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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 10:48 AM
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12. THE ANTI-THNKSGIVING POV: No Thanks to Thanksgiving

We should atone for the genocide that was incited -- and condoned -- by the very men we idolize as our 'heroic' founding fathers...One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting. In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Mass., one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas.

Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits -- which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States. That the world's great powers achieved "greatness" through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news, of course. That those same societies are reluctant to highlight this history of barbarism also is predictable.

But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people -- is of special importance today. It's now routine -- even among conservative commentators -- to describe the United States as an empire, so long as everyone understands we are an inherently benevolent one. Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful.

One vehicle for taming history is various patriotic holidays, with Thanksgiving at the heart of U.S. myth-building. From an early age, we Americans hear a story about the hardy Pilgrims, whose search for freedom took them from England to Massachusetts. There, aided by the friendly Wampanoag Indians, they survived in a new and harsh environment, leading to a harvest feast in 1621 following the Pilgrims' first winter. Some aspects of the conventional story are true enough. But it's also true that by 1637, Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop was proclaiming a thanksgiving for the successful massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indian men, women and children, part of the long and bloody process of opening up additional land to the English invaders. The pattern would repeat itself across the continent until between 95 and 99 percent of American Indians had been exterminated and the rest were left to assimilate into white society or die off on reservations, out of the view of polite society...


AlterNet originally ran this article on Thanksgiving 2005, and HAS reprinted it on succeeding Thanksgiving holidays...

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. His latest book is All My Bones Shake: Radical Politics in the Prophetic Voice (Soft Skull Press). He also is the author of Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity (South End Press, 2007).
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  -Weekend Economists Talk Turkey, Thanksgiving Day 2011 Demeter  Nov-24-11 09:59 AM   #0 
  - a very Happy Thanksgiving, Miss Demeter --  xchrom   Nov-24-11 10:06 AM   #1 
  - And to you and yours!  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:08 AM   #3 
     - Thank you for asking. I'm fine now and looking forward to  xchrom   Nov-24-11 10:19 AM   #7 
        - Today's paper weighed ten pound, each  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:39 AM   #10 
           - Wow. That's a lot.  xchrom   Nov-24-11 12:45 PM   #33 
  - Retailers Push Fed for Yet Lower Debit Fees  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:07 AM   #2 
  - Taxpayers pepper-sprayed with...debt. VIDEO COLLECTION  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:09 AM   #4 
  - Robert Reich: "The REAL Public Nuisance" VIDEO  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:11 AM   #5 
  - Mic Check! Maddow on How OWS Techniques Are Used to Protest Politicians  Demeter   Nov-24-11 11:42 AM   #29 
  - Happy Turkey Day!  mgc1961   Nov-24-11 10:17 AM   #6 
  - Back at ya!  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:30 AM   #9 
  - REASONS TO GIVE THANKS LISTED HERE  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:27 AM   #8 
  - I'm thankful for...  Tansy_Gold   Nov-24-11 11:11 AM   #21 
  - Thanks for Tansy Gold! Next President!  Demeter   Nov-24-11 11:21 AM   #25 
  - Need a Reason to be Thankful This Year? Look at These Food Justice Wins  Demeter   Nov-24-11 11:40 AM   #28 
  - Giving Thanks for the Occupation, Election, Demonstrations  Demeter   Nov-24-11 01:00 PM   #36 
  - 5 Things to Be Thankful for This Thanksgiving By Vanessa Ortiz  Demeter   Nov-24-11 06:23 PM   #42 
  - Give Thanks to the Ones Who Have Earned It  Demeter   Nov-24-11 06:42 PM   #46 
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  - I've been wondering about the costs of the NYC Thanksgiving Parade, as another cf.  snot   Nov-24-11 08:29 PM   #52 
  - MORE TIPS: Talking Occupy Wall Street, Super Committee and More Around the Thanksgiving Table  Demeter   Nov-24-11 11:15 AM   #24 
  - How Occupy Is Transforming Our National Conversation By John Cavanaugh and Robin Broad  Demeter   Nov-24-11 11:32 AM   #27 
  - THE ANTI-THNKSGIVING POV: No Thanks to Thanksgiving  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:48 AM   #12 
  - Well, our little microbial friends immigrated too, and massacred the largest majority  bhikkhu   Nov-26-11 09:49 PM   #106 
  - France and Germany plan changes to EU treaties  xchrom   Nov-24-11 10:50 AM   #13 
  - Interesting. I Predict Any Changes Will Be in the Wrong Direction  Demeter   Nov-24-11 10:53 AM   #15 
     - i have posted an article that talks about revolution from the top.  xchrom   Nov-24-11 11:00 AM   #18 
        - Oh, they could fix it very easily, X  Tansy_Gold   Nov-24-11 01:52 PM   #37 
           - The Austrian's won WWII. Nt  xchrom   Nov-24-11 04:03 PM   #38 
           - The only fix would be the 1% giving up everything that makes them "special"  Demeter   Nov-24-11 07:54 PM   #50 
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     - Robocops vs Occupy Wall St: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Tactics  Demeter   Nov-24-11 11:02 AM   #20 
     - +10000000  stockholmer   Nov-24-11 06:36 PM   #45 
     - Speaking of costs, let's compare the costs of all this policing (including the equipt) to  snot   Nov-24-11 08:33 PM   #53 
     - OLIPHANT: DEMOCRACY, AMERICA'S LEADING EXPORT  Demeter   Nov-24-11 08:36 PM   #54 
     - UC Davis, aka the California tax payers. n/t  Tansy_Gold   Nov-24-11 11:12 AM   #22 
  - Portugal hit by general strike against austerity cuts  xchrom   Nov-24-11 11:02 AM   #19 
  - :::sigh::: If only. . . . . (n/t)  Tansy_Gold   Nov-24-11 11:14 AM   #23 
     - Patience, Grasshopper  Demeter   Nov-24-11 11:22 AM   #26 
     - As long as our fellow Americans are willing to....  Hotler   Nov-25-11 12:33 PM   #60 
        - Too True, Dat.  Demeter   Nov-25-11 04:52 PM   #63 
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  - Well, I'll be seeing you tomorrow  Demeter   Nov-24-11 07:56 PM   #51 
  - Happy thanksgiving to the crew.  westerebus   Nov-24-11 09:45 PM   #55 
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  - HAPPY GREY FRIDAY!  Tansy_Gold   Nov-25-11 08:24 AM   #58 
  - Happy Friday All! Good luck, Tansy!  Demeter   Nov-25-11 09:35 AM   #59 
  - Well, It's Friday Night--and We Are Having Leftovers for WEE  Demeter   Nov-25-11 04:50 PM   #61 
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        - Greece, 30 days?  DemReadingDU   Nov-25-11 09:02 PM   #87 
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  - too late to R - but at least a late K ...  bread_and_roses   Nov-26-11 07:06 AM   #89 
  - I'm going to be AWOL Saturday  Demeter   Nov-26-11 08:23 AM   #90 
  - Another terrible day for Europe: Can Europe survive another day like yesterday?  Demeter   Nov-26-11 08:39 AM   #91 
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     - Chart of the Day: Euro probability (FAILURE)  Demeter   Nov-26-11 08:40 AM   #93 
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  - This made my think about another fixer....  Hotler   Nov-27-11 10:06 AM   #113 
  - Prepare for riots in euro collapse, Foreign Office warns  DemReadingDU   Nov-26-11 04:28 PM   #101 
  - It really is hitting the fan  CatholicEdHead   Nov-26-11 06:20 PM   #103 
     - Whatever would we have to talk about, if so?  Demeter   Nov-26-11 08:05 PM   #104 
     - I doubt by Christmas  DemReadingDU   Nov-27-11 06:27 AM   #107 
  - Hope You All Are Enjoying the Holiday Weekend  Demeter   Nov-26-11 08:15 PM   #105 
  - your holiday weekend sounds lovely -- have fun a with the  xchrom   Nov-27-11 07:05 AM   #108 
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  - My neighbour, the Prime Minister {portugal}  xchrom   Nov-27-11 07:25 AM   #110 
  - Interesting article  bread_and_roses   Nov-27-11 08:56 AM   #111 
     - +1  xchrom   Nov-27-11 09:01 AM   #112 
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  - Goldman Sachs Has Taken Over By paul craig roberts  Demeter   Nov-27-11 02:42 PM   #115 

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