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New Bill Would Give State Employees A Holiday Choice Between Juneteenth & Jefferson 

Alabama House Bill 367, proposed by Chris Sells, aims to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, enabling state employees to choose between observing Juneteenth or Jefferson Davis' Birthday as a day off. This bill does not increase the number of paid holidays for state employees, which currently stands at 13. Sells articulated his intention to honor Juneteenth without adding an extra paid holiday. Jefferson Davis' Birthday, a contentious state holiday, celebrates a Confederate figure with historically racist views. 

Bill 367 surfaces amid other proposals that seek to either add Juneteenth as a new holiday or replace Davis' birthday with Juneteenth. Critics like Rep. Chris England advocated for replacing the celebration of Davis, criticizing Alabama's slow progress in moving away from Confederate symbols. 

"I obviously don't think we should celebrate Jefferson Davis," England said in an interview Monday. "I don't think we should give people the option to celebrate Jefferson Davis."

Alabama House Bill 367, which offers state employees the choice between observing Juneteenth or Jefferson Davis' Birthday, is a deeply flawed attempt at progress. By even considering maintaining a holiday for a Confederate leader with a legacy of racism, Alabama fails to take a definitive stand against its painful history. Juneteenth, a celebration of freedom and the end of slavery, deserves unambiguous recognition. We must reject any proposal that perpetuates the glorification of figures who symbolize oppression and division. 



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