The Myth of Thanksgiving
Alice Lele puts the focus on the often forgotten history of the holiday.
Growing up in the US, thanksgiving is a big event from a very young age. The significance was not lost on me from a young age: the time off from school, family coming into town from all over, a big dinner with lots of preparation involved. The excitement at home was accompanied by an explanation of the tradition at school, or from storybooks for young children. The standard history of thanksgiving is an inexcusably white-washed, oversimplification of a historic relationship between colonists and the Native Americans.
When the pilgrims, Calvinists who sought religious freedom from the Anglican Church, came to America in the early seventeenth century, settlers in Plymouth Massachusetts experienced a severe winter. They had settled an area of Massachusetts left abandoned by the Patuxet who were wiped out by a plague. Only fifty of a hundred settlers survived the winter, and the remaining pilgrims were struggling to survive. They were introduced to the last remaining Patuxet named Squanto, who spoke English and survived the plague that wiped out his people, due to having been enslaved in Europe. Squanto and Samoset (the first to encounter the starving pilgrims) took pity on the pilgrims and taught them how to catch eel and grow corn in the harsh climate. Squanto died of plague a year later. Nearby the Wampanoag leader Massasoit also gave supplies to the pilgrims who did not have enough supplies. The feast itself took place in the fall of 1621, when the pilgrims, having survived the winter through the help of the Native Americans, took in their first harvest. There were 90 natives and 50 pilgrims present.
While most of these facts are presented in the storybooks we are given as children, there is a slant to the story that presents a relationship of equals. This could not be further from the truth. The pilgrims, and later their descendants, along with the United States itself, persecuted the Native Americans, driving them out of their own land, impeding on their trust, and at the height of the Trail of Tears in the 1820s essentially committing a genocide on the native population. The narrative created by the wealth of history presented to children and more generally the American population, is one of two communities setting aside their differences to break bread. What this skates over is the turbulent relationship that the pilgrims and the Native Americans had. This is such an ignorant view of this dynamic, to the point that Disney’s wild retelling of the story of Pocahontas was more successful in capturing this dynamic.
The problem is, many Americans are ignorant of the depth of injustices committed against the natives of the country. The history of inequity and persecution goes back farther than that of our country’s establishment. It is disingenuous of us to celebrate a relationship that does not exist. Yes, the Wampanoag, Samoset and Squanto helped the pilgrims of Plymouth to survive the winter and in return the pilgrims invited them to a harvest festival, but this was not a foundation to a peaceful relationship of reciprocal trust and respect, as many storybooks suggest. There is a reason that, while Native Americans were so prominent in 1620, they were able to help the pilgrims, or even found their settlement on the abandoned site of the Patuxet. Meanwhile today, the native community of the US is small, persecuted, disenfranchised, and contained within small areas of the country. The traces of a vibrant and vast array of communities that spread across what is now the continental US are still visible in the names of towns, or by the discovery of arrowheads in the woods, or geographical markers with a cultural significance lost to history. The problem is, when we celebrate this historic occasion every year we gloss over the fate of the native community, while commemorating a relational dynamic that, if it existed, was extremely short-lived, before giving in to slaughter.
36 thoughts on “The Myth of Thanksgiving”
cheap prescription drugs pharmacy uk https://ostipharmso.com/
xenical tablet xenical price in australia orlistat for fat loss review reddit what meds does orlistat affect
에볼루션게임 먹튀검증 안전노리터 go
Your writing style is cool and I have learned several just right stuff here. I can see how much effort you’ve poured in to come up with such informative posts about Data Mining. If you need more input, feel free to check out my website at xrank.cyou
I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me
to come here and visit more often. Did you hire
out a developer to create your theme? Fantastic work!
my canadian pharmacy cheap canadian drugs
https://noprescriptioncanada.com/# prescription price comparison
https://drugs1st.com/# reputable indian pharmacies
buy amoxil amoxicillin cost australia
prednisone pills for sale prednisone 10 or prednisone 20mg nz
http://seejanethrow.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=prednisone1st.store buy prednisone online australia
prednisone 20 prednisone without prescription 10mg and india buy prednisone online prednisone 20 mg in india
allergy medications over-the-counter over the counter muscle relaxers
amoxicillin online canada buy amoxicillin online with paypal or amoxicillin cephalexin
http://nataliagrosvenor.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=amoxil.science medicine amoxicillin 500
amoxicillin 500mg capsules antibiotic where can i buy amoxocillin and rexall pharmacy amoxicillin 500mg amoxicillin discount coupon
Awesome advice. Regards.
https://essaywritingservicelinked.com/ custom essay writing cheap
ed medications over the counter ed remedies that really work or online meds for ed
http://senvestassetmanagment.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=cheapdr.top ed clinics
ed meds online without prescription or membership best pills for ed and best pill for ed ed drug comparison
best online international pharmacies: buy prescription drugs without doctor – canadian pharmacy
https://drugswithoutdrprescriptions.com/# canadian meds without prescription
buy drugs canada get prescription drugs without doctor no prescription pharmacies
Cytotec 200mcg price purchase cytotec or purchase cytotec
http://www.lovemygarden.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=cytotecsale.pro cytotec pills buy online
buy cytotec buy cytotec over the counter and buy cytotec online how to get cytotec online
online sildenafil usa sildenafil otc us or sildenafil 1 cream
http://yourcreditbeast.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=vsildenafil.pro order sildenafil uk
sildenafil online order sildenafil citrate and cheap sildenafil 20 mg sildenafil tablets from india 100mg tablets
sildenafil 100mg tab – buy sildenafil online sildenafil india brand name
https://pharmst.pro/# reputable canadian pharmacy
sildenafil 58 buy sildenafil tablets online sildenafil 100 capsules