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The Lie of Thanksgiving

If no one else is gonna be honest… I might as well do it.

By Hope MartinPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 8 min read
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I borrowed this image from this website: http://tamaravrussell.com/2015/11/the-lie-i-refuse-to-teach/

I’m gonna start this off by saying that we do celebrate Thanksgiving. We cook a feast, and we eat. But you won’t see a Macy's parade on our television. Instead, it’s probably something to entertain young kids- that does not indulge in the massive disgusting, lie that is Thanksgiving.

Oh well… we’re being honest, so I’ll just admit that all holidays in my house are different. We celebrate them in their honesty- and we do not leave out the violence that these holidays were created on. When we celebrate, we do so with reverance for the people in the past whose lives were taken to solidify these 'holidays about love and thanksgiving.'

Unfortunately- most things American or European was founded on violence. Even our beloved holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas… or should I say “especially” our most beloved holidays?

The reason I'm writing this is because I read a vocal article earlier - talking about the sweet idea of gratitude that everyone suddenly and magically has this time of year because of the holidays. It said “it started as a holiday for giving thanks…”

And articles about this holiday… it’s “meaning.” And fine. Sure- the “meaning” of Thanksgiving is great…now. But everyone loves to just skip the tiny but extremely relevant fact that... Thanksgiving wasn't actually about gratitude in its creation. I also find it reproachable that people are okay with spreading the message to our kids that this time of year is the only year they should be thanking their village that raises them.

Why does anyone need a “holiday” to remind people to appreciate all the things that have happened? Why are we not actively being like this all year? How come paying for someone's Starbucks order randomly is perfectly okay and normal in December or November... but if you did it in July people would be like: Oh you're so NICE! Doing God's work! So GeNeRoUs!

Why do we need a holiday based around a fictional story to remind us to you know… love all the other humans?

And why doesn’t anyone get upset that they are STILL lying to our children in school about how this holiday came into existence? Yeah, I’m going there for my brethren Wampanoag. I am Cherokee but we believe we are one people under the sky- All of 'my peoples' pain is my pain. We were all decimated by these “thankful” Europeans in the end. One way or another.

But the LIE about the handing off of this country, the LIE of Thanksgiving, and schools telling our children is despicable. They teach disgusting LIES about this holiday and the crimes committed against the indigenous people who had been on this land already for 1600 years are just left to the dust. And no one cares about the Native kids in school, when Thanksgiving is a day of mourning and remembrance have to keep their mouths shut about the truth of it, or teachers SCOLD them.

I'm sorry my Vocal friends. But Thanksgiving is not a day of joy for everyone. And what they are teaching our children in school about the history of the holiday is the worst offense to the indigenous people of this country, ESPECIALLY to the Wampanoag people, who have survived all this time, and who still exist to this day, despite the blood that this earth has soaked up, and years of White Man's Lies covering the stain.

The children of this country. Your children. They are ignorant to the truth. And every single one of you is encouraging that by not acknowledging it. It's disgusting how many Thanksgiving day articles are written every year, and hardly any of them ever thank the dead of the past, for dying so that people can be gluttonous and pretend we aren't stressed out by the pressure that these holidays put on us.

The truth is the story of the Thanksgiving Dinner between the Wampanoag and the pilgrims is mostly lies and historical inaccuracies. The story of Thanksgiving that everyone thinks is the truth is so disgustingly offensive to the Wampanoag, that it makes me feel sick.

I guess I'm upset because I want the past to be acknowledged. I don't want America's children to grow up and believe that the "Indians were happy to give their lives away to the white people and gave up their land for the British. It was a happy happy story." The meaning of Thanksgiving now is what we make of it, and I understand that. But history will repeat itself if we let it.

Humans as a collective are savage animals, and if we do not actively teach our children the truth then we are leading them to their own doom. It is our job, and if we do not teach them to be better than what it was long ago before people became more conscious of each other, it could lead to the complete erasure of Native American's truth, and history. We have to fight so hard to keep our culture, traditions, and history alive as it is. The truth must be told, and children must be taught that we must turn this holiday into something beautiful for the sake of the terrible past associated with it. And that's where the true meaning of this holiday should come in. We are thankful for what we have, and we are thankful to all who have come before.

Everyone talks about how they love the holidays and their family, and what they are grateful for. But that is all empty, because after the new year all of this gratefulness just slips away. The holiday has become superficial and that is devastating to the history of my people, and the loss that happened.

People associate thanksgiving with "giving thanks." And that's wonderful. I'm not saying the meaning of Thanksgiving in the world of today isn't all fluffy bunnies and unicorn farts. But I am saying that are those of us whose families and cultures and whole entire civilizations are grieving on this day. Because the crimes of this holiday have been buried under centuries of careless negligence. And not enough people know that.

This world is becoming more inclusive of human beings. We should add truth of the history of America and the blood it and it's traditions are founded on into that inclusive truth. The lessons our children will learn if they know the truth of the violence of our country, and our holidays are much more valuable than the shallow, superficial 'gratefulness' we preach about (again, my goal as a mom is teaching them to be like this all year long). It will lead to a better future when we are gone and they are in charge.

I'm also upset, because I know a good chunk of you reading this probably don't know the truth about Thanksgiving yourselves, and you're arguing with me internally telling me I'm a dumb broad. Again, I implore you to click this link and read about the truth of Thanksgiving. And see if you don't have some feelings after you read it.

My people, the Wampanoag, the Apache, the Sioux, the Seminole... the list goes on forever. We should have been raising our voices before. We should have been destroying people's holiday spirit a long time ago. If the world can break out into a global argument about Black Lives Matter and the history and the suffering that black slaves went through in history, then I think they should also care about the indigenous peoples who were ALSO slaves.

We should start sharing the stories of how they raped our women, enslaved our men, and murdered our children. How they intentionally tried to wipe us off the face of the planet with biological warfare such as smallpox and measles. How the French people would scalp our women after raping them and ship their beautiful long hair out and make money because 'savage purses' made from the scalp of a Native American woman was a HUGE fashion trend like we were animals. Oh, not to mention it kept your opium so fresh! Then we should talk about how those who survived were threatened, bullied, and had their culture, language, and the name they were given beaten out of them. Their faith was obliterated as they were FORCED into Christianity (don't get me wrong.. I'm a Christian. But unlike my ancestors I wasn't FORCED. It was my choice).

We should talk about how we helped them survive and they KILLED us in return. And THAT is how Thanksgiving was born.

So my "thankful message for today this year... is I am grateful for anyone who shares the truth about this holiday... and stops blindly bleating out the lie that is this wretched holiday. I am thankful for teachers like this one.

Because until the truth of this holiday becomes the normal along with the good fluffy bunny bullshit everyone likes to spout about this time of year, it's nothing but a disgusting lie that everyone in this country partakes in.

And that is my unpopular opinion of the year. Thanks for reading, I hope I didn't make anyone too mad. Love you guys! And uh... happy Thanksgiving?

heroes and villainspop culturehumanityhistoryfact or fiction
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About the Creator

Hope Martin

I am a published author of a book called Memoirs of the In-Between. Currently, I am doing a rewrite of it, as it needed some polishing to be better. I am a mom, a cook, a homesteader, and a second-generation shaman.

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