GOP Proposes Doing Away With American Holiday To Make Room For Juneteenth Next Year
Say farewell to Columbus day? GOP Senators just proposed doing away with Columbus day and making Juneteenth a federal holiday in its place. Wisconsin (R) Senator Ron Johnson and Oaklahoma (R) Senator James Lankford produced an amendment Wednesday to make the proposal official.
The new proposal follows Texas (R), Senator John Cornyn's proposal to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. While it may seem outrageous, there is some reasoning behind it. The added proposal to exchange holidays would offset the massive cost of establishing a new holiday. According to reports, it costs an estimated $600 million in PTO (paid time off) for federal and local government employees.
“Throughout our history, we have strived to become a more perfect union and Juneteenth was a huge step in attaining that goal,” Lankford said in a statement. “We should celebrate these strides on the federal level while remaining cognizant of the impact the existing 10 federal holidays have on federal services and local businesses.”
“We support celebrating emancipation with a federal holiday, but believe we should eliminate a current holiday in exchange,” Johnson said in a statement. “We chose Columbus Day as a holiday that is lightly celebrated, and least disruptive to Americans’ schedules.”
But where does that leave Christopher Columbus? Protesters around the United States have targeted, defaced, and ripped down statues depicting the once-great explorer. Many claim that Columbus 'represents genocide' and should be erased from American history.
Columbus was an Italian Renaissance-era explorer who led the expedition that preceded the European colonization of North and South America -- and, as a result, he has been both celebrated and denounced as a historical figure. However, how can you erase a piece of history? I understand making Juneteenth a federal holiday but to completely reject the past is lunacy.
There is a saying by an Italian philosopher, George Santayana, who said, "those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes". What do we really gain from destroying our own history?