Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Every story has as many versions as it has characters. I don't usually like to say much on here with too strong of political bent, but as you celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow I would like you to challenge the myth of the cozy pilgrims and "Indians" working together in harmony.

Some of them might have. I am sure there were friendships as well as violence because people are complex individuals and not the blanket societies we learn about in history books. But don't forget that the pilgrims were invaders. They may have been more peaceful than some of the other settles but they were still fighting a kind of war over the land. Some of the natives may have genuinely wished them well but just as many were afraid of them. And regardless of what the feelings were at the time, the supposed harmony of that harvest celebration we colored so many pictures of in the class room didn't last very long. We have the rest of history to prove that.

Myths have power. Most of them come from a grain of truth but they can control the way we think about things if we let them. I could never object to a holiday that celebrates food, family, and thankfulness (especially the food), but I don't think we should be unaware of the stories we tell about it. Please don't forget. Not everyone in that story had a happy ending.

And have a very happy Thanksgiving

1 comment:

  1. Good point to remember. I think history is beginning to be revised to include those minority voices more, but it really is a shame how much BS we were fed as kids learning about the righteousness of the Pilgrims as they conquered a new land. I was happy to see people in an uproar a month or so ago when some clothing company printed up t-shirts that read "manifest destiny" on them, as if that were a thing to proudly wear on your chest. Oy.

    Hope you enjoy your holiday!