Do we need to decolonize Thanksgiving?

This week the University of Oregon hosted an occasion known as “Thanks But No Thanks-giving.” Here’s an outline of the occasion, which was scheduled for yesterday, from the school’s website:

Millions of households collect collectively yearly to have a good time Thanksgiving within the United States. Many Americans don’t develop up pondering a lot of the historical past behind the vacation. The fundamental messages are that of gratitude, meals, and household; nevertheless, Thanksgiving is, foundationally talking, a celebration of the continued genocide in opposition to native peoples and cultures throughout the globe. In collaboration with the Native American Student Association (NASU), we are going to give attention to methods during which we are able to proceed to indicate gratitude whereas elevating our important consciousness and figuring out methods to decolonize the vacation.

According to the Facebook page for the occasion, 63 individuals attended however the organizers say the quantity was over 100. The most lively dialogue the web page seems to be a disagreement over whether or not Thanksgiving ought to be made a vegan vacation.

Campus Reform despatched a correspondent onto the campus to ask college students how they felt about Thanksgiving and whether or not or not it was a racist vacation. The response was fairly typical, i.e. a mixture of willingness to entertain any left-wing concept, confusion, and some resistance:

“There’s positively a racist historical past to Thanksgiving and that ought to most likely positively be addressed extra in schooling,” one pupil mentioned…

Yet one other pupil characterised Turkey Day as “racist,” as a result of “we’re celebrating taking away land from Natives.”…

“I feel the extra vital half is extra the message of Thanksgiving, to be pleased about what you could have, grateful for the individuals round you who’re prepared that will help you,” one pupil identified.

I can see why Native Americans (the campus occasion was partly hosted by Native American legislation college students) would discover this vacation troubling. We’re taught in elementary faculty concerning the pilgrims and the Native Americans becoming a member of collectively and celebrating by bringing what they needed to a harvest meal. But the fact is that each side were fighting earlier than lengthy. And in the long term, Europeans did colonize your entire nation. So, from a sure perspective, this isn’t actually one thing everybody goes to really feel nice about celebrating.

But I think most individuals celebrating Thanksgiving this week aren’t fascinated about all of that. Most persons are fascinated about getting along with their household, having some good meals, watching some soccer and, possibly, being glad for what they’ve. That doesn’t appear to be a foul factor and efforts to politicize the vacation solely appear to be an intrusion on what the vacation has turn out to be.

Here’s the clip from Campus Reform:

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