Two Republican members of the U.S. Senate have introduced a motion to replace the federal holiday of Columbus Day with Juneteenth, as reported by Breitbart.
The senators in question are Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), who proposed the replacement as an amendment to a bill introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. Johnson and Lankford’s proposed amendment would specifically remove Columbus Day from the list of federal holidays to make room for Juneteenth.
Johnson attempted to justify his support for the move by calling Columbus Day “the most lightly-celebrated and less disruptive to anybody’s schedule.” Johnson said that adding one more federal holiday would be “blowing a hole in the budget…offering another paid day off for federal employees.” However, Cornyn himself stated his opposition to Johnson and Lankford’s proposal, which he pointed out “dilutes the message we’re trying to send.”
Juneteenth is a little-known holiday commemorating the day that the Emancipation Proclamation was read for the first time in the state of Texas, on June 19th, 1865. It has come under greater scrutiny due to the widespread race riots across America.
Conversely, Columbus Day – celebrating the iconic Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who set out to prove that the Earth was round and ended up discovering the “New World” – first became a federal holiday in 1968, and is generally observed on the second Monday of the month of October. In recent years, the holiday has been criticized by far-left and Indian groups, who have falsely accused Columbus of being a racist and a colonizer. Statues of Columbus have been the target of many acts of vandalism and destruction over the last month.