Thanksgiving: a sanitized version of American history

Thanksgiving turkey handprint. (Illustrator/Anibal Santos)

Thanksgiving turkey handprint. (Illustrator/Anibal Santos)

Thanksgiving is a holiday comprised of copious amounts of food while inadvertently chanting in pride over the slaughter of Native Americans. While some might say it is about expressing your gratitude for what you have, in all actuality it is a holiday about this land being “discovered.”

As a brief history lesson, Christopher Columbus discovered the native Taino-Arawak people of the Bahamas who brought Columbus and his sailors food, water, and gifts. In A People’s History of the United States, historian Howard Zinn writes about the reaction of the Arawak men and women who greeted Columbus and his sailors with a sincere and friendly exchange. Columbus later wrote of the interaction in his blog:

“They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned. They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of sugar cane. They would make fine servants. With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

Timothy Braatz, Saddleback history professor, speaks of Thanksgiving:

“Thanksgiving Day in the USA has lost any historical meaning, thank goodness, and it’s no longer a harvest festival since the harvests are mostly controlled by agribusiness.  For many, it seems to have become a celebration of gluttony, football, and shopping.  The holiday get-togethers are nice, but, for the comfortable, every day should be thanksgiving,” said Braatz.

Columbus did to the natives what Cortez did to the Aztecs of Mexico, slaughter and kill millions of native people. The gold, slaves and other resources that were seized from the natives were used in Europe to induce the growth of a new economy.

Your kindergarden teacher probably had you draw a cute turkey with your handprint that you brought home to your parents as a gift. In later years, knowledge could have progressed in grade school when you learned that the pilgrims held a huge dinner prompted by good harvest calling the feast, “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth.”

The origins of this holiday have nothing to do with the United States. Yet you’ll be sure to find the country stuffing their faces with food, blindly believing anything they’re told. The creation of the federal holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 gave Thanksgiving a new meaning, whereas before the term colonists used to celebrate over dinner the elimination of another tribe.

Thanksgiving is celebrating the genocide of the only real Americans. This secular holiday was put in place by the United States government to feed the socioeconomic industrial complex, while simultaneously pretending that a genocide did not occur.

Sitting with our families on Thanksgiving, taking the opportunity to give thanks and appreciation for the things and people we love, we realize that none of the things we are thankful for have anything to do with the Pilgrims, and everything to do with the lives of dead Indians who were massacred by the colonists in the name of Christianity.