Today, the day in which we celebrate the American Thanksgiving Holiday, I am conflicted with deep and intense emotions. Many of us are given time off of work and school to spend with our loved ones. I have spent most Thanksgivings with my family, laughing, playing, eating and enjoying each other's presence. Yet, as I've learned through my formal and informal education the truth behind the sugar coated Pilgrims and Indians story that was spoon fed to me as a child, I find it harder and harder to just smile and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.
I believe that we must look deeply at our own personal pain and suffering so that we may release and heal in our own lives. I also believe the same is needed for looking deeply at the pain and suffering that exists in the history of this holiday. We must acknowledge that this day, even though for many of us, in this day and age it embodies family togetherness, deep gratitude, warm connections, sharing, love and wonderful food, it is based on a dark, greed filled tragedy and massacre of the native people who were living here when the colonizers arrived. If we do not embrace the true nature of this holiday, we cannot embrace ourselves wholly. It is painful to admit that some of our own ancestors participated in the atrocities that history books wish to erase from our memories. It is difficult work to acknowledge that entire cultures and people were destroyed for the benefit of our own ancestors. Yet through bringing this truth to light and embracing it, we can take responsibility and there can be forgiveness, healing and peace for all. Of course there exist current systems and social practices that perpetuate the energy embodied by the colonizers and that also must be acknowledged and addressed, but on an energetic level for the healing of those murdered and displaced, we can offer the unadulterated truth.
- Native Circle's "The Thanksgiving Myth"
- The Black Agenda Report's "The End of American Thanksgivings: A Cause for Universal Rejoicing"
- Mitchel Cohen's "Why I Hate Thanksgiving"
Be Thankful. Be Truthful. Be Open. Be Humble.
The photo for this post is from Free Digital Photos by Photokanok.