In the U.S. (of A. in case you were confused) this Thursday is the celebration of the giving of thanks. The one time of year where its citizenry take the time to self-assess and take stock of their good fortunes, yet distract ourselves from that self-reflection with the national pastime of unfathomable feats of gluttony.
While people criticize Thanksgiving (said detachedly as though I hand’t just called it a carnival of food-centric bacchanalia) due to its origins being steeped in the genocide of the American Indian. What I want to do is make those of you who are still anxious about celebrating Thanksgiving because of all of those historical woes, feel a bit better about sitting down and stuffing your drooling maws with factory raised, steroid-injected, freak turkeys.
Apocryphal story we learn as children: Puritans, religious zealots with questionable fashion choices, moved to the new world where they realized, “oh damn, where are all the supermarkets and overpriced artisinal jellies,” and were probably going to die, when some friendly Native Americans with an affinity for feathers and toplessness, rolled up like a posse of of hippies and taught those buckle-hatted Jesus freaks how to grow food. The natives with their sweet abs and the Puritans with their glowing whiteness all sat down together to celebrate their new found friendship at a feast. Hooray!
Real Origin Recap: British colonialists, in particular Puritans, were massive genocidal dicks. That’s all.
Okay, for a little more detail, Europeans arrive in North America, spread Smallpox on accident and then willfully, and enslave many others. The Puritans arrive after this first wave and see all this lush land and decide since there’s no fences, it’s theirs, including the tribal land of people who were already there. Since those native people were so unwilling to share, the Puritans along with some mercenaries show up at the Pequot Indian’s village during their “Green Corn Festival” and slaughter 700 men, women, and children. The governor of the colonialist colony declared that “A day of thanksgiving.” Hooray? And it gets way more horrifying from there.
Why is it okay to still celebrate Thanksgiving?
Simply, we aren’t celebrating anything to do with Puritans or Native Americans or anything to do with harvesting or (hopefully) the wholesale slaughter of people whose skin tone is a shade darker. We’re so far removed from that, the holiday has evolved to being a familial gathering…which is more a wholesale slaughter of emotions. So you’re still honoring those who were brutally murdered by slowly, ruthlessly murdering your emotional well-being and liver.
Childish ignorance of the true, gruesome nature of the holiday has lead to us punishing ourselves by spending our precious hours with people who will make us feel guilt over something much more trivial than genocide. True, having your parents relentlessly hound you about your marital status or why you never became a doctor isn’t the same as the massacre of the indigenous people, but the historic guilt coupled with the histrionic stigmatizing of your life choices has lead to the descendants of the colonists (aka Whitey Von Palenips) genociding themselves, engaging in self-carnage, and uh, holocaustabating (sex is to masturbating what mass death is to…you get the idea).
So, enjoy! The best revenge against your homicidal relatives is to enjoy the holiday. Yes, we need to understand history, but we also need to be cognizant that sometimes myths, even those blanketing the true history like a smallpox blanket, can give people hope. Oh, and if you’re a black person you get to celebrate any holiday without historic guilt. Now let’s talk about that obesity epidemic…