Sometime later today, Pres. Biden will sign a bill, having passed overwhelminmgly in both the House and Senate, to make Juneteenth a national holiday. The House saw only 14 members opposed (one being Tom Tiffany, R-WI 7) and the Senate voted after Sen. Ron Johnson withdrew his opposition to a vote.
Making Juneteenth a national holiday was the right decision.
Of the mere 14 representatives in all the House who opposed the bill, Wisconsin’s delegation had the misfortune of having one such opponent; of all the Senate, Wisconsin had the misfortune (until yesterday) of having the one senator who had blocked previously a vote in that chamber.
Small town governments, like the one in Whitewater, will have to decide (as with other federal holidays) whether and how they should observe the day.
There will be government objections of various kinds about the costs or supposed impracticalities of observing the holiday.
The holiday isn’t, however, worth commemorating because it’s federal – it should be federal because it’s worth commemorating. The same is true for state and local recognition.
Juneteenth is worthy of commemoration, and no one need wait for local politics to acknowledge American history.
One can – and should – celebrate even if no action comes from city hall.