Thanksgiving Is A Bad Holiday To Celebrate
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Politics

Thanksgiving Is A Trash Holiday Because We’re Lying To Ourselves About All Of It

"As you all know, I hate Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims were murderers and turkey tastes like napkins!" - Jake Peralta, "Brooklyn Nine Nine"

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Thanksgiving Is A Trash Holiday Because We’re Lying To Ourselves About All Of It

Chances are, if you live in the United States or are generally aware of North American culture, you know that the fourth Thursday of November is the national holiday of Thanksgiving.

However, you might not know anything about its history or realize the extent of hypocrisy that currently surrounds it. I'm not saying we have to give it up forever (which might not even be feasible since it's such an established tradition) or shame everyone who enjoys the day; but maybe we should be aware of our country's past so as to not mess it up for ourselves in the future.

All American children know the tale: the first Thanksgiving was a feast to celebrate the friendship of the settlers ("Pilgrims") and the natives ("American Indians") after a successful harvest, right? Technically, settlers of the time had frequent thanksgiving meals whenever there was good fortune in the community, so this probably did happen. (Squanto, in fact, did exist.)

However, in 1637, John Winthrop declared a Thanksgiving day to celebrate the fact that a bunch of white men hadn't died in a battle where a ton of native people did. This isn't surprising, given our country's history of mistreating native people which began with Columbus' discovery of the continent and is still reflected in events such as the fight for Standing Rock today.

We often forget that this nation was quite literally built on the backs of people of color, yet these peoples' stories are rarely told. There's nothing minor about the struggles of minorities, and despite what some might say, it is never too late to educate yourself about them to grow into a more informed person.

So, that was one of the first Thanksgivings. Now, years after Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday, its meaning and purpose have delved a bit from the original. Most regard it as a time to think about what you're thankful for, such as your family, career, or other circumstances. This mirrors the original purpose of the holiday and I don't have an issue with it. Instead, I'm concerned at the contradictory manifestation of our celebrations.

If we're really thankful for what we have, why are people ruthlessly speeding to the malls at midnight to fight against three random strangers over one discounted item? Or why do some consider it better to have the biggest turkey or the most amount of food or the best dinner party? Shouldn't it be enough that we are surrounded by the ones we love? As Thanksgiving becomes increasingly consumerist and ostentatious, the true meaning for the holiday starts to fade away.

Am I advocating for the immediate removal of Thanksgiving? Not necessarily. We can't try to bear the mistakes of some white men who lived 400 years ago, but we should at least know about them. And even though I hate the frenzy of Black Friday shoppers, I can still appreciate a good sale. I just think it's good to know the truth about something instead of blindly accepting it- which, if you think about it, is how we should be handling pretty much everything we encounter on this journey called life.

It's a hard world out there. Find something to be thankful for!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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