There seems to be a prevailing theory among the more progressive minds that any of our nation’s past sins should be adjudicated in perpetuity, eternally, and without debate.
As our human race become ever more enlightened, and as we grow thankfully more compassionate, we are going to inevitably discover that we weren’t always so. We have had terrible, horrible, dark days in our past, and it is our duty to learn from these mistakes and move forward.
The problem today is that we would rather cancel the offensive actions of the past rather than be educated by them. Too many of us would simply prefer to remove these horrendous actions from our past, burying them in some clandestine history hole.
Such is the case with a professor at George Washington University, who believes that Thanksgiving is just such a travesty.
In his new book, entitled, This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving, professor David Silverman explains why he believes the First Thanksgiving is a “myth” that should actually be a “National Day of Mourning.”
“These [native] men and women are hurt by the way we celebrate this national holiday,” explained Silverman. “It makes them feel like second class citizens in their own country.”
“The National Day of Mourning calls attention to the fact that white America’s triumphs have been borne on native peoples’ backs,” the professor added.
“To me, a myth that treats American colonialism as a bloodless affair is more than bad history,” said Silverman. “It is hurtful to both modern native people and to Americans generally because it doesn’t allow us to understand ourselves in a critical way.”
But should we “cancel” Thanksgiving? Wouldn’t it be a more powerful sentiment to use the holiday as a teachable moment for our children instead?
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