Tyson Foods’ Shameful Juneteenth Replacement Celebration

In 2021 we were told emphatically that  Juneteenth would not replace the Fourth of July as America’s major national holiday, despite the fact that the newest federal holiday’s official name is literally “Juneteenth National Independence Day.” At most, progressive editorialists lectured us at the time, Juneteenth would merely equal or complement the true Independence Day, celebrating American freedom from a different perspective, neither replacing nor diminishing July 4 as America’s National Independence Day.

Just three years on, however, Tyson Foods, a multibillion-dollar chicken processor based in Arkansas, seems to have suggested otherwise. This Juneteenth, its employees were provided with order forms for T-shirts available from an outside vendor featuring designs that included the date “July 4” struck out above language stating: “Juneteenth 1865, because my ancestors weren’t free in 1776.”

The phrase suggests affinity with radical, error-ridden, Marxist-infused, and fundamentally anti-American racial ideologies maintaining that 1619, the year the first slaves arrived in North America, should be the foundational date of American history rather than the year in which national independence was declared. Most variations of the T-shirt visible on the internet print the additional words following the July 4 cross-out in the green, red, and yellow colors of Pan-Africanism, which are featured in national flags that numerous African countries adopted upon their, and not our, independence.

Confronted with this apparent suggestion of replacing July 4, Tyson admitted that the T-shirts were designed by a “team member” but claimed that management was “unaware” of them. Now that it is, the statement continued, Tyson claims to have determined that they do not comply with the company’s dress code and should no longer be sold to employees. Tyson did not, however, clarify how or in what way these shirts failed to meet the company’s undoubtedly lofty sartorial standards. Does the company, which claims on its website to be committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), prefer anti-American messages to appear on collared shirts only? We may never know, and it is apparently reticent to make clear that it supports the real Independence Day.

This could be the type of confusion one might expect from a company that recently had to recall nearly 30,000 tons of processed chicken found to contain pieces of metal.  The company also may be motivated to push the diversity agenda to justify its cost-cutting agenda. In March, Tyson announced its desire to hire more than 40,000 migrants for entry-level work in its plants, even while it laid off American workers.

Juneteenth commemorates Union Civil War Major General Gordon Granger’s June 19, 1865 order enforcing President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Granger freed slaves still held in bondage in Texas, where his troops had finally arrived following General Robert E. Lee’s final surrender more than two months earlier. The occasion became a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed it into law. The House of Representatives passed the bill, proposing it with only 14 votes against. The Senate passed it unanimously. Then-Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson accurately predicted that “our country will get a new Independence Day, to supplant the old one” in what he called an act of “radical social change.” That might be just fine with Tyson Foods. Enjoy your steely chicken.

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