It’s the day after Halloween! Time for THANKSGIVING.
HERE FOR THE FOOD AND FAMILY (mainly food).
Thanksgiving. Some people’s favorite holiday.
“Turkey Day” as they call it.
Full of food, full of thanks; a neutral holiday.
…Or is it?
Thanksgiving: a small history
If you are from the US, the story generally goes something like this:
Upon discovery of a new land, full of “Indians”, settlers landed in the middle of winter. Cold, and hungry, they were kindly shown the ways of planting and harvest by the natives, and created an alliance with the local tribe.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but those ^ are alternative facts.
How’d it really go down?
Colonizers traveled across sea; just to get to America to start a theocracy. In other words, they wanted not only to practice their religion, but to monopolize it in an entire region. Upon arrival in the midst of winter, they robbed local tribe’s food and water, desperate.
Thus, upon the crop’s growth, what sources say may have just been a large regular English feast, became known as “the first thanksgiving”. The native who shared the skills to crop was called Squanto, who was a member of the local tribes in Massachusetts. There’s also no evidence the native folks were even invited, except for a few paintings.
However, sources also indicated that Thanksgiving stemmed from the Pequot Massacre.
However, who are we giving thanks to?
Not too long later, pushing their limits farther into Connecticut, the colonists faced their fights. The Pequot Massacre resulted in hundreds of natives’ deaths; and the lives left were sold into slavery. Abe Lincoln didn’t claim it as a national holiday until the late 19th century, in commemoration of the civil war.
Note: Turkey probably wasn’t even served. Myth.
So, what’s the problem?
Inherently, by celebrating thanksgiving, you’re commemorating the slaughter of hundreds of native folks and promoting the genocide of their people on their land, as well as the forced colonization of European settlers on trespassed lands.
You’re celebrating thanks to settlers who kidnapped a native years after his aid, only to send him back to England to learn english, and come back to America, sold as a slave. Upon arrival, seeing his people were slaughtered and killed by,
you guessed it,
small pox blankets.
You’re celebrating the colonization of settlers across the east coast, and into the depths of the US.
You’re celebrating the trail of tears.
You’re celebrating the silencing of native voices, native culture.
You’re celebrating reservations.
Is it a direct celebration? No. But this holiday wholeheartedly acknowledges the oppression of Native voices in the US. Thanksgiving isn’t about Turkeys.
Thanksgiving isn’t about your famous recipe for Mac N Cheese, it’s about the US’s recipe for disaster, genocide, and oppression.
Not only did the US profit land before; but we’ve commercialized a culture and a holiday that continues to marginalize native voices and native folks in the US.
Criticizing a system of oppression to create a better, more effective society would mean we first have to recognize how we’re participating in them, and ways we can improve the ways we navigate society.
In other words, let’s do some research on the commercial holidays we claim to love, yeah?
Warning: You might not like what you find.
No ma’am, no ham, NO Turkey.
SJS, signing off~
Featured Image: Pixabay