“[T]he present Settler argument presumes that since the injustices are historical and the passage of time has certainly led to changed circumstances for both the alleged perpetrators and for the victims, the crime has been erased and there is no obligation to pay for it…[b]ut this idea, so commonly held by white people, is wrong; it assumes that the passage of time leads to changes in circumstance. This is fundamentally untrue, especially when made in relation to Onkwehonwe, Settler societies, and what has happened between us. Between the beginning of this century and the beginning of the last, people’s clothes may have changed, their names may be different, but the games they play are the same. Without a real change in the realities of our relationship, there is no way we can consider the wrongs that have been done as historical. The crime of colonialism is ongoing today, and its perpetrators are present among us.” –Taiaiake Alfred
Alfred’s words have a rather powerful significance as we consider the forms of physical, spiritual, and mental colonization during Thanksgiving. It is quite disturbing (and telling) how white settler society celebrates a snapshot in time without granting even a moment for critical reflection to the absolute devastation indigenous people suffered at the hands of the colonizer. But more to the point, the past lives on today so we mustn’t fall victim to ideologies, epistemologies, and discourses that frame the sins of the past as long since forgotten. In this somber time of reflection and healing it is important to seek and spread knowledge to decolonize the ways in which settler society (re)produce and maintain hegemony. With that said, the following blogs provide valuable information in our efforts to challenge colonization. Enjoy and saludos!
1) Broken Mystic’s The Truth About Thanksgiving: Brainwashing of the American History Textbook explains:
[A]s children dress up as Pilgrims and Natives to reenact the romanticized version of history, they are not only perpetuating stereotypes, but more importantly, they’re being embedded with lies. What do they really know about the Pilgrims and the Natives?
2) Stephen L. Pevar’s, “Thanksgiving? The deprivations and atrocities that followed,” at the Oxford University Press Blog writes:
Accounts say that the generosity of the Indians saved the colonists from starvation during the harsh New England winter of 1620…[but] [v]ery few schoolchildren are also taught… about the deprivations and atrocities that occurred to the Indians afterwards, first at the hands of the colonists and then by the United States government. Ironically, if the United States believes today that it has a poor immigration policy, imagine how self-destructive the Indians’ immigration policy was by welcoming the very people who would soon seek to destroy them.