Every November, this nation celebrates Thanksgiving, a time where we spend with our families for dinner, and supposedly celebrate everything we are thankful for. Its origins have traced back during the early days of American history where European Pilgrims have settled in the new world. According to many history textbooks in almost all schools across the nation, the Pilgrims and Native peoples (‘Indians’ in most of these textbooks) were friendly towards each other. There was no hatred, especially from the Settlers, against the Native people. In fact Native Americans helped the Pilgrims learn to fish, farm and hunt, and survive the harsh conditions of winter. After harvesting their first crop, they and their “Indian friends” have celebrated what would be forever be referred to as the first Thanksgiving, and America continues to live that tradition today.
However, very few people in modern times have asked the question, “Did it really happen?” Think about it for a second. If it did, then how come Native Americans were referred to as savages for the longest? How come they were almost decimated by the very people they supposedly helped? Was it something the Native Americans did that warranted their deaths? (I assume some ignorant, bigoted folk would answer that question with an unyielding ‘yes’.) Or rather, did the settlers have a problem with them to begin with, and this tale of Thanksgiving is like the rest of American history told in elementary, middle; high school and college textbooks all across this country, all rewritten in favor the victors who still possess the throne?
For many the celebration of Thanksgiving was always a problem because of the genocide that eventually befell Native Americans. The pillaging of land and resources, rape of women and other atrocities for the most part have been erased from our history books and replaced with the story of a festive feast where humanity was recognized and family and community uplifted..
For decades Thanksgiving was one of the few days poor and working class people had off and so in spite of the hidden history of genocide, Thanksgiving had evolved to become a day and time that we spent with family. In short we collectively brought into the idea behind the holiday and for the most part that was a good thing..
Sadly what we are seeing come to the surface are the true colors of this country.. Thanksgiving is not about family and strengthening community. It’s not about giving thanks.. It’s about making money..We saw this emerge with the concept of Black Friday…
Whole Foods employee Matthew Camp, a member of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), told Salon he expects about ten workers to join the walkout, which will include an afternoon rally with fast food and Wal-Mart employees and other supporters. “I think it will be disruptive, but that’s kind of the point: to disrupt the flow of things,” said Camp. He added, “Causing a disruption also provides us with a platform – you know, we have to make some noise to get our point across.”
As I reported yesterday, major retailers have come under criticism for increasing Black Friday’s encroachment into their employees’ holidays by pushing store openings and sales even earlier into Thursday. Blake argued that supermarket employees also deserve a reprieve. “We work hardest for this holiday,” he told Salon, so “everyone can enjoy the holiday,” but “we would like to be able to participate in the holiday ourselves.” He suggested that supermarkets “close the doors” on Thanksgiving itself, and said that if a customer finds themselves missing an ingredient that day, “you improvise, and you let the people who work the hardest for the holiday have the day off. I mean, really I think it’s a question of respect.