A Last-Minute Holiday

That escalated quickly.

Wednesday morning, when I commented on the Senate’s passage of a law declaring Juneteenth a national holiday, it never crossed my mind that it would go into effect today. But, sure enough, President Biden signed it into law yesterday and the federal government scrambled to get offices shut today (the holiday falls on Saturday, and is therefore observed on Friday; when it falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday).

While we federal employees are surely happy to have a day off, the last-minute nature of it has to be a nightmare for managers. One imagines tens of thousands of meetings were scheduled today, some scheduled long in advance and requiring travel. With few exceptions, they had to be instantaneously canceled.

And I’m not even sure how the administrative process works. For reasons I still don’t understand, I’m required to fill out an electronic timecard every two weeks, even though I’m a salaried, not hourly, employee. Ours ends today and is typically filled out by Thursday afternoon. In may case, because I’m on leave this week, I filled it out last week. So, millions of time cards will now have to be re-certified with a holiday that the system doesn’t recognize as valid.

Again, I’m happy to have the holiday and, certainly, commemorating the end of slavery in this way is a meaningful symbolic gesture. But we really should have either passed the law weeks ago or made it effective in 2022 (when it’ll fall on Monday, June 20).

FILED UNDER: Government
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    One imagines tens of thousands of meetings were scheduled today, some scheduled long in advance and requiring travel.

    Several of my co-workers are actually on travel today. They’ll get comp time and/or some premium pay, or something. Actually I have no idea how it will go, we never work holidays.

    I am enjoying the unexpected day off, though.

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  2. mattbernius says:

    My contact in the Federal Courts says the decision is coming down to each Districts’ Chief Judge. So her courts are open today because too much has been scheduled to allow for taking the day off.

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  3. Michael Cain says:

    with a holiday that the system doesn’t recognize as valid.

    When I was on my state’s legislature’s budget staff, one of my particular responsibilities was to know enough about the state’s major software systems that I could work with the executive branch and determine the estimated cost and schedule to implement changes. If the legislature was willing to wait long enough, the change could be paid for out of the annual appropriation for normal software mods. If the legislature wanted to wait less time, they could either add more money or bump the implementation date for things previously passed. In some cases, the no-extra-money route meant that a change — in eligibility for some state aid program, for example — couldn’t take effect for 18 months.

    One of the peculiar rules in the Joint Budget Committee was that after laying out a set of alternatives, the staff member presenting had to make a recommendation. Everyone was usually careful to express things in a reasonably formal style. I must have been tired one day, because my mouth opened in front of the live mic, and what came out was: “Staff recommends option A, delaying the change. Let’s not joggle the department’s elbow while they’re in the middle of a complete rewrite of the audit package that the idiots at the federal Department of Agriculture have made necessary.”

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  4. I must admit, I was surprised that it implemented this year.

    I was doubly surprised when the Governor of Alabama followed suit.

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  5. Lounsbury says:

    Well I found myself ironically called into this silliess last night as the US office asked for guidance. Our decision was that we don’t do observances on one day notice, it’s idiotic Third World government behaviour. US staff can take a personal day w/o notice if so motivated but no firm observance.

    Really obnoxious Woke behaviour to go into effect next day, there would be nothing unreasonable or disrespectful to have such go into effect the next year (really implementations should always have at least three months notice).

    Otherwise while I am asure I shall attract woke ire, it’s a bloody stupid sounding name for a holiday, at least as an official name as I gather it is.

    For reasons I still don’t understand, I’m required to fill out an electronic timecard every two weeks, even though I’m a salaried, not hourly, employee.

    Presumably your timecard likely has some activity codes associated with it, either ones you select or if not, associated with you. That likely feeds into a cost-accounting structure.

    I have electronic timecards for all of my employees, although all are salary. They have to track what they are working on. While no illusions on the precision of said tracking, it does allow in our cost-accounting a relative understanding of costs relative to activity (better than pure guesswork) and in some horrible circumstances we realise we totally mispriced something (as in something in my mind we did for the World Bank on an investment analysis. Bloody blood-bath, although the obnoxious cubicle people in Washington helped make that way by insisting on riduclous analysis of investment returns on electric trucks among other things borderline science fiction relative to non-developed countries.)

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  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    This will pose a dilemma for Trumpies and Klansmen. Take the day off and drink beer? Don’t take the day off and bitch while everyone else takes the day off and drinks beer?

    Holidays, like rain, fall on the just and the unjust alike.

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  7. a country lawyer says:

    @mattbernius: Our district court has also issued an order that because cases have been set and it would cause disruption in the schedules the holiday won’t be celebrated this year.

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  8. Blue Galangal says:

    Somewhat to my surprise, my public university almost immediately sent out notification yesterday morning that today would be an official holiday. Ordinarily that woul d have to go through the BoT etc. and we’d have to trade off another holiday to implement it (e.g., Columbus Day was traded for the day after Thanksgiving).

    So I’m not sure if the BoT conditionally approved this already, or if the university was uniformly worried about being seen as walking the walk, but despite the problems and issues with the short timeframe, I was delighted to see them implement it, because it does indicate that they find it important in spite of the inconveniences. Many white people in the US have never heard of it; my mom, in her 70s, had never heard of it until yesterday. I only knew about it because I worked closely with two Black coworkers for about a decade and it was a huge social event in both their calendars. They always took it as a holiday even though it’s right before the close of the fiscal. It’s always a time of great family celebration for both their families/friend groups. So I grew to see that it was very important to a segment of the Black population with whom I had contact.

    Regarding the name, I must respectfully disagree with you, Lounsbury – Juneteenth as a term has a long and storied history in Black culture and it’s respectful to adopt and use their name for it.I’ve always found it an amusing portmanteau.

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  9. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Well, they’re not very happy about Juneteenth over at Lucianne.com.

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  10. Teve says:

    “Juneteenth is such as stupid, irrational name for a holiday. Anyway, what are you doing for Allhallowe’en?”

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  11. @Lounsbury:

    it’s a bloody stupid sounding name for a holiday, at least as an official name as I gather it is.

    It is is pretty nuts to call something it has been called since 1866. Just nuts!

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  12. @Lounsbury: And sure, one day’s notice is not enough and since I assume your US office isn’t a branch of the federal government, a moot point, surely.

    TBH, it would have made more sense to me for Biden to sign this billon Juneteenth itself and then start days off in 2022. But part of me kind of likes the alacrity with which this was done.

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  13. steve says:

    Making it a holiday is fine. Implementing it at the last minute is stupid. I was hoping for competence from Biden. Guess I will go back to hoping for world peace. I know how that will work out.

    Steve

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  14. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Somebody on twitter joked, “How racist do you have to be to be angry about getting a summer day off to drink beer and eat barbecue?”

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  15. @steve: Again, I think it should have started next year, but having said that, I wouldn’t put this in the “incompetence” column. If the government can manage to close on short notice due to weather, it can manage this as well.

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  16. Barry says:

    @steve: “Making it a holiday is fine. Implementing it at the last minute is stupid. I was hoping for competence from Biden. ”

    If this is your idea of incompetence, how did you survive the past four years?

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  17. Teve says:

    @Barry: 4 years of self-written Benzo scripts 🙂

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  18. Joe says:

    @Steven L. Taylor, Teve and Teve:

    it’s a bloody stupid sounding name for a holiday, at least as an official name as I gather it is.

    To Lounsbury‘s point, the official name is Juneteenth National Independence Day. I am fine with Juneteenth for the reasons you all allude to, but what is “independence” doing in there? I am sure better informed people than me thought about this, but that strikes me as an incongruous word.

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  19. Tony W says:

    From what I gather on the Trump/Klan/Q sites, Juneteenth is viewed as “anti-white”, therefore evil.

    I’m old enough to remember America’s 400 years of slavery being pretty universally perceived as a shameful time in our history.

    Current white-male-Republican fragility has rendered that viewpoint controversial.

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  20. @Joe: Independence from slavery, surely? (Although I might have gone with a differnent official name).

    Regardless, I am fairly sure he is referring to “Juneteenth” and not the longer official name (but am happy to be corrected if I am mistaken).

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  21. @Tony W: It is this kind of response that I find so telling and disheartening.

    Some of the comments on local news stories about Gov. Ivey’s declaring today a state holiday are more than a bit disturbing (but not surprising).

    White people who have a reaction to this need to stop and ask themselves why. (But I shan’t hold my breath about such introspection).

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Once again it is shown that there is nothing that some people can’t complain about.

    @Lounsbury: Otherwise while I am sure I shall attract woke ire, it’s a bloody stupid sounding name for a holiday, at least as an official name as I gather it is.

    is a perfect example of really obnoxious Brit behavior. What do you care what it’s called?

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  23. Tony Zbaraschuk says:

    Having a holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery is a Good Thing.

    Implementing it on one day’s notice is a Bad Thing.

    Giving it a long unnecessary name that overlaps with another holiday two weeks later (“Juneteenth National Independence Day” June 19 versus “Independence Day” July 4) is a Silly Thing. Admittedly, mitigated by the fact that everyone will just say “Juneteenth” and “Fourth of July”, but still, it really could have been avoided with just a little thought.

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  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    DFAS loaded the holiday into their master table this morning, I’m advised, so all should be good to go in that regard.

    What I found amusing was that they had apparently not given a second’s thought to the hordes of folks on fixed compressed for whom today was their RDO. They completed their 80 yesterday, most of them before Biden signed the legislation into law. They were in a pickle.

    I’m told that DOD finally had an undersecretary issue a memo to the effect that those folks will take Monday as their in-lieu instead of Friday. Other agencies, wth knows?

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  25. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    True, but to be fair about it, the various twitter threads I read were also clogged with folks on the other side griping about it as well – as in “this holiday benefits white people more than it benefits us, so FU. We want reparations, paid in perpetuity.” Obviously a ludicrous proposition grounded in fantasyland.

    You just can’t make some people happy.

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  26. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Joe:

    In a word – Dems suck at messaging.

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  27. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Coincidentally, my brothers are right now texting me about Juneteenth, virtue signaling, identity politics and n-clang lovers.

    They are mad about a holiday that celebrates something good for Black people.

    I don’t know how I turned out so different from my brothers. I’m glad I did.

    I kind of wish it was in August, but history didn’t work out that way. Celebrating the Declaration of Independence in July, with all its big, flowing words, and then a month later celebrating a massive milestone on the path of living up to those words — that would have had a nice flow, and the holidays would have told a story.

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  28. Gustopher says:

    Again, I’m happy to have the holiday and, certainly, commemorating the end of slavery in this way is a meaningful symbolic gesture. But we really should have either passed the law weeks ago or made it effective in 2022 (when it’ll fall on Monday, June 20).

    If it makes you feel any better, there wasn’t a lot of advanced notice for the original Juneteenth either.

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  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: In that case, they’re luckier than Teamsters were back when I worked warehousing. If a holiday came on a scheduled day off for you, you didn’t get a replacement. It used to happen when Christmas fell on a Sunday. And if your vacation was during a holiday week, the rule came into play. I think there was one other circumstance, but I can’t remember it anymore.

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  30. Jay L Gischer says:

    This is one of those things that might have just happened mindlessly – thus the complaining about Democrats and messaging – or might have been a calculated thing to just pop open the holiday like BOOM!

    Or it might the result of some political maneuvering. I’m not really sure about this, though I kind of doubt the “mindless” hypothesis.

    It seems as if the sudden nature of it means opponents didn’t have a chance to organize a response and come up with other language or narrative besides “n-clang lovers”.

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  31. mattbernius says:

    I have to say, I’m a little surprised by the number of white folks clutching their pearls and looking for the fainting couch on this thread.

    I mean, ok, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the person who predicted that the Democrats would lose if they nominated a Black person for VP (and more over couldn’t understand why nominating a Black VP would be important to… well… Black folks in the party) is making fun of it because it’s a funny name (note that the celebrate a public holiday called… checks notes… “boxing day” but one man’s chip is another man’s crisp… or fry). Anyone whose aware of the deep racial problems in England might not be surprised that a national from there might not be the most enlightened on such things.

    But seriously, folks are gnashing their teeth about the word “independence” in the holiday’s official name? I mean, it’s not like slaves were… checks notes… getting their independence in a more fundamental way than the colonists. Also, it’s not like a plurality of Americans–if not a majority–typically refer to the OG “Independence Day” as “The 4th of July” or simply the “4th.”

    In fact, even our own government uses “Fourth of July” in many cases…. see this page for example: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalmall4th/index.htm

    As far as the one-day Implementation, I agree about that. But once the decision was made to pass this *ahead* of 6/19 I don’t see any real way to get around that. And at best, it’s a bit of an inconvenience for one day for one year. On the scale of things to be outraged about, that seems really, really low to me.

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  32. One thing that does occur to me about the usefulness of just springing the holiday on people is that it means the people like AL Governor Ivey could react without dealing with a year’s worth of political pressure not to recognize the holiday (a la the struggle over MLK Day at the state level).

    By just having it RIGHT NOW means on 6/19/22 it will be expected already rather than a new thing to fight about.

    This may have been a very smart move, actually.

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  33. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I agree, but one could argue that declaring Juneteenth an official holiday in, say, September would have given anyone who needed it nine months to prepare.

    Regardless, it doesn’t seem to have caused much of a disruption, at least as far as I can see.

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  34. @CSK: Don’t get me wrong, from a management point of view, this was ridiculously short notice.

    But it may have been very smart politics (the only question is whether it was smart on purpose or on accident).

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  35. Gustopher says:

    @mattbernius:

    But seriously, folks are gnashing their teeth about the word “independence” in the holiday’s official name?

    Emancipation would have been a much better word than Independence.

    But it’s a tiny quibble.

    Freedom would also have been good, because it would tie the story of Blacks into the story of (White) America, and even allowed the day to incorporate other, less flashy milestones on our journey towards a more perfect Union.

    ——
    As a white guy who only even heard about Juneteenth a few years ago, I should be wary of trying to assign meaning to Juneteenth that isn’t there, but it already seems like a more meaningful and important holiday than the Fourth of July.

    There’s no jingoistic rah-rah Military Is Great, We’re #1, America Fuck Yeah! part of it.

    America isn’t a patch of dirt liberated from England. America is a nation that tells itself that it was founded on ideas, and some of that is lies we tell ourselves, but they’re good lies that can guide us to being a better nation.

    And celebrating our commitment to these ideas requires us to tell truths about our nation that we can just skip over otherwise. Ugly truths, but also the story of struggling to overcome them, and sometimes succeeding.

    And that’s a better story of America than the local aristocracy overthrowing the aristocracy across the seas and limiting the franchise to white male landholders (who were all created equal).

    It’s a story that makes me proud to be an American.

    It would be a shame if this was just a three day weekend going forward, like Presidents’ Day, Veteran’s Day and MLK Day.

    This is the day we should be having parades and fireworks. And cornbread, collard greens, and all that good food.

    My vision of America is the Chinese immigrant trying to cook fried green tomatoes to celebrate emancipation of people long before he arrived in this country and adding Szechuan peppercorns to spice it up.

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  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    While keeping it on MLK’s birthday is fine, I feel like “MLK day” should be something like “Civil Rights Day”. There have been, and will continue to be, lots of other people who were just as involved in the Civil Rights movement, many of whom ended up paying the same ultimate price.
    It always seemed odd that we single out one particular person.

    A “no holiday for just one person” rule would also be a great reason to dump Colombus Day.

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  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It kind of reminds me of the bit in 1776 where John Adams is complaining that the history books will reduce the entire revolution to “And then Ben Franklin smote the ground with his miraculous lightning rod, and up sprang George Washington, fully grown and on his horse, and the three of them, Ben Franklin, George Washington, and the horse, went on to conduct the entire revolution by themselves.”

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  38. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    A “no holiday for just one person” rule would also be a great reason to dump Colombus Day.

    You could (and would, absolutely would) piss off Catholics and Italians in a single stroke. Heck of a plan…

    #PoliticalStategery

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  39. mattbernius says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    While keeping it on MLK’s birthday is fine, I feel like “MLK day” should be something like “Civil Rights Day”. There have been, and will continue to be, lots of other people who were just as involved in the Civil Rights movement, many of whom ended up paying the same ultimate price.

    It should be noted that naming it that wouldn’t be keeping with tradition. While we colloquially call it “President’s Day,” George Washington’s Birthday is the name of the official holiday. I do like the “no for just one person” rule.

    That said, both holidays float, so I don’t see an issue with changing the name of both holidays.

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You could (and would, absolutely would) piss off Catholics and Italians in a single stroke. Heck of a plan…

    It’s always interesting to see who an individual thinks are the groups that are ok to piss off and which ones we shouldn’t piss off. It almost seems like there is an argument that some folk’s fragility needs to be taken into account more than others.

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  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @mattbernius:

    It’s simple pragmatism. If you piss off more people than you please, you lose. That’s a losing proposition. Right doesn’t make might, unfortunately.

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  41. mattbernius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Honestly, I’m not sure (and should look at some polling to get some data) how many “cultural Italians” (i.e. people who are deeply tied to an I(with a capital “I”)-talian” identity) are still part of the Democratic coalition. If we’re taking Staten Island as an example, I’m not sure they are that much a part of the base (just ask Max Rose — who if nothing else had pretty solid campaign commercials during his short tenure).

    Additionally, I’m not sure progressive Catholics are that concerned about this topic. And as far as conservative Catholics, well they were lost on Abortion a while ago (when was the last time you heard a debate about a Republican Politician being denied the Sacrament over their stance on the Death Penalty).

    My larger point is that it’s worth unpacking where folks put emphasis on an explicit fear of what might happen (aka fragility) and why they elevate some groups over others.

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  42. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Gustopher:

    My vision of America is the Chinese immigrant trying to cook fried green tomatoes to celebrate emancipation of people long before he arrived in this country and adding Szechuan peppercorns to spice it up.

    And with that you activate a thing I’ve pondered for quite a while, and a few other people are taking note of as well. What we are trying to do in America is unprecedented in all of history, and really hard. We are trying to make a nation based on ideas, where everyone has a say. This is really hard. It is even harder to do that at the scale we are doing it. Little wonder so many people say, even these days, “democracy has had its run, and it’s over”. It is hard, and we’re slogging forward. Some people really don’t like it when they lose an election. Sometimes they secede and try to start their own country. Sometimes they just riot, or lie about what happened.

    This is hard, but it’s the territory. Personally, I accept the challenge. It’s worth it.

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  43. CSK says:

    @mattbernius:
    I can only speak for New England, but my impression is that urban, or urban-adjacent, blue-collar Italians would kill anyone who tried to abolish Columbus Day. It’s a huge deal in the North End of Boston.

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  44. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @mattbernius:

    Simple numbers. The idea of getting rid of Columbus Day is popular with two (overlapping) groups – college students and the far left. The polling makes it clear that the vast majority of the electorate (nearly 2 in 3) support keeping Columbus Day as a holiday. Even more telling, better than 3 in 4 indicated that they believe historical figures like Columbus should be judged by the standards of acceptable behavior in their time, not ours. Catholics and Italians, which outnumber either of the do-gooder groups on their own, much less in concert with the rest of the cohort, vehemently support both assertions.

    You have two groups, one which barely votes and another which isn’t going to vote for anybody else, neither of which remotely constitute a majority. Placating them buys you nothing beyond an opportunity to pat yourselves on the back for being righteous. It would cost you a great deal more, especially in the Northeast. It’s a stupid move that only appeals to the far left from the word go.

    This is why the left annoys me. You think being right / righteous is enough. You need to start getting pragmatic and picking your battles.

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  45. Michael Reynolds says:

    Columbus would have been maybe 10% more of a POS than his era accepted as the norm. More to the point he was a bit of a fraud and a huckster, not to mention a greedy and incompetent governor. He wasn’t on a voyage of discovery, this was not the HMS Beagle, Chris was looking to get rich. He was an entrepreneur, with Ferdinand and Isabella as his VCs.

    He’s one of these guys in history who got credit he didn’t deserve.

    But @HarvardLaw92: is right. Pick your battles. This is not the hill to die on. This is trivial, we have much bigger fish to fry.

    I’ll tell you who did not deserve to be canceled by SF (because it’s not like they have any real problems to deal with) Francis Drake. Yes, Drake was involved briefly in slave-trading, but then he rejected slavery and in his round the world tour was a flaming progressive by the standards of the day. He had the crazy idea: hey, what if we don’t murder all the natives we run into?

    Also, without Drake we might all be speaking Spanish. Fascinating guy. Not a good guy to piss off, a wee bit paranoid, but far, far kinder to indigenous populations than Magellan who was very murdery.

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  46. Joe says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    figures like Columbus should be judged by the standards of acceptable behavior in their time, not ours.

    Pretty sure he didn’t meet that low bar either. As a Catholic, I could give a s–t about this holiday. Aside from that, I agree with you entirely.

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  47. Teve says:

    Teve says:
    Wednesday, 16 June 2021 at 10:14

    @Scott: when Ron Johnson suggested that last year, perhaps as a Poison Pill for the Juneteenth legislation, Tucker Carlson attacked him.

    Christopher Columbus was a monster by the standards of his day and his name should be occasion for spitting.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/juneteenth-to-be-national-holiday/#comment-2621182

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius: While agreeing with you on principle, I will note that for some people there’s noting too unimportant to get outraged about when it concerns questions of race.

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  49. Stormy Dragon says:

    The funny thing is that 29 states have already eliminated Columbus day as a holiday.

    13 states have replaced it with Indigenous People’s Day, including such bastions of the far left as North Carolina and South Dakota.

    The fact that the “if we don’t give the far right everything they demand we’re doomed!” crowd seems completely unaware of this only underscores how off they are about how important this is to most people.

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  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @mattbernius: Interesting you should mention Italian with a capital I. I was just talking with the receptionist at my doctor who couldn’t figure out the nationality of my name (which happens to be an Italian name, coincidentally enough). She wanted to know if “there was some particular part of the United States where most Italians live.” I replied that being 3rd generation, I’m pretty thoroughly assimilated and officially considered white now (Yes! I actually did say that last part out loud. Thanks for asking), so I don’t actually know if there is. She acknowledged that made sense and went on with the check in. To quote Otto Preminger, playing Mr. Freeze on Batman, “Wild!” (Actually closer to “why-ullld,” but I’m sure at least some of us remember.)

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  51. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Yah, North Carolina and South Dakota are both bastions of Catholic Italians. NC celebrates it by proclamation (likewise Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin, and DC) which basically means they don’t get the day off so who cares? ​Known what SD has a lot of? Indigenous people… I can find a grand total of 7 states that actually make Indigenous People’s Day an actual holiday. All of them except maybe Vermont have large populations of IP.

    I’d suggest you take a look at the map of places that DO celebrate it as a holiday and overlay that with the map of Democratic strongholds. I couldnt care any less about the holiday, to be honest. Doesn’t affect me, therefore doesn’t interest me. I’m just tired of this car far left do-gooder shoot yourselves in the foot garbage. It’s hard enough to win as it is without pissing voters who actually vote, voters we need, off to no purpose just so the woke can feel (more) self-righteous. If you don’t like the holiday, maybe just don’t celebrate it?

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  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: On the other side of the equation, I’ve never lived in a part of the US where Columbus Day is a holiday for anyone other than bank tellers and letter carriers. Not even the pharmacy that isn’t open on either Saturday or Sunday was closed last Columbus Day. I’m not even sure that I know what the date of Columbus Day is. If people from here are part of that poling majority it’s probably “meh… whatevs…” rather than “Team Indigenous Enslavers–Fuck Yeah!!”

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  53. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And you’ve completely misread the situation. It’s been changed mostly in places where either 1) nobody cared much about it in the first place, so nobody really gave much of a flying fk of it went away, or 2) disproportionately liberal cities like Berkeley (shocker) and Austin (another shocker).

    It’s not about placating the right. It’s about not pissing off Democratic base voters to no purpose. You seem to suffer from the delusion that your viewpoints are typical of the party as a whole. They’re anything but. If you want to find out how out of the norm they are, head up to Boston or Queens or Chicago and try floating this stupid idea. If you’re lucky, you’ll get out of it alive.

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  54. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Like I told Che, no sweat off of my back. Try getting rid of it at the federal level and see what happens. If it blows up (and it will), it’ll be your problem to solve.

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  55. Lounsbury says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I know you’re an academic and there a pedantic and tedious person by fundamental nature, but let point out that there is zero relationship between the opinion the name is quite stupid sounding for an official holiday name, and ancientness or not. Nothing of course prevents it from being a vernacular nickname. Emancipation Day as an official name as an example. Perfectly felicitious and nothing preventing usage of the vernacular.

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t particularly “care” – note I commented not on the holiday on the prior post, but as I had to pay attention to this due to the US office call on observance or not, I developed a slight inclination to point out it’s a stupid sounding name. Of course since woke Left white people self-oblige to validate any given ethnic usage, quite haram to have anything but celebratory and fawning commentary. I on the other hand hae the opinion that beni adam beni adam and any ethnicity is perfectly equal in the capacity to develop unfelicitious stupid names.

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  56. mattbernius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The idea of getting rid of Columbus Day is popular with two (overlapping) groups – college students and the far left.

    Fair. This makes me wonder why you even introduced it into this thread, other than to create a strawman to knock down. Was there a Congressional move or a passage of a law that I missed? Because, by your own admission, it seems like the number of folks in power who want to do this is dwarfed by the amount of elected Republicans who were ready to overturn the election for Trump. If I have to be concerned a@CSK: bout anything, right now my focus is on the latter.

    But since you are asking me to consider a moral panic about Columbus day and I have nothing better to do, I’m happy to dive into this one.

    The polling makes it clear that the vast majority of the electorate (nearly 2 in 3) support keeping Columbus Day as a holiday.

    Citation please as I’d like to see the crosstabs. I did some googling and I couldn’t find a recent poll that matches this. The closes one I could find was a limited Knights of Columbus Poll from 2017. I’m still trying to track down the construction of that poll. Perhaps you have those details. For the same of argument, I’ll ignore the fact that the KoC were critical to getting Roosevelt to name the holiday in the first place (in the ’40s).

    A YouGov poll from the same period shows a far more mixed reaction to the question. The trend there is still toward local determination, which makes sense.

    Of course, as we have seen with Gay Marriage, opinion on these sorts of things changes quickly.

    That leads us to the question of is this or isn’t this a good political issue. Here we are in agreement. While I definitely lean progressive, I’m also the type of white Moderate that thinks that, for the most part, it’s best to legislatively move when things are at the right moment where it won’t harm a broader agenda.

    Catholics and Italians, which outnumber either of the do-gooder groups on their own, much less in concert with the rest of the cohort, vehemently support both assertions.

    Agreed, which is also why I think we need to look at multiple vectors of polls.

    Which gets us to people who self-identify as Italians with a Capital “I” tend to lean to the “Trump” side of the equation. So your argument seems to be “don’t piss off voters who aren’t going to vote for you anyway.” BTW, this matches my experience with the capital “I” Italian family I married into. Or am I missing something (in the broader sense, not the anecdotal sense)?

    I think the question of “Catholics” as a category is a more interesting one, but that gets into needing to see the crosstabs and if that was accounted for in the data collection. Currently Catholics lean Democratic, but without polling on issues, I’m not sure we know whether or not replacing “Columbus Day” with, say, “Indigenous People’s Day” is a divisive issue or not.

    Placating them buys you nothing beyond an opportunity to pat yourselves on the back for being righteous. It would cost you a great deal more, especially in the Northeast.

    I think you are correct that this needs to be a consideration. But also, this gets to polling. I intentionally mentioned the (I!)talian stronghold of Staten Island for a reason. The Dems essentially lost that a while ago. At best, it’s a swing district. Though as Max Rose proved, even in a year that the Dems won the Presidency, it wasn’t enough to save his seat. Is that the case everywhere in the Northeast? I don’t know. To @CSK’s point is the Dem’s were seriously considering making this an issue, more local polling would be necessary to prove out that hypothesis about the best approach and if this would ultimately hurt them in the long term.

    This is why the left annoys me. You think being right / righteous is enough. You need to start getting pragmatic and picking your battles.

    Again, its telling to me that you apparently needed to invent or introduced a “left” position in a thread that didn’t involve it at all order to get annoyed at “the Left” (broadly constructed). No offense man, but I think that says a lot more about you than it does about “Juneteenth.” Perhaps a nice bottle of a French Red or White is in order to help you take that edge off.

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  57. mattbernius says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Of course since woke Left white people self-oblige to validate any given ethnic usage, quite haram to have anything but celebratory and fawning commentary.

    Again, I point out that this bill and naming was sponsored by… checks notes… noted leftist REPUBLICAN TEXAS SENATOR John Cornyn. And this was the name of the holiday noted by well-known leftist woke state… checks notes… TEXAS. And unanimously supported by the present members on the Republican side of the senate.

    But hey, if you’re not an American that wants to die on the hill that respecting that this is what both Texas and Black folks in the US want to call the holiday and that therefore makes it “WOKE!”… dude, go for it.

    Though, taken with your noted “why do the Democrats care about what Black folks want?! And more importantly I know better and a Black VP candidate will lose you the election!” posts, it might say more about your particular racial biases than it does about being “WOKE.”

    Still, grab those pearls and ride them for all they are worth. I mean, clearly, in your mind you are always clearly white, oops, I mean right. So go for it.

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  58. Michael Cain says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: This, mostly. Everywhere I’ve ever worked, Columbus Day was like St. Patrick’s Day. There might be parades, but no one, public job or private, got a day off. Most of my adult life has been in places where Native Americans are a large enough ethnic group, and the last parts of the attempted genocide are recent enough, that Columbus Day was protested as much as celebrated.

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  59. @Lounsbury:

    I know you’re an academic and there a pedantic and tedious person by fundamental nature

    I don’t know what you do for a living, but will say that you are coming across as an asshole.

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  60. Matt Bernius says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I will note that for some people there’s noting too unimportant to get outraged about when it concerns questions of race.

    Agreed. I also have to ask what is the racial classification of those folks. My, admittedly biased view, is that the majority of them are white folks. Which gets back to a broader point…

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  61. Matt Bernius says:

    @Michael Cain: Re:Native Americans don’t make up a huge voting block. Most from my experience just want thier land back (which includes “reservation land”) and want to be left alone.

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  62. Michael Cain says:

    @Matt Bernius: Quite arguably, turnout in the Navajo Nation in 2018 and 2020 is why Arizona has two Democratic Senators rather than two (R)s (see, eg, Erik Loomis). Which is why McConnell is no longer majority leader (no disrespect to Stacy Abrams and the efforts in Georgia, but absent four seats picked up in Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado in 2018 and 2020, Stacy’s efforts would have accomplished squat) . The Department of the Interior is going to be a very different place in terms of rule-making and regulation since Biden tapped a Native American Representative from New Mexico to lead it. Current Native American efforts in the Klamath River drainage are likely to have large impacts on public water policy in the West for years to come.

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  63. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    An asshole who doesn’t write comprehensible English.

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  64. mattbernius says:

    @Michael Cain: Thank you for that. My experience comes largely through the Ojibwe and Haudenosaunee (and other northeast and central tribes). I didn’t realize the Navajo were that active!

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  65. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I don’t know what you do for a living, but will say that you are coming across as an asshole.

    I believe he is a Professional Asshole. Part of a trade association, Assholé Internationale Extraordinaire — a French organization that seeks to build a fondness for the French culture by encouraging other cultures’ assholes to travel and bestow their brilliance upon the world, and thus make the French seem nice by comparison.*

    At least, that’s my theory.

    But doubtless, this is probably the fever dream of my woke, lefty imagination.

    ——
    *: The French — lovely people whose most polite cultural mannerisms appear to be rude to everyone else.

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  66. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I don’t know what you do for a living, but will say that you are coming across as an asshole.

    I seldom read the guy because he always acts like an asshole.

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  67. Michael Cain says:

    @Teve:

    I seldom read the guy because he always acts like an asshole.

    With tongue only partially in cheek, the Outside the Beltway front pagers will know they have reached the Big Time when they have to add some way to give readers the ability to block specific commenters.

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  68. @Michael Cain: Given that we can only semi-manage an edit function, this seems unlikely. 😉

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  69. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain: There are only about three commenters here that I routinely ignore and it’s pretty easy to just scroll past their comments, although a filter would be nice.

    But I really need a filter for image tags to closeup photos of Mitch McConnell’s face. It’s little different than an antiabortion protester holding up a big color photo of an aborted fetus, yes, it’s a real thing that exists in reality, but it’s not fit for polite company, and it’s rude to impose it on people.

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  70. Lounsbury says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I am what you might call an investment banker, but that doesn’t change the observation your tedious response was irrelevant pedantry.

    @mattbernius: Well my dear provincial, as ‘clutching pearls’ is ordinarily understood to be meaning ‘showing exagerated or feigned shock’ and using this to argue some opposition or the like, you’re as usual engaging in absurd Lefty drama queen response.

    The mere observance the name is stupid sounding is simply that, no statement on any result from this holiday, but the name is clumsy and unfelicitious. Perhaps it is both Lefty Woke and Texan Dialect unfelicitiious, but it is. No great meaning nor “pearl clutching.”

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  71. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @mattbernius:

    I didn’t introduce it. I responded to a comment where someone else introduced it.

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  72. Matt Bernius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Oops, you are completely right on that. It was Stormy Dragon who brought it up as a side comment. Apologies for missing that!

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  73. @Lounsbury: Nice job doubling down (or is it quadrapuling at this point).

    It often seems to me that a lot of people must either really resent their time at university, or are secretly quite envious of academics (or, perhaps, both) given their constant need to lash out at the profession.

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  74. Barry says:

    Steven, I think that the old internet law about criticizing somebody’s intelligence or writing (that you will immediately make typos in doing so) applies here. People who accuse others of pendantry or blowhardness will prove their own such.

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