I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Thanksgiving was not the Native Americans and Pilgrims sitting around a table sharing turkey, and mashed potatoes and green beans.
Quite the opposite, really.
In 1671, the year that the infamous Thanksgiving took place, Colony Governor John Winthrop lead his troops back to Massachusetts from a great journey, hundreds of miles from what is not Connecticut. The Massachusetts men had a big meal to celebrate but did not share with the Native Americans.
Mild cease-fires did not happen until 1890, and even then it was just a cease-fire. It was not two people taking hands and eating at the same table, and teaching each other how to plant corn or cook a turkey. These things did not happen, not at all.
The return of this journey occurred in later November, and they called that day Thanksgiving in praise of their safe return from this long trip, but also in praise that they had successfully killed 700 Native people.On his voyage, John Winthrop and his men managed to massacre over 700 Pequot Indians.
Men, women, and children, all murdered. In fact, these massacres happened so often and were celebrated with a Thanksgiving so often that George Washington said that instead of celebrating constantly, to have one day of the year that they are thankful for all of these mass killings.
And then, Thanksgiving was born. Descendants and advocates for the Pequot Indians revisit the site where the Pequots were celebrating their annual Green Festival, where the massacre occurred. They go back every year, and they call it the Day of Mourning. This place is where men were clubbed and shot, and women and children were burned alive.
So how did this day become big meals and even bigger balloons? How did it become the day everyone gets ready to shop 'till they drop, and watch football and celebrate America?
White leadership through the decades decided to sweep these evils under the rug and make it more about religion and patriotism, rather than historical accuracy.
Thank your creator for what they have done, and thank America for all the opportunities she has given you. It does not matter what actually happened, or how they make have marginalized a set of people. We as Americans just want a good meal, a good parade, and a food coma nap.
Because that truly seems to be the American way.