents? Not to mention, what if you didn’t have a good father, or no father at all?
Better to avoid the entire subject, or any of these subjects, at all.
Or celebrate each and every one as thoroughly as you can while you still have a chance to carry on about any great thing you get at any key moment in your life.