Thanksgiving: The Family Joys, The Pain-Filled National Myth and The Dream

"Shawnee Homelife" Painting by Ernest Spybuck
“Shawnee Home Life about 1890,” painted by Earnest L. Spybuck in 1910. Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma (from the Smithsonian Institute)

Today, as I sit in isolation, just me and my dog Shayna, I’m remembering the joy of Thanksgivings past. Of family and friends. Smiles and hugs. Fascinating, respectful conversations and silly gossip, both of which have helped me learn, grow and become. 

That was the reality of my family’s Thanksgivings. But the celebration of that specific day — Thanksgiving — was based on a myth of America’s origin. The myth was/is hurtful, erasing from our collective consciousness the pain and destruction of Native Americans that was at the root of our country’s origin. As such, it’s a bloody stain on our souls as Americans.

But it’s also a dream of peace and the sharing of bounty among people of different backgrounds.

This Thanksgiving and in the days and years to come, I hope we can acknowledge the pain of Native Americans, respecting and honoring their culture, trying to heal the inequities that continue to hurt and kill. But I also hope that we can build on the dream of peace, of bounty shared, and of conversations that can lead to understanding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>