Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Pass the Guilt…

Today is Thanksgiving, a secular American holiday that allows everyone to be thankful for what we have.

And some of my good friends have already alighted to the Internet to denounce Thanksgiving as a celebration of genocide, saying that we should feel shame for our place in the world given that our part of civilization is based on the ruins of another.

If you’re in a comfortable enough place that you can cast aspersions on your own history and doubt the validity of your own place in the world, be thankful. Questioning your own past is a luxury afforded to the very few.

Chances are, the people most vocal about denouncing the colonization of the Western Hemisphere by Europeans are European Americans who live with the benefits of this colonization every day. The overwhelming majority of people in this hemisphere of the world should be very thankful for the colonial policies of 1600s Europe; we wouldn’t be alive without them. Few to none of us would exist without European settlement in the New World.

Unless you’re signing over all of your property to a needy Native American and heading back to mother Europe, your reminders about the suffering of indigenous Americans ring very hollow.

So eat up, enjoy, and be thankful you are alive in a land of plenty that affords you the opportunity to denounce the people who did the dirty work on your behalf.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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