arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Sunday Morning Post (V.1, #42): The Thanksgiving Myth


One of the more baffling WTF moments this week happened when the President, in front if his MAGA-hatted faithful, declared that some people want to change the name of Thanksgiving.  Naturally the media contacted the White House for clarification about the President’s remarks, and were answered with cluelessness on the subject.  Even Fox and Friends — who usually feed their conspiracy theories to the President — didn’t know what the eff he was talking about.

The President may have been referring to a movement among Native Americans to use Thanksgiving as a day of mourning for the genocide of their culture carried out by Western (read WASP) culture. These people perceive the celebration of the first Thanksgiving as the starting point of the white man’s policies towards the savages they encountered in North America.   They dismiss the myth of what every American school child has been taught about the Pilgrims inviting the local tribe to a feast to achieve a lasting peace with the natives.

Yes, it is a myth that all of the Native Americans welcomed the alien white culture in to their lives.  The Pilgrim story is all part of the feel-good history Americans have been taught about their country.  The problem is that we are supposed to learn from history, good and bad, especially the bad.  But how can we learn when we’re given the wrong lessons.

First, let’s get the true meaning of Thanksgiving settled.  It is supposed to be a day when we stop our day-to-day routine to express gratitude to God, or Providence, or whatever for the food on our tables, the roof over our heads and a multitude of other blessings we have in our lives.  That’s it in a nutshell.  It is not really a day to feast until we puke and watch football games endlessly.  All of those activities happen by default.

We should express thanks for all that we have and not want for anything more. Unfortunately, we live in a materialistic society that thrives, nay, depends on unbridled consumerism for its very survival.  Oh, how can we ever survive, if we determine we truly possess everything we will ever need in our lives and we won’t ever have to buy anything else ever again?

And lo, on the fifth day, God created Black Friday.  The irony of this should not be lost on any of us.

This is not to disregard the feelings and motivations for justice among Native American activists.  The entire idea of Thanksgiving doesn’t have to been discarded for the sake of grieving.  We can make room on the table for stuffing and mashed potatoes, then what the hell, we can certainly make room for gratitude of our blessings AND somber reflection on our national sins.

The motivation for justice among Native Americans is well placed at the national table.  We have to start the work against intolerance somewhere, but we don’t have to give the President another talking point for his rallies. 

(Thank you for reading.)

4 Comments:

Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

The myths around Thanksgiving really do epitomize the destructive contradictions at the heart of American culture.

December 1, 2019 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Ur-spo said...

I give you high marks to actually listen to his ramblings
I can't stand the voice even for a few seconds.

December 1, 2019 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Hi Debra. I sometimes wonder if these myths were created out a sense of making other cultures (i.e. the Soviet Union in the 1950's)look bad so we would be (in theory)better citizens.

Actually Spo I didn't listen that much to him directly. I got my info second hand.
But I'll accept your high marks anyway.

December 2, 2019 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

Those myths existed long before the 1950s. I think they originated to ease the pain and truth of guilt, so that the conquering cultures could lie to themselves that they were good people.

December 8, 2019 at 11:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home