Reconsider what Thanksgiving Break Entails

Despite growing up in Southern California, Los Angeles, a proclaimed area of diversity, my education towards this Western holiday was rooted in lies.

The foundation of my education falsely misled me to believe that Thanksgiving was solely a peaceful interaction between white settlers and Indigenous people. The Disney movie, Pocahontas definitely fed into this improper belief I held.

While I understand the Western world’s attempt at protecting the innocence of children when “teaching,” I also see through the act of attempting to wash over the blatant genocide committed in these Indigenous lands. Constant forced colonization and murder allowed for the white America we see now. Every white polished suburb that exists has come at the expense of an Indigenous individual’s blood.

The current tradition of Thanksgiving that is proliferated by Western media dates back to 1621. The history of Thanksgiving seems perfect as “the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.” But reality check, that is not entirely true. 

Fortunately, I have been exposed to life experiences that have opened my eyes from the sheltered and mundane education I received in my early years. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels Through the usage of Twitter, I was recently educated in the recent activities and injustices that Indigenous folks are receiving in the United States. Lil Native Boy's Twitter account presents the harsh realities that those on these reservations face such as the  constant exploitation of labor, lack of access to healthy food options, lack of clean water, and far more cruelties which go unreported.

The continuous exploitation has even exposed those on reservations to be more susceptible to COVID19. Lack of water in the Navajo Nation has caused the spreading of the virus to be far more rapid as the government allows, and I would even argue that plans, to not allow water access to wash hands, shower, do the bare necessities for hygiene in a conscious effort to have more Indigenous individuals become victims to colonization.

What I would like for you to take from this article is the reminder that “Thanksgiving” in all its glory, in essence, is just the celebration of mass genocide that has been propagandized by the Western world in an attempt to erase and silence Indigenous people.

I am not saying to not have dinner with your loved ones, but additionally, in doing so, recognize the privilege you have of being able to do so, and please educate yourself on this “holiday.”