Thanks-Giving: A Day Of Taking. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Thanks-Giving: A Day Of Taking.

November 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Health, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry


Our nation was born in genocide…We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday that romanticizes the interaction between Puritans and the indigenous people of America. People congregate with loved ones to fraternize with gluttony and entertainment. This nationalist holiday has been utilized as a great propaganda tool, circulating the story of European Christian explorers who founded America, which was unpopulated except for a small amount of uncivilized pagan “Indians” who needed Christianity in order to be civilized. This version of the history omits the important facts of thievery and genocide. Indigenous people were victims of “total war.” Total war is a military tactic used primarily against innocent citizens while also destroying the food and water sources of the intended target. These same tactics were used during the Vietnam War through Agent Orange, which continues to leave Vietnamese newborns with birth defects almost 60 years after the war.

The Thanksgiving holiday is demeaning to the indigenous people of this land who are relegated to reservations, burdened by hopelessness and alcoholism while holding the country’s highest suicide rate. According to the latest report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, native youth have a suicide rate that is at a crisis level. Anna Almendrala in her article called Native American Youth Suicide Rates Are at Crisis Levels says, “Native Americans are more likely to die of alcohol-related causes, and the incidence of diabetes and tuberculosis are higher than average. As a group, they also have the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the U.S., while AIAN children are at double the risk for abuse and neglect.”  The message of Thanksgiving is contradictory on a political and social level.

Thanksgiving, from a political aspect, has been used to indoctrinate indian-genocide-2015-Native-American-ThanksgivingAmerican citizens from a young age, romanticizing a Hollywood version of how America came to be and the relationship between Puritans and the people they derogatorily refer to as “Indians”. School children make artwork and even have plays and celebrations that tell the modified story. This ensures patriotism among the citizens who are taught to praise the pirates who murdered, raped, and stole land from people who have resided on American lands for over a thousand years. Lands that once supported the physical and spiritual requirements of tribal life are, now covered with cement, rush hour traffic, and shopping centers that promote unfettered consumption, leading many citizens to debt-enslaved lives.

Commercialized holidays such as Thanksgiving offer a means for companies to get into the “black” hence the term Black Friday. They are saturated with consumerism though the essence of the holiday is supposed to be about giving thanks. How can one be thankful and discontent at the same time? For it is the discontentment that leads one to stand outside of Best Buy for 36 hours with hopes of purchasing that latest electronic item at a discounted price. It is mental illness that leads people to stampede into Walmart, taking the precious life of a human being for the acquisition of cheap materials most likely made under harsh conditions by exploited laborers in a Third World country. It is mis-education for the masses to engage in gluttony and debauchery while watching violent sports with teams with derogatory “Indian” names like Redskins (which is equivalent to having a team called the New York Dead Niggers). They are thankful for their over consumption while many Americans go without.

The term “Redskin” derives from scalp-hunting programs that resulted in the privatization of war, as US citizens were paid delivering the scalps of tribal members. Male scalps received the highest reward followed by women, children, and the elderly. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz in her book An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States says, “The settlers gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp-hunts: redskins.”

Even if one wants to deny the negative interactions between Puritan and indigenous people and celebrate Thanksgiving, the experience would be enhanced by actually giving thanks. One should be thankful for their lot in life and sacrifice and provide to those without. The indigenous people we are supposedly celebrating were a communal people, void of the concept of private property and industrialism that is the source of many social ills we face in our society.

Please be conscious when carving your steroid and antibiotic treated turkey or enjoying those tasty GMO products full of sugar and salt, breaking bread with those you love and hate: there are hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens who celebrate this holiday with mourning. They mourn the suffering of their ancestors made refugees in their own land. They mourn the ignorance of a society that truly believes the romanticized version of Thanksgiving and teaches it to their children. They mourn being ostracized, ridiculed, and mocked with cowboy and Indian stories in their own land. They mourn that people are more concerned with sales at department store than even hearing their side of the story.

I am not advocating that anyone stop traditions you grew up with, only to approach it with a different spirit. Instead of mindless consumption of food and merchandise on the holiday, partake in a selfless act of actually giving, whether it be money or time. As America’s economy continues to weaken, more families than before are in need of a helping hand. This year, began a new tradition of actually being thankful with less consumption and more giving.

Staff Writer; Linton Hinds Jr.

Official website;

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!