Hi blog! I’m so excited to dive into today’s topic and educate those of you who don’t know! Thanksgiving is a week away, so it’s a good time to discuss it.
Most people outside of the United States have no idea what Thanksgiving is about and when they learn, they’re shocked that we celebrate such a holiday. The general thing people know is that it has something to do with pilgrims and peace making and eating turkey. The truth about it is quite morbid. This post is for those of you, internationally or domestically, who don’t know much about the roots of Thanksgiving!
The United States education system loves brushing anything bad done by our country under the rug. Seriously, some people want to make slavery seem like a little bump in American history, instead of the centuries of agony that millions went through and that shapes our culture. It’s disappointing and I could write a very long post about how the public education system has failed history, science, and math, but I’ll save that for another day. I just wish we would adopt practices like they have in Germany, where students are educated and reminded about the holocaust so that it will never happen again.
The education system fails to tell younger students the truth about Thanksgiving. They put it off as this super fun, healing time between pilgrims and Natives that celebrated peace with this congregated feast. The story is that pilgrims and Natives came together to feast their friendship after the natives helped with their harvest, with foods from both sides. Schools celebrate with parties and having the children actually dress up as pilgrims or Native Americans, which is beyond insensitive to a culture slaughtered by this country.
THE TRUTH is, for those who don’t know, the United States was founded and developed in a, pardon my language, very fucked up way. White people came on this land claiming it as theirs and murdered all who stood in their way. Imagine if this had happened to china or any other country. We could’ve had a country full of incredible, beautiful, Natives, but they were killed off so that they are close to extinction as an ethnicity.
In the “pilgrim” days, Thanksgiving was what they called meals after they successfully slaughtered tribes of Natives. If that doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, envisioning so many people who did nothing to deserve it, living in daily, legitimate fear of ransom, rape, and genocide, I don’t know what would. Natives that would help settlers, men, women, and children, were burned alive, shot, clubbed, robbed, all because the settlers thought of them as “uncivilized”. Ironic, when their own actions screamed uncivilized and inhumane.
It’s one of the most unfortunate parts of human history, which there are a lot of, and one that personally affects me as an Oklahoman. All the Native Americans were driven out of their homes and sent to OK, many dying along the way, so the Native population here is prominent and it’s heartbreaking how they were stolen from. This country could have been so incredible if people genuinely acted like they say they did and lived peacefully with the Natives. This country would have vast culture that we lack.
Fortunately (and unfortunately), over the years, advertisements and American culture have shifted the focus of the holiday onto giving thanks for what you have and hanging out with family. It’s fortunate because we aren’t exactly celebrating pilgrims, but our families. It’s unfortunate because so many people in this country are uneducated about the truth. Those who know the true meaning of Thanksgiving disassociate it with the past and use it as a well needed day off. It’s a day to give thanks for all our fortunes.
As a person with no American ancestry, I’m not really sure how to feel about the ethics of continuing to feast on this day or if we should stop. It’s problematic because the descendants of the murders still celebrate this and the descendants of the natives are disturbed that the slaughter of their people is being put in a positive light. I like to think of it as a day that celebrates gratitude for your current life and mourns disturbing guilt from the past.
I want you to forget everything you’ve heard about peace between pilgrims and natives because it’s all a sick lie. There’s no need to despise Thanksgiving because it’s just an excuse to relax and get together with family, which is harder and harder to do these days. I always take time to remember those who were treated with so much injustice from this country, or any country, on Thanksgiving.
Is this surprising? Did you know this? What do you think about this holiday? Should we just take it away all together?
I do have a couple of light hearted Thanksgiving posts coming up, so I hope you don’t mind. Like I said, this day is just to dress up, feast, and enjoy family to most people so I hope no one is offended that my family celebrates this holiday and I’m going to post about the party/feast aspect of it.
Thank you for reading, hopefully this enlightened you, please pass it along to all those around you, and I’m sending you all my love.