Ok, the title might be a bit of an angry reaction but I think I'm entitled to one.
Flipping through the channels on TV, I stumbled upon my much disliked news network: Fox. I paused because there was a special on Thanksgiving and it's 'myth'. This caught my eye because I've always been interested in how the holiday in the US is represented as innocent and beautiful and a time to share. Meanwhile what was mostly shared by the Europeans with the Native American inhabitants was small-pox and scurvy.
I know that is a much more pragmatic view than most people have, so I always leave room for some positivity. The Native Americans did help Europeans survive the harsh winters by sharing their bounty and teaching hunting techniques. That type of hospitality should be celebrated, but not at the cost of silencing a history of raping and pillaging the Native American civilization.
Anyway, there was a school in the US somewhere that decided to educate their students as to the real circumstances of the give and take of European colonizers and the Native community. Fox of course was all up in arms, because according to them Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all that was/is good about America.
At some point during the newscast, the anchors tried to illustrate what a weird school this is by pointing out that the school board sponsored a class to go to a "while privilege' conferences in Colorado. The two white guys joked about this real issue in society, and dismissed it as a crazy idea.
That's right, the white anchors on Fox news couldn't wrap their little brains around the fact that our society is still deeply racialized, and indeed there are class lines that infiltrate deep into the American dream. That it is harder for people of colour, and that there have been people deeply wronged by the growth of the American dream.
So in short, to those who celebrate Thanksgiving....go ahead celebrate it, but realize that there must be some type of awareness to the genocide that occurred. Upwards of 30 million Native Americans died due to colonization!
Perhaps what we should give thanks to is that we now have the ability to educate ourselves as to the history of the people that were lost in the silences of history, and the many things each of those peoples gave to our life now.
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