thanksgiving: A time for mourning.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skull Pilot, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    Seattle school officials are telling teachers that Thanksgiving actually is a time of "mourning" since it represents "500 years of betrayal."

    The message to all "staff" in the Seattle Public Schools comes from Caprice D. Hollins, the director of "Equity, Race & Learning Support," and other officials including Willard Bill Jr. of the "Office of Native American Education."

    "With so many holidays approaching we want to again remind you that Thanksgiving can be a particularly difficult time for many of our Native students," the letter said.

    The school letter refers educators to a website, Oyate, run by an outside organization that promotes Indian culture, and recommends teachers explore it.

    "Here you will discover ways to help you and your students think critically, and find resources where you can learn about Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective," the letter said. "Eleven myths are identified about Thanksgiving, take a look at No. 11 and begin your own deconstruction."

    The website's "Myth No. 11" is that "Thanksgiving is a happy time."

    "Fact: For many Indian people, 'Thanksgiving' is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, 'Thanksgiving' is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship," the website describes.

    The website posting called "Deconstructing the Myths of 'The First Thanksgiving," goes further. The writing by Judy Dow and Beverly Slapin also speculates on the psychology of Thanksgiving.

    "What is it about the story of 'The First Thanksgiving' that makes it essential to be taught in virtually every grade from preschool through high school? What is it about the story that is so seductive? Why has it become an annual elementary school tradition to hold Thanksgiving pageants, with young children dressing up in paper-bag costumes and feather-duster headdresses and marching around the schoolyard? Why is it seen as necessary for fake 'pilgrims' and fake 'Indians' (portrayed by real children, many of whom are Indian) to sit down every year to a fake feast, acting out fake scenarios and reciting fake dialogue about friendship? And why do teachers all over the country continue (for the most part, unknowingly) to perpetuate this myth year after year after year?" the two write.

    Is it because as Americans we have a deep need to believe that the soil we live on and the country on which it is based was founded on integrity and cooperation? This belief would help contradict any feelings of guilt that could haunt us when we look at our role in more recent history in dealing with other indigenous peoples in other countries. If we dare to give up the 'myth' we may have to take responsibility for our actions both concerning indigenous peoples of this land as well as those brought to this land in violation of everything that makes us human," the two said.

    "In terms of what they were seeing in some of the use of the feathers and those things because those are of spiritual and ceremonial significance to us," Bill, the school district official, told KING5 Television in Seattle.

    But the "political correctness" of such evaluations and recommendations simply goes too far, others said.

    "I think anything you are thankful for is great," parent D.D. Boutwell told the station.

    "I think it gets to be silly," said parent Deb Bush.

    "We need to free ourselves so that we can manifest that true love and kindness and compassion that's necessary to heal the wounds," Phil Lane, Jr., of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, told the station.

    The district, as part of its website guidelines, suggests being careful about "celebrating" a "tradition," rather than "educating."

    "Celebrating without educating can also impinge upon another student's belief or values," the district warns.

    OrbusMax.com has provided links to some of the documentation in the case, such as the school letter.

    "We appreciate your willingness to struggle with these complex issues by considering the impact on many of our Native students when teaching about Thanksgiving in traditional ways," the letter said.

    Among the other "myths" addressed by the outside website are: The Mayflower passengers were called "Pilgrims." ("Pilgrims are people who travel for religious reasons, such as Muslims who make a pilgrimage to Mecca"), the Pilgrims "shared" with the Indians ("They actually stole corn and ransacked people's houses, even a cemetery"), and Thanksgiving was the beginning "of a long, harmonious friendship between the Pilgrims and Native people."


    What the hell is wrong with us to think that a holiday to give thanks is a good thing?

    This is a harbinger of how the US will end. In our efforts to promote multiculturalism and understanding of everyone else in the world, we are committed to denigrating our own culture, customs and traditions. what will our kids grow up believeing? Will they think that every other culture's traditions are good and those of then US are bad? That my friends is the goal or so it seems.

    Sure we've committed our share of mistakes but no more or less than any other country, culture or group of people. But we don't teach that do we?

    I'm all for giving a warts and all presentation of history to our kids but let's not forget the positives.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. Shogun
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    if we can't face the reality of our holiday commemorating the supposed brotherhood of pilgrims and natives then why the hell should anyone feel guilt tripped into giving a damn about the meaning behind christmas?


    The reality is what it is. Hallmark holidays are great and I enjoy the surface benevolance of the holiday too but it's not anti-american to consider actual history instead of the "washing chopped down a cherry tree" kind of history.


    on that note, Happy Thanksgiving.


    and


    I am thankful for a system of government that allows a range of opposing opinions rather than immediate violent retribution to opposing views. I am thankful for an internet that brings us together in this ether called the world wide web. I am thankful that the US military is the badest ass fighting force on the planet. I am thankful that the 08 election is right around the corner. I am thankful for my family and friends. Now pass the goddamn pumpkin pie!
     
  3. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    I remember my days in elementary school. I was inculcated with the notion that America was practically flawless – It was as if I was being told that America was what all nations should resemble in every detail. It was a nation of absolute truth and justice. Columbus really did discover the new world. After a few years the Indians became troublesome and were in our way. It was understood that Europeans were justified in advancing westward (See Manifest Destiny).

    Thankfully, as I entered college, I was taught how to think and not just what to think. This disease of blinding ethnocentrism and jingoism was appropriately treated while I was encouraged to think critically and objectively. Even when I do not like what I learn. I still think that America is a great nation. Yet, my nationalistic pride does no longer blind me to the fact that America’s past has some pretty big stains in it. It is unlikely that those stains will eve come out.

    I’m thankful for the fertile land (taken from the Indians). I’m thankful for the cheap labor that the slaves had to endure for the sake of American progress. Yes. I’m thankful for the American soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom. I’m thankful for many things. I’m happy to be an American but I understand that America is not near perfect.

    I agree with Shogun’s last paragraph:

    I am thankful for a system of government that allows a range of opposing opinions rather than immediate violent retribution to opposing views. I am thankful for an internet that brings us together in this ether called the world wide web. I am thankful that the US military is the badest ass fighting force on the planet. I am thankful that the 08 election is right around the corner. I am thankful for my family and friends. Now pass the goddamn pumpkin pie!
     
  4. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    Honestly, does anyone really use Thanksgiving to celebrate kicking the collective butt of the Indians living here? It's just more PC bullshit.

    Indians celebrate Thanksgiving, too. Most of them are flipping orgasmic over being in the US, where they get to have their own little nations while receiving all the privileges and protections of the greatest nation on earth.
     
  5. Shogun
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    "most of them"?

    care to show me your source?


    It's pretty clear that the urban legend behind thanksgiving would rub natives the wrong way.

    here, educate yourself.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    That is an interesting perspective but I think that we owe it to them.

    “We need more room. Move over and we will let you have that patch of land out west”. (Some time passes.) “Hey! There are rich resources out there. We want the land and those resources. Get out of our way. There is a spot of land further west with out much on it. Go live there”. (Some time passes.) Okay. You can continue to live on that tiny spot of relatively worthless land but we will protect you if our America ever gets attacked.” Geee. That sounds like a good deal to me.
     
  7. AllieBaba
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    Well, at least we didn't wipe them all out, in the time-honored tradition of settlement.

    I rarely get uptight with Indians who are voicing dissatisfaction and/or resentment over the past. But the bleeding hearts who get all worked up FOR them, without having any true connection to the Indian community, annoy the hell out of me. And actually, they annoy the hell out of Indians as well.

    I did an article on Indian culture a while back, and one of the things I kept hearing was, "We aren't any different. We don't want to live off the land and have people feel sorry for us. We don't want to be poor and uneducated and drug addicted."

    They don't need anybody's sympathy, and they don't want it. They're moving forward, and that's something I believe most of them are thankful for. At least the ones I talk to. But they laugh at whites who take up their cause because they think it's romantic.
     
  8. Shogun
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    Well, at least we didn't wipe them all out


    classy.

    Indeed, that's what we let germans say to the jews too, yes?


    Do you know if anyone on this board has a direct connection with native americans or is it time to balk at providing a source again?

    Perhaps with all the "they"s you like to throw around you can cite your source.

    I take it you are not going to clarify how you previously suggested "MOST OF THEM"?


    nice to see you haven't climbed out of that presumption rut yet.
     
  9. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    You're an idiot. My kids are Indian, and I spent the last 20 years of my life with Indians. OMG, you are just such a typical liberal idiot.

    I'm going to send a couple of them this link so they can laugh at you, too.
     
  10. Shogun
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    Please do..

    Hopefully I can use your example of what DOESN'T constitute evidence before they get to college and insist that it's a liberal slant, instead of their own lack of citing sources, that gets em thrown out of school.



    in fact, move out of the way so I can talk directly to them:

    Kids, if you want to develop good debating skills instead of being tossed around like a tether ball similar to how your Mother's posts are laughed at on this forum please, PLEASE learn how to, and be prepared to, cite your source when making blanket assumptions.


    Also, take a few statistic classes so you can understand why a personal example isn't broadly applicable to a population.

    Stay in school, Vote, Don't drink and drive and make the effort to know actual history beyond Washington's Cherry Tree versions that make manifest destiny easier to swallow.

    Ok, you can give the computer back to our lovable troglodyte now.

    :thup:


    Happy Thanksgiving, AllieBaba!
     

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