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Celebrating Genocide – The Real Story of Thanksgiving

Celebrating Genocide – The Real Story of Thanksgiving


Irwin Ozborne, Contributor
Waking Occasions

Thanksgiving: Celebrating all that we’ve got, and the genocide it took to get it.

Thanksgiving is one of probably the most paradoxical occasions of the yr. We collect along with family and friends in celebration of all that we’re grateful for and categorical our gratitude, on the similar time we’re inspired to eat in extra. However the irony actually begins the subsequent day on Black Friday. On Thursday we recognize all the straightforward issues in life, similar to having a meal, a roof over our head, and the reference to these near us. However in lower than 24 hours, we actually trample over others in a mad sprint to build up as many materials possessions as attainable at bargain-prices.

So what’s the true historical past of Thanksgiving? Properly, identical to we now have tales of Easter during which a magical bunny hops all over the world and hides baskets of goodies for us to seek out, or tales of Christmas the place Santa Claus travels the globe in a single night time to go away presents beneath the tree for good girls and boys – Thanksgiving, too, has its conventional fantasy which we share with our youngsters. We recount tales of the Indians and Pilgrims getting collectively for a magical feast of cohesion and appreciation. The solely drawback is that, in contrast to the opposite holidays, we by no means reveal the reality about Thanksgiving to our youngsters as they get older. In truth, most of us don’t perceive its bloody historical past ourselves…

The very first proclaimed “Day of Thanksgiving” got here in 1637 in a gathering between the Pequot Indians and English spiritual mercenaries. The Pequot have been celebrating their annual Inexperienced Harvest Pageant, which resembles modern-day Thanksgiving. On the eve of the pageant, the English demanded that everybody comes out of their houses, places their weapons on the bottom, and surrenders by changing to Christianity.

Those that obliged with these terroristic calls for have been both shot lifeless or clubbed to demise. Those that stayed inside their longhouses – together with ladies and youngsters – have been burnt to demise. In all, greater than 700 Pequot males, ladies, and youngsters have been slaughtered that day.

The “victory” was celebrated by the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony holding a feast and trumpeted this as a “Day of Thanksgiving.” Through the celebration, they reduce off heads of Natives and put them on show publicly; together with beheading the Wampanoag Chief and impaling his head on a pole in Plymouth which stayed on show for the subsequent 24 years.

New Household Values

I used to be in third grade and enjoying in my again yard, once I observed a shifting truck within the parking zone past the fence. We lived in a middle-class suburban group, however proper past our fenced in yard, there was a Part eight Housing Group.

As I stood and watched, a younger boy round my age got here operating over to the fence to greet me.

“Hi, My Name is Doug,” he stated, “We are moving in next door.”

It’s humorous as youngsters, we’re so free and we see somebody our age and we simply need to be pals. Somebody we will spend time with. This exhibits the pure want of human connection.

Doug and I turned fairly good associates immediately. We hung out at one another’s home typically, principally enjoying Nintendo or throwing the ball round within the yard.

Till someday, one of my favourite video video games was lacking. No concept what occurred, however the recreation was gone. We all the time had anyplace from three to 10 individuals over at our home and there’s no method of understanding what occurred to the sport or if it was merely misplaced.

“No more going over to that Indian’s house,” my Dad advised me, “He took your game.”

Indian? What’s an Indian? I keep in mind considering that to myself. To me, Doug was simply my good friend. Now, identical to that, he was my Indian-friend. I knew little or no about different races at the moment. Positive, we noticed that folks appeared totally different, however by no means hooked up a label like that.

The solely factor I knew about Indians, I discovered in class. And the issues I discovered in class, was simply being handed down from what our instructor’s discovered in class with no changes to the curriculum. We discovered find out how to sit “Indian-Style,” we discovered the right way to sing “Ten Little Indians,” discovered what it meant to be referred to as an “Indian-Giver,” and we discovered to play “Cowboys and Indians.”

I can truthfully keep in mind in First or Second grade round Thanksgiving, we made headdresses and coloured feathers to decorate up like Indians. Then they advised us find out how to do war-cries by placing your hand over your mouth and yelling, “Ahh-Ahh-Ooh-Ooh.”

They instructed the category that the Pilgrims came to visit from Europe to flee spiritual persecution. Upon arriving in America, they realized that there have been already individuals dwelling right here. The courageous Europeans encountered the Indians, who wore headdresses, make bizarre noises, and have been uncivilized. So, the

Pilgrims determined to assist them out they usually had an enormous feast collectively. Everybody obtained alongside after which for yearly since then, we have fun Thanksgiving.

However, Doug didn’t do any of these issues. I by no means met an Indian, he was only a regular child. However, I used to be informed to not belief him. The irony of a white individual not trusting an Indian is an excessive amount of to even comprehend.

“Doug, do you have my video game?” I requested him, “And, I am not allowed to come over here anymore and you can’t come over to my house.”

“No, I don’t have it. Why would I take it? You always let me use it whenever I want,” he replied, “But I understand. I won’t come over anymore.”

As the subsequent couple years glided by, I begin seeing extra films with Cowboys and Indians with the natives seen as hostile savages and the cowboys save the nation. I’m now in fifth grade and have been educated and brainwashed to hate a race of individuals and consider that I’m good and they’re incorrect. And, nonetheless nobody has given me a solution as to what occurred to all of the Indians that lived right here?

Then, I gained perspective from the oddest of sources – the comedy film, “Addams Family Values.” Within the film, the youngsters have been at some sort of summer time camp through which they’re placing on a play for his or her mother and father, reenacting the primary Thanksgiving. All of the rich-white privileged youngsters on the camp have been enjoying the position of the healthful pilgrims; whereas, the outcasts of the camp have been caught enjoying the half of the “uncivilized” Indians. Because the pilgrims invited the Indians for a meal collectively, Wednesday Addams –enjoying the position of Pocahontas (though that is traditionally inaccurate as Pocahontas lived close to the Jamestown Settlement) – decides to go off the script simply previous to sitting down for the meal:

“Wait, we can not break bread with you. You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides, and you will play golf. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They said do not trust the pilgrims. And especially do not trust Sarah Miller. For all these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.” [view scene]

I keep in mind watching this scene and my pals have been laughing hysterically, however not me. I used to be extra in shock and awe. All of it made sense. I noticed that the whole lot I had been informed about historical past was a lie. And I’ve been looking for the reality ever since.

A Nationwide Day of Mourning

We’re very impressionable as youngsters and take what elders, mother and father, and academics inform us as reality. It will get very troublesome to interrupt these ideas that form our id. Nevertheless, the story of Thanksgiving described above has solely a small semblance of fact. The Pilgrims and Indians acquired collectively for an enormous feast – one time. And in all recorded historical past of that point, there are literally solely two paperwork of document reporting this occasion, over the entire of three paragraphs – indicating the very minor vital of this occasion.

Thanksgiving Day is also referred to as The Nationwide Day of Mourning amongst Native American Tribes. In 1970, there was an enormous celebration in Massachussets to rejoice the 350th anniversary of the touchdown of the Pilgrims. In the present day, there are nonetheless Wampanoags dwelling within the space. On the day of the celebration, they requested one of them to talk:

“At present is a time of celebrating for you — a time of wanting again to the primary days of white individuals in America. However it isn’t a time of celebrating for me. It’s with a heavy coronary heart that I look again upon what occurred to my Individuals. When the Pilgrims arrived, we, the Wampanoags, welcomed them with open arms, little figuring out that it was the start of the top. That earlier than 50 years have been to cross, the Wampanoag would not be a tribe. That we and different Indians dwelling close to the settlers can be killed by their weapons or lifeless from illnesses that we caught from them. Allow us to all the time keep in mind, the Indian is and was simply as human because the white individuals.

Though our method of life is nearly gone, we, the Wampanoags, nonetheless stroll the lands of Massachusetts. What has occurred can’t be modified. However in the present day we work towards a greater America, a extra Indian America the place individuals and nature as soon as once more are necessary.”


The Nationwide Day of Mourning plaque at Plymouth, Massachusetts

The Lies of Thanksgiving

To get began, the Pilgrims weren’t looking for spiritual persecution – they already had that in Holland by 1608. Nevertheless, they didn’t just like the work and calls for of Holland and needed to hunt business ventures abroad. Nevertheless the Pilgrims additionally had no cash or assets, in order that they needed to borrow a mortgage from the Virginia Firm of London and Plymouth. The settlement said that they have been to take all the cash earned over the primary seven years and put it into a standard inventory – feels like Communism.

So, the communist Pilgrims sailed throughout the ocean in September of 1620. But, it’s also essential to notice that they didn’t name themselves Pilgrims. They have been initially known as Separatists as they not adopted the Church of England. But, they referred to themselves as God’s Chosen Individuals, by which they referred to as themselves “Saints.”

The relaxation of England, thought-about them “religious dropouts.”

The Pilgrims have been additionally not farmers, nor woodsmen; they have been principally metropolis individuals and artisans that had no clue find out how to survive within the Wilderness. It will be like if a gaggle of broke-hipsters determined to maneuver to a distant jungle in South America to start out their very own civilization as a result of they don’t slot in with mainstream society. But, they don’t have cash, in order that they take out a mortgage from the federal government to arrange their little expedition.

They weren’t simply being persecuted for spiritual beliefs both, they have been revolutionaries who meant – and actually, did in 1649 – overthrow the English Authorities.

On November 20, 1620, they landed at Cape Cod – not Plymouth Rock. A winter storm had despatched them off-course they usually have been many miles north of their vacation spot in Virginia. They landed in a desolated space during which the Patuxet used to stay – however have been utterly wiped away by illness in 1617. The Pilgrims raided the land for corn, beans, and robbed the gravesites at Corn Hill to steal as a lot winter provisions as they might deal with.

It wasn’t till one other month later that they landed at Plymouth Rock. During which, the crew was decimated and the settlers have been both lifeless or dying from hunger, malnutrition and illness. Solely 53 of the remaining 102 members of this ship made it by means of the winter. In March, they have been greeted by two English-Talking Indians – Samoset and Squanto.

Whereas this story appears miraculous, the truth is Plymouth Governor Bradford referred to Squanto as “a special instrument sent from God.” Nevertheless, it was not that straightforward.

Squanto had been captured in 1605 and bought into slavery in England, during which he was pressured to study English. Then they despatched him again to America, solely to function a information for the explorers to additional ravage his land. In 1614, he was captured once more and shipped to Spain. This time “rescued” by friars who tried to regulate the slaves and convert them to Christianity. He jump-shipped once more and made his method again to his homeland in 1619, solely to see that each member of his tribe had perished to illness. Therefore, Squanto was the final dwelling Patuxet and was pressured to reside with the close by Wampanoag.

That is the person that helped the Pilgrims survive – enslaved twice, pressured to study English, tried to be pressured to transform to Christianity, then to return residence and discover everybody he beloved was lifeless. If it weren’t for Squanto, all historians agree that the Pilgrims would have starved to dying and had fairly a special influence on American historical past.

As Governor Bradford defined:

“Squanto continued with them and was their interpreter and was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corn, where to take fish, and to procure other commodities, and was also their pilot to bring them to unknown places for their profit, and never let them till he died.”

The Pilgrims have been dwelling in dirt-covered shelters, had no meals, and almost half of them had died in the course of the winter. They clearly wanted assist and the 2 males have been a welcome sight. Squanto, who in all probability knew extra English than some other Indian in North America at the moment, determined to stick with the Pilgrims for the subsequent few months and train them how one can survive on this new place.

Squanto had orchestrated a treaty between the Pilgrims and Indians to guard one another from neighboring tribes.

By Fall of 1621, issues had enormously improved for the Pilgrims. They put collectively a feast to have fun their harvest – a standard customized of the day in all elements of the world. This was celebrated again in Europe for a few years, in addition to the native tribes had six totally different “Thanksgiving” feasts all year long.

As they Pilgrims have been capturing their weapons within the air – doubtless with a mix of the hefty quantities of alcohol they consumed – they have been met by ninety or extra Wampanoags. Because the story goes, they invited the Indians to hitch them. Nevertheless, it’s extra probably that the Indians rushed over to see what all of the gunfire was about after which have been requested to hitch. That they had a three-day feast, by which the Indians offered the bulk of the meals.

This was by no means referred to as “Thanksgiving” and it was not the start of some lovely friendship, through which all of them lived fortunately ever after. In truth, it by no means occurred once more. This was the primary, and solely, time that they obtained collectively in peace. The true “First Thanksgiving” was a a lot bloodier hell on Earth which tells the story of the subsequent 400 years for the Native People.

The “First Thanksgiving”

It’s exhausting to inform the true intention of the primary Pilgrims at Plymouth as they have been severely outnumbered and had no means of survival within the New World. As soon as phrase was unfold concerning the Paradise out West, increasingly spiritual zealots, referred to as Puritans, got here sweeping throughout the shores of America.

As soon as they arrived, they observed no fences across the land and thought of all of it to be public area. They weren’t in as nice want of assist from the Natives, as the unique Pilgrims, and the friendship between the 2 weakened quickly. Quickly, the Pilgrims have been demeaning the Indians for his or her spiritual beliefs and the youngsters of those that shared this majestic meal collectively have been killing one another within the subsequent era’s King Phillip’s Struggle.

That’s the basis of America’s concept of “freedom.” We would like freedom for ourselves, however not for many who don’t look, assume, act, and consider as we do. Within the Declaration of Independence it’s said that “All Men Are Created Equal” however every of the founding fathers have been slave-owners who valued white supremacy and favored Indian genocide. They didn’t need equality, they only needed equality from the British, however the oppression they did to African-People, Indians, and Ladies was utterly acceptable.

The Pilgrims have been spiritual bigots who noticed themselves because the “chosen elect” and first deliberate to purify themselves after which anybody who didn’t settle for their interpretation of scripture. They believed they have been preventing a holy conflict towards Devil. In a “Thanksgiving” sermon in 1623, Maher the Elder gave particular thanks for destroying “chiefly young men and children, the very seeds of increase, thus cleaning the forests to make way for a better growth.” Sure, thanking the Lord for giving smallpox to the identical Wampanoag that saved them from hunger two years prior.

In 1637, as said within the opening paragraphs of this text, the primary Thanksgiving was held to rejoice the systematic slaughtering of the “heathen savages.” These killings turn out to be increasingly, because the settlers went from village to village wiping out generations of tribes. With every “victory” they might maintain days of thanksgiving feasts for every profitable bloodbath.

Through the subsequent century, the Tribes continued to get pushed additional West. The likes of Lord Jeffrey Amherst deliberately gave smallpox-infested blankets to tribes within the early varieties of organic warfare. Whereas, the 1756 Indian Scalp Act paid out bounties for the scalps of Indian males, ladies, and youngsters.

This continued up via the French-Indian Conflict by which the British defeated the Indian-French allies; however proclaimed that the settlers cannot go West of the Appalachian Mountains – not as a result of they grew a coronary heart for the Indians –however as a result of it will be too onerous to handle the settlers which might quickly revolt towards the Kingdom.

Even in the course of the Revolutionary Struggle, there have been Days of Thanksgiving honored after a victory towards the British. Till George Washington recommended that there’s solely someday of Thanksgiving put aside per yr, quite than after every bloodbath.

The “Most Free Country on Earth”

After being declared a “free country,” the savagery continued. President Andrew Jackson issued the Indian Removing Act of 1830, which pressured the Natives west to Oklahoma. The Cherokee removing from Tennessee turned referred to as the notorious “Trail of Tears” during which Cherokee have been slain in entrance of relations if they didn’t oblige.

Because the land continued to be stolen, the Native People arrange reservations. This land was not GIVEN to the Native People, it’s land that THEY reserved for themselves that would not be taken from them. Nevertheless, as we discover out that didn’t appear to matter as the USA has damaged each treaty ever signed with a Native American tribe.

It’s additionally necessary to know that the federal government doesn’t simply hand out cash “because they are Indians.” They’re given cash that’s owed to them because of the treaties signed by the USA to buy their land, they usually settlements as a result of breaking each single treaty ever signed. It isn’t only a charity hand-out, it’s half of a responsible plea.

Nevertheless, false propaganda and poor instructional curriculum like to tell the mainstream that we “gave the Indians reservations” and “pay them money.” This ignorance is a direct end result of America not educating their youngsters what a treaty truly entails, or why it was signed within the first place.


In 1851, the Sioux made two treaties through which they have been to be compensated with money, meals, and items to surrender over one-million acres of land to the USA, whereas dwelling on the reservation. Nevertheless, there have been corrupt leaders within the Bureau of Indian Affairs who refused funds and gave items out to white settlers as an alternative. As soon as Minnesota turned a state, Chief Little Crow took his grievances to Washington – in return, america took half of the land again from the Sioux and opened it up for white enlargement.

Annually the state of affairs obtained worse, till the summer time of 1862 during which the Sioux have been actually ravenous in these unlivable conditions. That is referred to in historical past because the “Sioux Uprising.” They have been “uprising” since you have been ravenous them to demise as a result of of lies and damaged guarantees.

In the future a gaggle went off the reservation searching and stole some eggs from white settlers and ultimately murdered them. The authorities in Minnesota then rounded up 303 Sioux, many of which weren’t concerned within the rebellion, and sentenced them to be hung to dying. The Nice Emancipator, President Abraham Lincoln issued the most important mass-killing in American historical past with the hanging of 38 Santee Sioux in Mankato, Minnesota. He decreased the quantity to 38 in worry that European nations might take the aspect of the South within the Civil Conflict and change he promised Minnesota to kill or take away any Indians from Minnesota and pay $2 million in settlement – he solely owed the Sioux$1.four million for the land.

One yr later, Congress expunged all Sioux treaties from the data, took again their reserved land and ordered your complete tribe to be expelled from Minnesota. As an incentive, a bounty of $25 was provided for the scalp of any Sioux discovered dwelling within the state. In the identical yr, President Lincoln determined that Thanksgiving must be a Federal Vacation.

Throughout this time, the Wild-Wild West included the likes of Custer going from camp-to-camp killing Indian ladies, males, and youngsters for sport. They might burn, rape, and mutilate complete villages and have been celebrated within the information as heroes. This consists of his raid of the sleeping Cheyenne and their peace Chief Black Kettle, regardless of his earlier give up to the army and willingness to reside on the reservations.

In 1890, on the Pine Ridge Reservation the Natives have been training ghost dances, through which the army was referred to as in and turned a peaceable dance right into a bloodbath with one other 300 lifeless by the hands of their conquerors.

“The people who are citizens of the U.S., these are your treaties. They aren’t just the Indians’ treaties. No one gave us anything. No one was dragging any land behind them when they came here. This was our land… As native American peoples in this red corner of Mother Earth, we have no reason to celebrate an invasion that caused the demise of so many of our people, and is still causing destruction today.” ~ Suzan Proven Harjo, the Morning Star Institute, a nationwide Native American rights group.

Boarding Faculties

Because the Sioux Wars ended, and it wasn’t as straightforward to intentionally kill the Indians, the People wanted a brand new strategy to perform genocide. They launched the Boarding Faculty System in 1890. This was United States Authorities coverage that they might present up at the doorstep, take away your infants and toddlers and ship them to boarding faculties a whole lot of miles away. Your youngsters have been not yours.

At these faculties they have been banned to talk native languages, mocked their traditions and cultures, reduce their hair, made them look American, in addition to bodily, emotionally, and sexually abused each day. Some youngsters would by no means see their mother and father once more. Or in the event that they did, that they had turn into totally different individuals.

Boarding School

It was a scientific eradicating of a race of individuals, they seemed Indian however they have been Americanizing them. Each Indian at present is a product of this boarding faculty system. It peaked within the 1970s and carried into the 21st century.

Within the 1950s, america then needed to “re-civilize” the Indians and invited them to stay again within the metropolis. The drawback is that they had no cash, schooling, or expertise, and couldn’t discover work. Most of them ended up homeless or in jail.

Primitive Savages

There are volumes and volumes of dissertations written on this info listed above and it’s troublesome to condense it to lower than a pair thousand phrases. (I encourage you to do you personal analysis.) However in studying by way of the horrors, atrocities, genocide, and institutionalized racism enacted towards the indigenous individuals, what’s fairly clear is that the label of ‘savages’ is on the mistaken finish.

Our society’s apply of “might is right”, consumerism, competitors, separation and judgment is the other of how people have been designed to reside. We have been meant to reside in concord with one another and respect our fellow man. These concepts and values had already been in place for a few years, however have been since eliminated by a complicated army society, however a primitive religious one.

“When your people came to our land, it was not with open arms, but with Bibles and guns and disease. You took our land. You killed us with your guns and disease, then had the arrogance to call us godless savages. If there is a Heaven and it is filled with Christians, than Hell is the place for me.”

Primitive spirituality and genocidal practices over the previous four-hundred years have resulted in almost 100 million deaths of indigenous individuals – making the Europeans the true primitive savages. Earlier than the European invasion of the Americas, there have been believed to be as many as 80-100 million native individuals occupying what’s now america. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, solely 5.2 million individuals within the U.S. recognized as American Indian and Alaskan Native, both wholly or partially, and out of this complete solely 2.9 million individuals recognized as solely American Indian or Alaska Native. On the time of European invasion, at least 300 totally different languages have been spoken along with quite a few “trade languages”. The natives of the Americas weren’t solely “living lightly on the land”, as is so typically claimed, however have been engaged in landscaping, constructing and agriculture, commerce and commerce, along with sustainable searching and gathering, and of course, historic cultural and earth-based religious practices — a lot of which has now been decimated.

When Christopher Columbus first landed within the Americas, ho entered an occupied land with pressure to subjugate and exterminate the civilizations that had existed for at the very least 30,000 years (some estimates are as excessive as 200,000 years), a development that continued for a number of hundred years. And though he and the colonists that arrived within the years to comply with have develop into icons of our nationwide mythology, the outcome has been mass assimilation, raping, slaughtering, enslaving, and intention to wipe out all proof of a local inhabitants of between 50 and 100 million indigenous individuals from the land — the best genocide in recorded historical past.

However, in the future out of the yr, we’re capable of give thanks and present gratitude as half of the normal celebration to honor a bloody bloodbath.

Concerning the Writer

An avid historian, Irwin Ozborne (a pen-name) is a survivor of childhood abuse and torture over a interval of 13 years, and a recovered alcoholic. As a psychological well being practitioner, at present Irwin practices holistic care and incorporates japanese philosophy into his work with shoppers. He’s obtainable for talking engagements as properly, and could be contacted by way of e mail: [email protected] Please go to

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Celebrating Genocide – The Real Story of Thanksgiving was final modified: November 22nd, 2018 by WakingTimes

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