Skip to comments.Thanksgiving holiday is misconstrued (Ithaca Prof: holiday means racism, genocide, etc.)
Posted on 11/17/2006 12:18:08 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
The celebration of a mythical Thanksgiving did not happen in this country for several hundred years after the event, by which time American Indians had been colonized, assimilated and removed from many of their ancestral lands, usually through dubious treaties and other means that are still being questioned today. Thanksgiving has been further colonized by capitalism in recent times, further removing us from the true meanings of thanksgivings that Native people honor on many occasions throughout the year.
Much like American-Indian mascots, people say that American Indians are being honored by the remembrance of that first Thanksgiving, which children purportedly embody with their construction paper and dyed chicken feather headdresses. If we want to honor American Indians, we need to take a deep look at the genocide that was perpetrated against them, the dishonest taking of Indian lands, the horrific conditions that churches and the U.S. government put them through in the Native boarding schools, and the current struggles for land, sovereignty and cultural survival.
Brooke Hansen is an associate professor of anthropology. E- mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Excerpt) Read more at ithaca.edu ...
In Canada, we simply give thanks for a good harvest -- no Pilgrims or Indians involved. It's always celebrated on the second Monday of October.
I went to school with a boy named Brooke.
i bet this guy has no problem with mexico's citizens coming here illgally and colonizing.
This is so poorly written...bad syntax and mismatched nouns and adjectives. I have to wonder of English is Hansen's first or second language?
"wonder if" (bad typo)
BTW, whatever happened to the Native Canadians who were living in those parts before the French & English ripped off THEIR land?
What? Thats not what you do on Boxing day?
Canada was previously inhabited by seals. And being the blood thristy scum bags that white males are, they clubbed them all to death. Then proceeded to slap around their parts with the clubs, and thus was born Hockey!
ROFL...those poor seals really got pucked by the Whitey, forked-tongued, slave-trader, woman-oppressors I guess...
Yes, but they did redeem themselves when they invented The Canadian Ballet!
Thanksgiving: Just another day of liberal self-flagellation and hand-wringing.
Thanks, by the way, for the education.
"Head hockey" is popular during the seal hunt (according to radical environmental organizations.)
LOL! Ol' GW is impossible to completely consign down the memory hole.
IMO, the major reason the libs need to discredit the pilgrims is because an integral part of their success as colonists was the absolute rejection of the, socialist, communal farming system they instituted when they first arrived in favor of a private ownership system that flourished in comparison.
It failed miserably for the same reasons socialist systems will always fail. The productive portion of a society will grow tired of producing for people that merely leech off their labor.
Now there is a lesson that has been largely, consigned to the memory hole.
Here's an emailable version. Copy this and email it to everyone you care about -- and ask them to do the same:
|The Real Story Behind Thanksgiving
Did you know that the first [Plymouth Colony Pilgrim's] Thanksgiving was a celebration of the triumph of private property and individual initiative?
William Bradford was the governor of the original Pilgrim colony, founded at Plymouth in 1621. The colony was first organized on a communal basis, as their financiers required. Land was owned in common. The Pilgrims farmed communally, too, following the "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" precept.
The results were disastrous. Communism didn't work any better 400 years ago than it does today. By 1623, the colony had suffered serious losses. Starvation was imminent.
Bradford realized that the communal system encouraged and rewarded waste and laziness and inefficiency, and destroyed individual initiative. Desperate, he abolished it. He distributed private plots of land among the surviving Pilgrims, encouraging them to plant early and farm as individuals, not collectively.
The results: a bountiful early harvest that saved the colonies. After the harvest, the Pilgrims celebrated with a day of Thanksgiving -- on August 9th.
Unfortunately, William Bradford's diaries -- in which he recorded the failure of the collectivist system and the triumph of private enterprise -- were lost for many years. When Thanksgiving was later made a national holiday, the present November date was chosen. And the lesson the Pilgrims so painfully learned was, alas, not made a part of the holiday.
Happily, Bradford's diaries were later rediscovered. They're available today in paperback. They tell the real story of Thanksgiving -- how private property and individual initiative saved the Pilgrims.
This Thanksgiving season, one of the many things I'm thankful for is our free market system (imperfectly realized as it is). And I'm also grateful that there are increasing numbers of Americans who are learning the importance of free markets, and who are working to replace government coercion with marketplace cooperation here in America and around the world.
PS: A special thanks to long-time Advocate volunteer Cris Everett, who told us about this neglected bit of history several years ago, and who celebrates Thanksgiving on -- you guessed it -- August 9th.
-- copied from http://FreedomKeys.com/thanksgiving.htm which was copied from the Nov. 20, 1997 issue of THE LIBERATOR ONLINE at http://www.theadvocates.org/liberator/vol-02-num-21.htm
for more detailed accounts see The Great Thanksgiving Hoax at http://snipurl.com/apur
-- and Please PASS IT ALONG------------>
-- make a cleaner copy by going to this page and copying it or sending it as-is: http://FreedomKeys.com/thanksgiving2.htm
Each year at this time school children all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating.
It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving's real meaning.
The official story has the pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620-21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The Pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.
The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.
The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hardworking or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.
In his 'History of Plymouth Plantation,' the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with "corruption," and with "confusion and discontent." The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."
In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, "all had their hungry bellies filled," but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first "Thanksgiving" was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.
But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.
After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.
This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.
This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.
To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.
Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609-10, called "The Starving Time," the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.
Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614, Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was "plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure." He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, "we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now."
Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful. They were in the same situation as Ethiopians are today, and for the same reasons. But after free markets were established, the resulting abundance was so dramatic that the annual Thanksgiving celebrations became common throughout the colonies, and in 1863, Thanksgiving became a national holiday.
Thus the real reason for Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.
Blah, Blah, Blah. The hate America first crowd strikes again and again, and again.