Rep. Cori Bush uses Juneteenth to push reparations

Rep. Cori Bush celebrated the signing into law of Juneteenth as a federal holiday by urging the passage of social programs like reparations and ending what she referred to as housing and “education apartheid” — calling it prioritizing “Black liberation in its totality.”

Bush (D-Mo.) made the comments on Twitter Wednesday, just before Congress passed a law establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, which President Biden signed Thursday afternoon.

“It’s Juneteenth AND reparations. It’s Juneteenth AND end police violence + the War on Drugs. It’s Juneteenth AND end housing + education apartheid. It’s Juneteenth AND teach the truth about white supremacy in our country,” she tweeted.

“Black liberation in its totality must be prioritized.”

Black liberation theology focuses on injustices committed against black people during segregation and apartheid, both of which were referenced in Bush’s tweet.

In a second post, the Missouri lawmaker — who prior to public life was a prominent Black Lives Matter activist who supports defunding the police and reparations — wrote that it was “great” for Congress to push another federal holiday through, before saying, “Let’s get it done and do reparations next.”

Juneteenth is the 11th federal holiday and was approved with overwhelming support in Congress. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent, meaning no members objected.

It emerged as a local holiday in Texas that celebrated the date in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger informed slaves in Galveston that they were free pursuant to the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation that liberated slaves in Confederate states.

Then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) proposed in 2012 that the date receive federal recognition and last year Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) dusted off the idea in the wake of pro-racial equality and anti-police brutality protests.

Kay Bailey Hutchison called for Juneteenth to be a federal holiday nine years ago.
Former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison called for Juneteenth to be a federal holiday nine years ago.
Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Although Juneteenth gained popularity as an emancipation celebration, slavery continued in the United States until ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in December 1865.

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