Thursday, November 27, 2014

An Open Letter to the American Left Re: Thanksgiving

It seems like there's a knee-jerk reaction on the American Left to the celebration of Thanksgiving. Things like It's Long Past Time to Update the Thanksgiving Myth attempt to reeducate us on the "meaning" of Thanksgiving.
But the notion that the extreme irony of Thanksgiving, that White settlers were saved by Indians (whom those settlers later killed*), is intrinsic to the holiday.
You would think we would celebrate some sort of myth where the Great White Men came and fed the Indians. But we don't. It would make a convenient straw man if the story of the so-called "First Thanksgiving" were ever taught anything like that in America. But it just wasn't.
So yeah, you can complain about celebrating Columbus Day. But Thanksgiving, although based on some malarkey, is not the holiday which ignores the genocide of the native peoples of the Americas. In fact, discussing that genocide doesn't even put a damper on the holiday where those murdered people had, in their last moments, helped us. It's the same holiday. It's a Thanksgiving. Not a You'reWelcome(for letting us invade you)giving.

*Which, technically, isn't true. Another group of settlers killed those Indians.