Is Thanksgiving disrespectful to Native Americans? | The Tylt

Is Thanksgiving disrespectful to Native Americans?

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to come together with friends and family, break bread and reflect. In schools, kids are taught that the holiday marks an important day where pilgrims and Native Americans united to share a feast. Some argue this sugar-coated concept ignores reality: Thanksgiving commemorates the conquest of Native Americans. Still, some believe that it's possible to acknowledge Thanksgiving's true roots and still give thanks. What do you think?

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Regardless of its roots, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate blessings–big and small–from the previous year. It's possible to acknowledge the country's history while still honoring this time of thanks. 

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Thanksgiving as we know it is a lie. There's a different way to commemorate the holiday–one that actually aligns with its origins. According to Mic's Julie Zeilinger:

Every year, hundreds of people travel to Cole's Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to honor Native Americans who died at the hands of colonists. Specifically, they're paying respects to the 700 Native American men, women and children massacred on the day of Thanksgiving itself, Boston.com reported in 2014. The National Day of Mourning was founded by former Wampanoag leader Wamsutta Frank James....
'It was a holocaust, and that holocaust must be shared and communicated so that we ensure that mankind doesn't do that to each other again,' Cedric Cromwell, chairman and president of the tribal council of the Mashpee Wampanoag, recently told the Huffington Post about the importance of commemorating the day. 'We know this world is made up of travesty and tragedy. We also know that this world is made of a lot of goodness and hope and honesty and integrity.'

Most people don't understand Thanksgiving's history. This isn't the only instance where history books whitewashed reality, and teaching children about the "horrific reality of colonization" would certainly be a good place to start in order to align public opinion with the truth. 

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Just like with many holidays and traditions, modern practices have replaced origin stories. In the same way that Christmas has become disassociated with Christ's birth, Thanksgiving is simply a time to eat food with your family, watch football and enjoy one another's company. For many, there's no need to weigh it down with tragedies of the past. 

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This kind of outlook perpetuates ignorance. It's time for America to face the facts when it comes to its history. As one user writes bluntly on Debate.org

Most white Americans are woefully ignorant of the true history of this country and would wish to remain so, all to enjoy stuffing themselves with excess food and being zombies to capitalist consumerism. 

Many Americans hold strong to the traditions they know and love. Even MTV tried to get people to reckon with reality. 

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Some recognize the true nature of Thanksgiving does not end with giving thanks; rather, it begins with giving back. Many people think of Thanksgiving as a day to give to those in need and to put themselves second. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate money to a Native American organization or simply further your education about the country's history: all would be wonderful ways to honor the holiday.

As Share America pointed out in 2016: 

President Obama and his family are a part of this growing tradition. Since 2008, the Obamas have spent part of their Thanksgiving Day preparing holiday meals at Washington-area soup kitchens or distributing food at one of the city’s food banks, working alongside other volunteers.
In his 2015 Thanksgiving Day proclamation, the president said that a tradition of giving continues to inspire this holiday, and at shelters and food centers, 'the inherent selflessness and common goodness of the American people endures.'
#ThanksgivingIsALie

No one should need a holiday to tell them to give back. It would be better to encourage a spirit of fellowship year-round and do away with Thanksgiving altogether. 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is Thanksgiving disrespectful to Native Americans?
A festive crown for the winner
#ThanksgivingIsALie
#HonorThanksgiving