That predatory corporate capitalism which naturalizes unjust hierarchy, as part of the overall project of discouraging political struggle and encouraging us to retreat into a private realm where life is defined by consumption.
Once we know, what do we do?
Once we know that, what do we do?
Once we know, what do we do in a world that is not yet ready to know, or knows but will not deal with the consequences of that knowledge?
We must keep speaking honestly, as often as possible, in as many venues as possible.We must resist the conventional wisdom.
We must reject the cultural amnesia.
We must refuse to be polite when politeness means capitulation to lies.
Have any of us done enough to bring our lives in line with the values we claim to hold?
What would we say about such a holiday?
Would we not question the distortions woven into such a celebration?
Would we not demand a more accurate historical account?
Would we not, in fact, denounce such a holiday as grotesque?
What would we say about such people?
Would we not question their commitment to the principles they claim to hold?
You can't define holidays individually – the idea of a holiday is rooted in its collective, shared meaning. When the dominant culture defines a holiday in a certain fashion, one can't pretend to redefine it in private. One either accepts the dominant definition or resists it, publicly and privately.
We can go to the Thanksgiving gatherings put on by friends and family, determined to raise these issues and willing to take the risk of alienating those who want to enjoy the day without politics.
We can refuse to go to such a gathering and make it known why we're not attending, which means taking the risk of alienating those who want to enjoy the day without politics.
Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful.
Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers.
"both being beasts of prey, tho' they differ in shape."
"[W]e shall destroy all of them."
"due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually bringing peace into the red wastes where the barbarian peoples of the world hold sway."
"I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth."
When invoking a grand and glorious aspect of our past, then history is all-important. We are told how crucial it is for people to know history, and there is much hand wringing about the younger generations' lack of knowledge about, and respect for, that history.
"Why do you insist on dwelling on the past?"
What Are You Celebrating?
A Thanksgiving Prayer
A National Day Of Mourning