FACT CHECK: Did Vivek Ramaswamy Call Juneteenth ‘Useless’ Two Months After Celebrating It?
A post shared on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, claims Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called Juneteenth a “useless” holiday two months after celebrating it.
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) August 6, 2023
A video shows that Ramaswamy called Juneteenth useless during a speech he gave in Vail, Iowa in August. An X post from June 19th shows Ramaswamy saying “we celebrate how far we come” on Juneteenth. Ramaswamy’s campaign has disputed the phrasing of the language.
Ramaswamy, the youngest GOP presidential candidate, wants voters aged 18 to 24 to pass a civics test in order to be able to vote, New York Post reported. He also wants to raise the voting age to 25 unless a citizen 18 or older is enrolled in the military, is a first responder or passes a civics test similar to those given to immigrants to obtain citizenship, according to Politico.
A post on X claims Ramaswamy has called Juneteenth a “useless” two months after making a post celebrating it. The tweet shared an article from NBC News covering the claim.
“Vivek Ramaswamy says Juneteenth is a ‘useless’ holiday – 2 months after posting a tweet celebrating it,” the post reads.
This claim has not been fully substantiated. The link to the NBC News article shared in the tweet shows that Ramaswamy referred to Juneteenth as “useless” during a recent campaign stop.
“We’ll make election day a holiday in the United States of America so there’s no complaints about it. Cancel Juneteenth or one of the other useless ones we made up,” Ramswamy said. Ramswamy also confirmed to NBC News that he thought the holiday was “useless.”
The post also claims Ramaswamy celebrated Juneteenth. This references a post from June 19 from the politician on X. The tweet reads, “Juneteenth is a new holiday so we still have a chance to define what it means to us. It needn’t be about grievance & self-flogging. Let it be a celebration of the American Dream itself.” (RELATED: Did Vivek Ramaswamy Vote For The First Time In 2020)
Juneteenth is a new holiday so we still have a chance to define what it means to us. It needn’t be about grievance & self-flogging. Let it be a celebration of the American Dream itself. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/NyHfbJoAlw
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) June 19, 2023
A Ramaswamy spokesperson, in an email to Check Your Fact, disputed that Ramswamy celebrated Juneteenth in the June 19 tweet. The spokesperson pointed to Ramswamy saying that “we just don’t look back and flog ourselves, that’s besides the point” as evidence that he didn’t celebrate Juneteenth.
“That’s the American dream I lived, that’s the American dream we wanna give to the next generation. That’s what we celebrate on Juneteenth. We just don’t look back and flog ourselves, that’s besides the point. What we celebrate is how far we’ve come. And as a first-generation American myself, you better believe I’m proud of it. Happy Juneteenth everybody,” Ramswamy said in the video.
“He is saying we need to reframe what Juneteenth is about…’not flog ourselves’ and that we should “‘celebrate how far we’ve come.’ He is saying as is recognized today Juneteenth is pointless,” the spokesperson said.
Check Your Fact has reached out to NBC News for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.