Pennsylvania appears to be on the precipice of initiating an Arizona-style audit of the 2020 election.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have both been on a tear lately with new conservative and populist initiatives, creating the impression they may compete for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in the lane dominated for years by former President Donald Trump.
By Ezekiel Kweku
Politics Editor, Opinion
President Biden and Congress moved quickly this week to make June 19 a federal holiday, an action that corrects the absence of a national holiday to commemorate the end of slavery. It nationalizes Juneteenth, a celebration of the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching Texas, two and a half years after it was declared. At its heart, Juneteenth is a holiday for Black Texans, which spread to other parts of the country with the Great Migration.
Making Juneteenth a federal holiday effectively makes it everyone’s holiday. For Kevin Young, the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, it is right for all of us, regardless of race, to remember.
“African Americans should not have to bear the burden of this history alone,” Young writes. “Nor should Black achievement be something that only African Americans celebrate.”
But he also argues that the holiday can be good only if it can retain its essential character as a Black holiday: one that is “both serious and playful,” one in which we “cook and laugh while we remember, remaining rooted in tradition while telling the full story of America and Black life in it.”
Nor should the myriad traditions of emancipation, the source of a “sense of self and solidarity,” be traded for a co-opted and corporatized version of it.
A lot can change in a year. Just take a look at a smattering of headlines from June 17, 2020:
In general, I’m pretty bearish on the state of the country, the world, and humanity. Since those headlines were published, we’ve had a huge spike in crime rates, an attempted coup, and an insurrection.
But I’d be lying if I said things hadn’t gotten better in some respects. On June 17, 2020, the U.S. recorded about 71,000 new coronavirus cases (that’s the official count; the real number is probably much higher) and more than 900 deaths. Yesterday, we recorded fewer than 400 deaths and fewer than 13,000 new cases. Both of those numbers are still too high, but the trend is in the right direction.
There are other reasons to feel relieved. The president met with allies and they worked together. He met with Putin and they didn’t work together. Biden lost his temper a little bit at a reporter, and then immediately apologized.
Just because we’re in the darkest timeline doesn’t mean that you can’t sometimes get a glimpse of light.
Getting better is hard work—whether it’s losing a few pounds or being more patient with people or being a better citizen. Mostly, I bet on people being too lazy to get better. And usually I’m right. But not always.
To a person, the people who have become members of Bulwark+ are people who are willing to do the hard work that it takes to make the country better. We’ve got to listen to people we disagree with. We’ve got to wrestle with facts we’d rather ignore. We’ve got to work in good faith, even—especially—when others don’t.
Sometimes putting in the work to make the country better isn’t fun. It’s never easy. But take a look at where we were last year, imagine where we could be a year from now, look me in the eye, and try telling me it’s not worth it.