Thursday, November 23, 2006

happy thanksgiving

i wanted to link to an article by robert jensen, phd professor at the university of texas. he wrote it last year

i know others (yes, you rick) may disagree. i see it more from mr jensen's point of view. while we have MANY things to be thankful for (and believe me i am), we also have many things we must reflect upon. the sins of my father are NOT my sins but i also do not wish to commit those very same transgressions.

No Thanks to Thanksgiving

By Robert Jensen, AlterNetPosted on November 23, 2006, Printed on November 23, 2006
One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting.
In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas.
Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States.
That the world's great powers achieved "greatness" through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news, of course. That those same societies are reluctant to highlight this history of barbarism also is predictable.
But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people -- is of special importance today. It's now routine -- even among conservative commentators -- to describe the United States as an empire, so long as everyone understands we are an inherently benevolent one. Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful.
One vehicle for taming history is various patriotic holidays, with Thanksgiving at the heart of U.S. myth-building. From an early age, we Americans hear a story about the hearty Pilgrims, whose search for freedom took them from England to Massachusetts. There, aided by the friendly Wampanoag Indians, they survived in a new and harsh environment, leading to a harvest feast in 1621 following the Pilgrims first winter. ...........

tomorrow (or perhaps this weekend), i am going to post a series of stories (4 in total) from the
los angeles times. it deals with what we did on some reservations in the 40s and 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s into today. how we allowed the land to be raped but beyond that, we left toxic waste. how when the very same toxic waste was discovered in a town in colorado (grand junction) the government paid for a TOTAL clean up. how those huts on the reservations are STILL stewing in toxic goo with many deaths and diseases thrown in.

once again, happy thanksgiving


Fuzzy Turtle said...

I don't ever rememer celebrating Thanksgiving with my family.. but my folks were immigrants.More often than not I'd go to the parade with my friends in the morning.

For all my friends their family, the day seemed more about football than anything else. :(

a rose is a rose said...

i now celebrate thanksgiving in a different way.

growing up it was always a big big big deal. for years and years, my family was invited to 'go to the hall'. my father's brother's wife's family would rent a hall and a ton of families went. they all were assigned to bring something and then we all dug in and ate. the hall we used to go to had a stage upstairs and as kids we'd put on shows. i have very fond memories of it. when my grandmother passed (she was 102 by the way), i stopped going. there were just too many people