“Unlike Christopher Columbus day, which is clearly odious, Thanksgiving represents a celebration of an series of genocidal events, under an innocuous signifier “thanksgiving.” Not only does Thanksgiving complete ‘Manifest Destiny’s’ post-genocidal mental erasure and American historical amnesia, the holiday actually sanitizes itself. Thanksgiving literally white-washes genocide, and then goes to the ‘word laundromat’ afterwords, taking on a whole new series of meanings, completely killing the reality of the genocide it celebrates. Laundering symbols is profitable, mentally, emotionally and often economically, that is, if you’re not a Native American.”
Reminding US Americans, as I do every year, that Thanksgiving is an atrocity in-itself, a celebration of a series of atrocities committed by European colonialists and settlers against the Native Peoples of the Americas, is essential. Opposition arises, sometimes from the strangest places: echoing the right-wing notion of tradition, family and continuity, some liberals and leftists say that Thanksgiving is special time, a secular holiday, and a time for family and togetherness during the cold, dark months of the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere. To take from Elton John, Thanksgiving is their ‘candle in the wind,’ against grey skies and dropping temperatures. A ‘secular’ event, uniformly acceptable to all: multi-religious families can all get together and have a Turkey-happy time.
Stories are important, as Donna Haraway following Ursula Le Guin noted in her recent lecture “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthuluscene: Staying With the Trouble,” and the wilful…
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