Owens, a Black woman herself and an outspoken conservative political pundit, generated controversy on Monday, Juneteenth, with a tweet denigrating the newest federal holiday as “so ghetto.”
“Juneteenth is still ghetto and made up. Hope everyone enjoys it!” Owens tweeted.
The tweet generated considerable negative pushback, with numerous users on Twitter responding to Owens’ initial post with their own, explaining the history of the holiday and what it means to them and their communities.
Celebrated annually on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the complete end of slavery in the U.S. The date marks the anniversary of Union General Gordon Granger proclaiming the abolition of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. Texas was the final state in which President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation from 1863 was enforced. Granger’s proclamation was made a few weeks after the American Civil War ended in Galveston, the city where the celebration of Juneteenth originates.
First observed among Black communities in Texas, over the decades Juneteenth was gradually embraced by communities across the country, building up a broader cultural footprint until it was declared a federal holiday by President Joe Biden in 2021. It is the most recently established federal holiday, following Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was officially adopted in 1983.
In response to the wave of criticism she received for the initial tweet, Owens hit back on Tuesday in another post, accusing Black people of “crying racism” and ignoring how often she claims to criticize “white people in politics and culture.”
“Last week on my podcast I covered Lance Bass, Megan Fox, Vivek Ramashwamy, Dave Rubin, Prince Harry, Conor McGregor and Andrew Tate. BuT mUh JuNeTeEnTH!!” Owens tweeted. “Generally speaking, black people today are emotional silly putty and cannot take any criticism without crying racism.”
Owens has made a habit of mocking or criticizing Juneteenth since its adoption as a federal holiday. In 2021, she called the holiday “lame” and accused Democrats of “trying to repackage segregation.”
“Juneteenth is soooo lame,” she wrote. “Democrats really need to stop trying to repackage segregation. I’ll be celebrating July 4th and July 4th only. I’m American.”
Other conservative critics of Juneteenth have echoed Owens’s sentiment from 2021, arguing the Fourth of July should be the only holiday to celebrate the freedom of all Americans. Supporters of the holiday, meanwhile, have countered that Black Americans remained enslaved for many decades after the end of the Fourth of July, necessitating a holiday commemorating the end of slavery.
Newsweek previously reached out to Owens via email for comment about the tweet. Newsweek also reached out to the NAACP via email for a response to Owens’s tweets.
Published: 2023-06-20 23:07:34