November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving is for celebration only?

This tweet of mine:Thanksgiving is when we cheer ourselves about Anglo-Indian relations and ignore the lying, cheating, and killing that happened afterward.led to a discussion with a couple of people on Facebook:If we can't celebrate the spirit of a peaceful meal than what can we celebrate. While I agree that Columbus Day should be a day for examining ethnic sins, I think the attacks on Thanksgiving are off target.

If we can celebrate the spirit of an *imaginary* peaceful meal, what can't we celebrate? And why would we want to celebrate the spirits of people so rock stupid they went off to colonize a new world without bringing any fishhooks and were therefore reduced to stealing food from the natives? This white woman has zero use for this holiday.
I think you can enjoy the meal while recognizing the underlying mythology it supports.

I'm not treating it as a national day of mourning, or posting over-the-top Thanksgiving = Genocide pics. But I'm also not pretending it's a happy-go-lucky event unconnected to past events.

If I were attending a dinner--which I'm not (*sniff*)--I wouldn't necessarily hit the attendees with the true story of Thanksgiving. But it's something to be aware of, and to pass on at an appropriate moment.

Columbus Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving are the only times most people will think of Indians. They're our annual trio of educational opportunities.

For more on the subject, see Students Hold "Anti-Thanksgiving" Potluck and 43rd National Day of Mourning.

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