Honoring Juneteenth

montanadems2021

Honoring Juneteenth

The MDP formally recognizes the history of Juneteenth, challenging Republican refusal to confirm the holiday

Helena, MT — The Montana Democratic Party celebrates today, Saturday, June 19, 2021, as the first official national recognition of the Juneteenth holiday. The MDP honors the history of Juneteenth as a symbol of the conclusion of the Civil War and the end of slavery in the United States. It is the 11th holiday to be federally recognized, and the first to be approved by Congress since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

“Our gratitude goes to the full roster of U.S. Senate members for their unanimous support of this initiative, and to the 415 members of the House of Representatives who similarly voted in favor,” said Robyn Driscoll, Chair of the Montana Democratic Party. “It is a disappointment to all Montanans seeking a fair and equitable state that our own Representative Matt Rosendale was one of the fourteen delegates to vote against the measure.”

Rep. Rosendale responded to his vote by proclaiming it, “an effort by the Left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics,” an allegation debunked by the sponsor of the bill, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), whose state has recognized the holiday for over three decades, and who termed Rep. Rosendale’s statement “kooky”.

“Matt Rosendale has made his apathy clear through a series of intolerant votes in Congress this week,” said Sandi Luckey, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Juneteenth has been honored around the country for many years, and using it as an excuse to engage in partisan attacks is a disgraceful dismissal of genuine hardships. Montana deserves to have leaders that acknowledge an honest history of our country, and use their platforms to build a fairer system that works for all. Instead, our representative has chosen to use his pulpit to sow division and promote alternate histories. The actions of Rep. Rosendale have been indefensible, and the Republican coalition of our state is obligated to provide candidates and officials whose behaviors better demonstrate the values that all Montanans hold.”

As Montana moves closer to the formal creation of its second congressional district, the people must give serious consideration to the slate of legislators that will be elected to represent us in Washington, D.C. next year. With the Montana GOP considering candidates as controversial as former Congressmember and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the MDP calls on leadership to address growing concerns over the discriminatory direction that the modern Republican party has taken in the state.

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