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‘But go ahead and keep losing, y’all.’ Conservative bigs duke it out over GOP Juneteenth attitudes

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A war of words has erupted on the right over the newly formed holiday Juneteenth, formally known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, with some conservatives dismissing it as a fake, meaningless holiday, and other conservatives telling critics to cool it.

Formally recognized by President Joe Biden on Thursday, this new federal holiday reportedly commemorates the anniversary of the day that the last set of remaining slaves in the United States were informed of their newfound freedom in 1865.

In response to Biden formally recognizing Juneteenth, some critics on the right complained for various reasons.

Black conservative activist Candace Owens described the holiday as “emotional training from Democrats to see ourselves as somehow separate from America.”

Black conservative sports commentator Jason Whitlock suggested that it’s a meaningless gesture that distracts from the black community’s true need, which he argued is for children to be raised in nuclear families instead of single-parent homes.

The most controversial take came from Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, who described Juneteeth as “an affront to the unity of July 4th” and claimed it’s “about replacing July 4th — just like the 1619 Project is about replacing 1776.”

Look:

Kirk’s tweets drew the attention of Kira Davis, a black conservative commentator and editor for RedState.

Responding to the tweets, she argued that the “smart move here would be to start lifting this up as a Republican holiday.”

Why? Because Republicans freed the slaves, not Democrats.

“The marketing & messaging opportunities are endless,” she added.

There’s a reason why former President Donald Trump vowed during the 2020 election that he’d make Juneteenth into a federal holiday were he reelected to office.

Despite being a Trump supporter himself, conservative commentator John Cardillo, who works for Newsmax, fervently disagreed with Davis’s outlook.

Responding to her argument, he maintained that “Republicans have to stop pandering to voting blocs that hate and won’t vote for them.”

“Dems are literally the party of slavery yet they own the black vote. Trump gave the black community record low unemployment and they still voted for Biden,” he added.

The facts he cited weren’t wrong. An overwhelming majority of blacks voted for Biden, despite all the benefits that Trump’s presidency had engendered for them.

Davis swiftly rebutted Cardillo’s argument by pointing out that any black Democrat who reads his tweet will likely conclude they made the right decision to not vote for Republicans.

“You care about the GOP responding to their base. You call that ‘engagement’ but when one suggests they ‘engage’ the black community you call it ‘pandering’…that’s a thoughtless view,” she argued.

Her point does raise a valid question: Where is the dividing line between engaging with someone and pandering to someone?

Cardillo responded by touting his immigrant bona fides as proof that his family never owned slaves.

“We didn’t own slaves and I am not going to be guilted into making believe we did because you RINOs want to play identity politics,” he wrote.

He then reiterated his point that nothing Trump did had been good enough for the black community.

The discussion then quickly devolved because of Cardillo’s use of the dreaded R word that’s usually reserved for the likes of Mitt Romney and Susan Collins.

Look:

Davis eventually got the last word with the tweet below in which she accused the Republican Party of having “no intention of vying for the black vote.”

She’s not the only black conservative who’s warned that the GOP needs to significantly up its game when it comes to recruiting black voters.

Vivek Saxena

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