As I’ve been writing all month, I do think the principles of thanksgiving are wonderful ones. I think there is so much for us all to be thankful for, so much that we take for granted, that it is nice to have a holiday that reminds us that we have so much in this life. It’s nice to have a day that brings us all together to celebrate our joys. I want that for everyone today. I want you all to laugh and stuff yourselves full of delicious food and drink. I want you all to have a beautiful holiday.
I only wish we would take a moment to recognize that Thanksgiving tradition could use a tiny bit of tweaking.
My biggest grip with the holiday is we forget what it really means. We were taught a cute little story about pilgrims and Native Americans coming together for a celebratory meal. We were lied to. In reality the first Thanksgiving was in celebration of a massacre of over 700 Pequot Indians.
Now, I don’t want to put too much of a damper on the day. I know that isn’t what we are celebrating now but being honest about the history of this day is a very important step in really moving forward. No one can deny that in this country the Native American have been treated very poorly. Their land was stolen, their people were killed, and their struggles belittled, and now we have turned a blind eye to them.
I think the least we can do is take a little time today to be honest about where this holiday came from and to remember that the people whose land this was first continue to face issues of poverty, mass incarceration, violence against their women, the continued exploitation and seizure of their lands, and much, much more. I think it is insulting to celebrate, as a nation, a holiday marking the killing of their people, and still forget to take a moment for them.
I don’t want to get rid of the holiday at all. I don’t want to ruin it either. I really do wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you have much to be thankful for this year. I only ask that you do not forget what this holiday might mean to cultures other than your own. I ask that you be sensitive to that and raise awareness if you can. Do not let the lie we were taught in school live on any longer. That’s all.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)
Featured image via U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr
P.S. Please think of the turkeys today too, which have been breed to be so big they cannot even stand upright anymore.