Thanksgiving- A complex holiday including falsehoods, fabrication
By: Mohammed Khaku
The history of Thanksgiving contains fabrications and historians have rewritten history by glorification of White English settlers who came on the Mayflower to establish the Plymouth colony in what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The vicious reality of American Indian genocide and unforgiveable legacy of slavery which grew from that original sin and has resulted in today’s White Supremacy, racism and police brutality against people of color.
Thanksgiving is the most celebrated and one of the biggest travel holidays of the year. It is a time for families to get together to enjoy a delicious meals. Thanksgiving is about sharing bountiful food with the people you love and contains the noble messages of sharing and caring.
The holiday may be celebration of people coming together, but that’s not the whole story when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving and like most of our history, it also comes from half-truths and is sugar coated. Most people think of the Pilgrims as righteous people, which is not true.
The pleasant narrative of Thanksgiving taught in schools hides the truth and perpetuates negative stereotypes of Native people. Long before any Europeans colonist came to the New World with slaves from West Africa, Native Americans observed many celebrations of thanks, feast and harvest.
However, today native Indians observe Thanksgiving Day as a National Day of Mourning in remembrance of the theft of their lands and the enslavement and subjugation of their ancestors.
Any similarities with the Palestinian people or the Hijrah of the Prophet Muhammad? Yes, one can see the similarities when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made his migration (Hijrah) from Mecca to Medina due to the oppression by the idol worshipers. Once in Medina, he (SAW) was welcomed by the tribe of Medina (Ansar’s) and given the best hospitality. So, need the native Indians.
More recently, in the land of Palestine, a significant event happened. The British government issued the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917, which announced their support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. The Zionists confiscated the Palestinian Arab land which still continues to be occupied until today.
In Islam, there is no day set aside for giving thanks to God (Allah). Islam teaches its followers to thank God several times a day with a verse in Qur’an “If you are grateful, I will, surely, bestow more favors on you” (14:8)
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead, members of the religious sect take the day to increase their door-to-door evangelism.
It’s time to reevaluate the meaning and celebration of the holiday. The real story behind the holiday is so obscure and full of controversy. The well-known story of Thanksgiving is an account of how the first Pilgrims and local Native Americans came together for a celebratory meal in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
There are many versions of this story but the one we all know is that in 1621 the first Pilgrims arrived from England. The native Indians, the Wampanoag tribe, provided a large feast which included geese, turkeys, pumpkin, and a variety of vegetables.
History tells us that there were ninety men from the Wampanoag tribe and just around fifty surviving Mayflower Pilgrims. That first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days. The Wampanoags brought five deer as gifts.
Everyone had a wonderful celebration, and the Wampanoag tribe welcomed them with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end of their tribe.
In reality, peace didn’t last between the English settlers known as Pilgrims and their one-time Wampanoag friends, and the two became involved in a devastating conflict after the famous feast.
Thanksgiving holiday is associated with Pilgrims that landed in the New World and is not a pleasant one.
Nine years after the first Pilgrims landed a group of 700 holier than thou Europeans, calling themselves Puritans, arrived on 11 ships and settled in Boston.
This was the beginning of the brutality against the Indians and the elimination of the Native Wampanoag American Indians. Within 50 years, the Wampanoag would no longer be a tribe nor would be able to claim the lands of Massachusetts.
The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each massacre of the Wampanoag tribe.
The slave trade began with a British ship delivering the first slaves to Jamestown VA in 1619. The first settlers took natives as slaves, raped their women and left behind smallpox, syphilis, and gonorrhea.
George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.
Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War — on the same day he ordered troops to march toward the Dakota Sioux Reservation where the white settlers were taking land from the starving Sioux tribes.
As the Native Indian American Holocaust continued around the country, the governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Joseph Dudley, and John Winthrop declared an official Thanksgiving holiday to celebrate the slaughter of hundreds of Pequot men, women, and children.
The native Indians were either exterminated or sold as slaves to the French in Canada. This was the start of the slave trade business in America.
This trading of human beings was so successful that hundreds of Puritan ship owners in Boston began the practice of raiding the Ivory Coast of Africa for black slaves to be sold in the south.
Let’s give thanks for those lifted us out of slavery, and for the dignity in struggle of the late Rosa Parks and her generation.
Let’s all remember our own shortcomings, and give thanks for the infinite mercy, forgiveness, and love of our Creator. Let’s give thanks. Let’s pray and work for a future of peace, and justice.