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The Pioneer

Thanksgiving as we know it should change

Tawny Pederson,
Contributor

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Get your turkeys, taters and cranberry sauce and round up your family for dinner. Or not. The fourth Thursday of every November has always been Thanksgiving, but the holiday has issues. It is squished between America’s two most popular holidays: Halloween and Christmas. And its problematic racial background will inevitably change the November holiday as we know it.

Halloween decorations go up mid-September and stay up for 2-3 weeks into October. After the third to fourth week in October, Christmas decorations pop up throughout the malls and inside stores.  When I went to Stoneridge Mall on Nov. 1, I had noticed that Christmas music, decorations and Santa had already been set up. Not one Thanksgiving decoration in sight.

Halloween, Black Friday and Christmas all make a huge revenue when compared to Thanksgiving, which costs about $50 to make dinner for a family of 10. While Halloween makes $9.1 billion, Black Friday makes $655.8 billion and Christmas makes $655.8 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

Black Friday has always been the day after Thanksgiving but with the amount of business up for grabs, stores will open as early as 6 a.m., according to blackfriday.com. Stores opening at this time would make shopping accessible all day during Thanksgiving.

Black Friday isn’t the only thing that could bring an end to Thanksgiving as we know it but its problematic background as well. The history of Thanksgiving that students are taught in school is a lie and a cover up of our racist and violent beginnings.

The story we are taught is a nice and friendly relationship between the Wampanoag Indians and the Pilgrims, but this is not the truth, millions of Native Americans died according to Richard Greener, Journalist from Huffington Post.

The story we know tells of the colonist arriving to America, wanting to start over and live in this new place. Another tells about the devastation of a native population. The Wampanoag natives of that land taught the Pilgrims how to farm, grow corn and how to survive on this land but once the Pilgrims learned what they needed to, they inflicted mass genocide upon those people.

With the truth of the origin of Thanksgiving out and now being taught, my prediction for the near future is that Americans will no longer celebrate the Thanksgiving that we celebrate today. For some they already don’t.

My family and I do get together and cook but we aren’t celebrating the actual holiday of Thanksgiving,” Juliet Small, an Apache and Cherokee Bay Area resident, told The Pioneer. “We kind of just use it as a reason to all get together and spend time with each other. We don’t go around the table saying what we’re thankful for or acknowledge the American culture of it. We kind of just put our own spin to it.”

Other Native Americans who are not as urban or live on reservations observe “The Day of Mourning” for their ancestors on Thanksgiving day. “Thanksgiving is a reminder of the genocide of millions, the theft of native lands and an assault on native culture. By participating in the National Day of Mourning, people honor native ancestors and the struggles of native peoples today,” Molly Quinton reported in The Daily in 2016.

Other holidays with problematic backgrounds have also had tremendous downfall like Columbus Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Flag Day, Earth Day and Fourth of July. These holidays have many things wrong with them from how they came about or how they turned too corporate and no longer benefit what they were originally created for.

My prediction is teachers and adults will teach Thanksgiving true origin in schools instead of the fairytale that they teach today. When everyone knows the truth of this holiday, I am sure that they would rather do other things like catch these Black Friday sales or start Christmas celebrations early. Or maybe do like the local Native Americans do and still use this time to get together with family but also keep the truth alive.

The elder members already teach the younger members in our family about the truth of Thanksgiving so we use this time to round up the family and enjoy each other’s company. We will continue this tradition and as America becomes more educated they will most likely do the same.

Get your turkeys, taters and cranberry sauce and round up your family for dinner. Or not. The fourth Thursday of every November has always been Thanksgiving, but the holiday has issues. It is squished between America’s two most popular holidays: Halloween and Christmas. And its problematic racial background will inevitably change the November holiday as we know it.

Halloween decorations go up mid-September and stay up for 2-3 weeks into October. After the third to fourth week in October, Christmas decorations pop up throughout the malls and inside stores.  When I went to Stoneridge Mall on Nov. 1, I had noticed that Christmas music, decorations and Santa had already been set up. Not one Thanksgiving decoration in sight.

Halloween, Black Friday and Christmas all make a huge revenue when compared to Thanksgiving, which costs about $50 to make dinner for a family of 10. While Halloween makes $9.1 billion, Black Friday makes $655.8 billion and Christmas makes $655.8 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

Black Friday has always been the day after Thanksgiving but with the amount of business up for grabs, stores will open as early as 6 a.m., according to blackfriday.com. Stores opening at this time would make shopping accessible all day during Thanksgiving.

Black Friday isn’t the only thing that could bring an end to Thanksgiving as we know it but its problematic background as well. The history of Thanksgiving that students are taught in school is a lie and a cover up of our racist and violent beginnings.

The story we are taught is a nice and friendly relationship between the Wampanoag Indians and the Pilgrims, but this is not the truth, millions of Native Americans died according to Richard Greener, Journalist from Huffington Post.

The story we know tells of the colonist arriving to America, wanting to start over and live in this new place. Another tells about the devastation of a native population. The Wampanoag natives of that land taught the Pilgrims how to farm, grow corn and how to survive on this land but once the Pilgrims learned what they needed to, they inflicted mass genocide upon those people.

With the truth of the origin of Thanksgiving out and now being taught, my prediction for the near future is that Americans will no longer celebrate the Thanksgiving that we celebrate today. For some they already don’t.

My family and I do get together and cook but we aren’t celebrating the actual holiday of Thanksgiving,” Juliet Small, an Apache and Cherokee Bay Area resident, told The Pioneer. “We kind of just use it as a reason to all get together and spend time with each other. We don’t go around the table saying what we’re thankful for or acknowledge the American culture of it. We kind of just put our own spin to it.”

Other Native Americans who are not as urban or live on reservations observe “The Day of Mourning” for their ancestors on Thanksgiving day. “Thanksgiving is a reminder of the genocide of millions, the theft of native lands and an assault on native culture. By participating in the National Day of Mourning, people honor native ancestors and the struggles of native peoples today,” Molly Quinton reported in The Daily in 2016.

Other holidays with problematic backgrounds have also had tremendous downfall like Columbus Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Flag Day, Earth Day and Fourth of July. These holidays have many things wrong with them from how they came about or how they turned too corporate and no longer benefit what they were originally created for.

My prediction is teachers and adults will teach Thanksgiving true origin in schools instead of the fairytale that they teach today. When everyone knows the truth of this holiday, I am sure that they would rather do other things like catch these Black Friday sales or start Christmas celebrations early. Or maybe do like the local Native Americans do and still use this time to get together with family but also keep the truth alive.

The elder members already teach the younger members in our family about the truth of Thanksgiving so we use this time to round up the family and enjoy each other’s company. We will continue this tradition and as America becomes more educated they will most likely do the same.

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California State University East Bay
Thanksgiving as we know it should change