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Controversial Holidays: Thanksgiving Edition

As we gather around the dinner table with our closest family and friends, we begin the age-old tradition of sharing what we are thankful for. Some may say they are thankful for their health, others may be thankful for the food on the table. Little Johnny might even say he is thankful for Fortnite. But, personally, I’m thankful for my knowledge and education to know that Thanksgiving is utter and complete bullsh*t. Before you go off, let me tell you why.

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1. The idea of Thanksgiving has been completely filtered and romanticized; the relationship between the Native Americans and those who colonized them is completely fabricated to censor and change the perspective so that it can be taught in classrooms. Those who identify as Native American have spoken out on their experience of Thanksgiving and how they view it today. Understand that this holiday commemorates the “death of a culture” and can be interpreted as mere “survival.” I’m sure you all remember Sacagawea and her willingness to help Lewis and Clark navigate their expedition, but that’s a story for another day.

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2. Thanksgiving should not be an excuse to have dinner with long-distant family. If you care about your family, you shouldn’t have to wait until Thanksgiving Day to reach out to grab dinner. Family can meet and have dinner at any time during the year, especially if the quality of “family-time” is significant in the household.

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3. Taken out of context, it’s all just food. You wait 365 days just to sit at a table in formal clothes pretending to have the best etiquette, but we really know you’re all a mess. Turkey is turkey, whether it’s Thanksgiving or not. Yams with marshmallows? You can make that on any given Tuesday. 

Image Credit: foodandwine.com

4. As if you’re still not convinced, consider the fact that Thanksgiving is often culturally appropriating what Native American’s hold dear to their heart. Have you ever considered those children’s plays with the feathers and headdresses to be inappropriate? Or maybe the fact that we misrepresent Native Americans by calling them “Indians,” but don’t teach the true difference between the two. Instead of mocking a group of people, we should be actively trying to be an ally to Native Americans during the Thanksgiving season.

Image Credit: IBTimes UK

I’m sure you may not agree with all these points, but I know that these are valid and have been argued by Native Americans for years! As Thanksgiving comes, we should be conscious of those around us and validate their feelings, especially those who have the most valid of views.

Now that I have shared with you the reasons Thanksgiving can be so controversial, I am going to reflect on them as the holiday approaches as you should too. Thank you.


Disclaimer: The arguments made in this article are for the sole purpose of challenging a widely-known holiday that can and does offend a group of people. Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power.

Hello, my name is Javier Lucatero! I'm a School Psychology, PPS masters student at the University of La Verne. Working in the educational field while building my experience for my career, I take part in Her Campus La Verne as a graduate student staff writer. My articles are random, blunt, and debatably very interesting. If you think there's something worth writing about, or feel I should address, let me know (@Javi_Lucatero) and I'll see what I can do! Thanks for reading!
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