It’s the only other day of the year besides Christmas that stores close. It’s the day we sit at home surrounded by our families and gorge ourselves while watching football. It’s a day celebrated after a group of townsfolk have returned from a successful quest of slaughtering countless Native Americans. It’s the celebration of angry puritans who scalped the natives, raped their women and put the leaders’ heads on spikes to be proudly displayed for all. What day is this? Thanksgiving, of course!
Thanksgiving has been skewed out of control over history so that the people who stole the resources and land of the Natives could feel good about themselves. The term “Thanksgiving” comes from 1637 in Connecticut. I’ll let Susan Bates, author of “The Real Story of Thanksgiving,” tell it:
“In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared ‘A Day of Thanksgiving’ because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.”
No pilgrims. No buckle shoes. No Squanto. No interracial harmony. The American preconception about the day of Thanksgiving is so far flung that the real story and the truth are being lost. In the day of George Washington the killings were so many that days of “Thanksgiving” were happening too frequently to keep track of.
Washington suggested that only one day be set aside annually to celebrate every successful massacre that had happened during the year in one day of “Thanksgiving.” In 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving an official government holiday. That decree followed the order of Union soldiers to take out a band of rebel Sioux Indians in Minnesota– another massacre.
Everything we’ve heard and been taught about this holiday is wrong. We’re giving too much credit to fantasy and not enough to reality. Every one of us is here today, in our homes, with our football and turkey, because our ancestors took advantage of a people willing to give everything to help their fellow man. Instead of rewarding them with a correct history, we bastardized the legacy and truth of the real Thanksgiving into a self-indulgent holiday celebrated the nation over with no remorse for how it got there. This year as you sit with your family and eat around a warm table, remember the thousands of corpses that meal has been made upon. n