Neato Torpedo wrote:I just think it's detrimental to progress if people don't recognize history and continue to view Native Americans as parasites and trash instead of cultures that were on the ass end of five centuries of persecution. I have the same qualms about Columbus Day, actually, and the exclusively Eurocentric perspective offered there as well.
Well, people would also have to recognize that Thanksgiving became a nationalized holiday by President Lincoln during the Civil War. There's more to Thanksgiving in the context of American history than just Puritan pilgrims giving thanks for landing in America and a bountiful harvest (with the help of Native Americans and later exploitation.
I think the meaning of Thanksgiving has become something more personal and people in general celebrate it for the right reasons. People can be thankful for what they have most days, but 1) they do take a lot of things for granted still and 2) families can't always come together more frequently during the year in the spirit of actually celebrating the idea that they're celebrating something together. While public awareness of colonial bigotry and the ongoing persecution of Native Americans later on is a good thing, there is still meaningful value in celebrating Thanksgiving. American government and society are not without their grave historical injustices but that doesn't mean society today can be pinned entirely with the burden of having to be aware of those problems those long ago had burdened on society generations and centuries ago.
It reminds me of a debate I had with a Glasgow Celtic fan who defended Celtic fans' protests of Remembrance Day. In the UK, Remembrance Day is the exact equivalent to Veterans Day in the US and was meant to honor veterans of World War I. Eventually that came to include veterans of World War II and subsequent/ongoing wars, just like Veterans Day. Celtic fans tend to have staunch Irish Republican views and they see hypocrisy in celebrating the day (have to remember the Irish War of Independence happened after the WWI Armistice). While there's no excuse for the British Army's past atrocities against Ireland over many, many years, what Celtic fans and die-hard Irish Republicans can't see, is that the day was created in the spirit of honoring those veterans who did the greater good in both world wars and in later wars, where they just plain lost their lives for king/queen and country. One can't just lump atrocities on one front with those soldiers who actually did what was best. Awareness is good, but it doesn't take away the true meaning in good faith of celebrating such a holiday.
Oh and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I'm tired, full, and I don't want to roast a turkey next year.