On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to make Juneteenth a legally recognized national holiday in the United States.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) brought the bill up for a vote earlier this week. The bill passed through the upper chamber without a single objection – all lawmakers voted in favor of making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Schumer commented after the passing of the bill, “Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a major step forward to recognize the wrongs of the past.”

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and cosponsored by 60 other senators, a group containing a mix of Democrats and Republicans. Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19, the day the last 250,000 Texan slaves had finally gained their freedom.

Backlash quickly materialized on social media regarding a federally recognized holiday. Many critics claim passing the bill is just a distraction from addressing the other racial injustices.

Schumer replied to the social media critics by tweeting, “But we must continue to work to ensure equal justice and fulfill the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and our Constitution.”

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