Many Americans in USA will be gathering with their families, stuffing themselves silly, and having so much leftover turkeys to last the for the next few weeks. There is nothing wrong with getting together with family. It is a good tradition. Every culture has it. My issue is with the premise of the event.
American Thanksgiving has its roots in the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the Plymouth settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. The Plymouth settlers were not doing all too well in this “New World”. Thankfully for them, Squanto, a Patuxet Native American who resided with the Wampanoag tribe, taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them. It’s pretty big of Squanto to do all of those things considering he was a slave in England (where he learned English).
But instead of being truly grateful for the very people who helped them survive and thrive, these white men went on to commit genocide on the native Americans. So exactly what thanksgiving are Americans celebrating?
What makes it even more hypocritical this year is the way some Americans think Syrian refugees ought to be treated. Here is one deplorable example:
It seems that the white American have conveniently forgotten that many of their ancestors were refugees of one sort or another. They were the original invading aliens in the land they now call home. And yet, they celebrate Thanksgiving, while denying others access to the blessings that their ancestors fortunately had.
John Oliver (who’s a British) has a fantastic smackdown on this hypocrisy:
The full clip:
It seems that if USA today, more so than ever, has forgotten that it is an immigrant society. It has forgotten that these words are engraved on the plaque in the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:
I hope that as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they will reflect on their collective hypocrisy. I hope that this reflection will awaken some spark of human decency within them and make them more compassionate towards the last, the lost and the least of humanity.
As for me. I won’t need a day just to give thanks. I give thanks everyday. It’s my way of staying sane and happy.