My very first day in America as an exchange student was in summer. But the place hosting us served us a Thanksgiving meal as an introduction to America.
Four years later, when I came over to marry my husband, his Connecticut family gathered the tribe and had Thanksgiving in July to welcome me.
Weirdly, Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday – that’s the Fourth of July – but it is a very American holiday. I don’t know any other country that has a holiday solely dedicated to giving thanks.
Now there might be one or two. I don’t pretend to have carried on an extensive survey of countries of the world. But I’ve never heard of one, through all my years and my connections.
In America, we have Thanksgiving because we are a miracle nation, and it’s impossible to look at us and not be filled with wonder and joy.
We’re here despite all the errors the Pilgrims made; we’re here despite all the times we’ve been subverted, perverted, and attacked — often from inside — and we’re still one of the freest and most prosperous nations in the world. Yes, I know. We’re not as free as we used to be. But liberty is always one generation away from destruction, and fighting for it is the price of keeping its blessings for us and our children. For our ability to fight, I’m thankful. For all those who have fought for centuries against enemies domestic and foreign, I’m doubly thankful.
Thanksgiving is not just a holiday celebrating the past and our history, but also celebrating family, friends and present prosperity.
No wonder the left hates it, and not just because they’re never grateful for anything.
Recently on Facebook, a friend asked us to list what we were thankful for, and he got the standard tight-lipped leftist reply: “Well, I guess I’m grateful my native ancestors weren’t killed or raped like so many others were.”
This is typical leftist cant, talking about the plight of the “Native Americans.” And it’s booshwa. There are so many errors packed in that sentence that it’s almost unbelievable. It starts with his “native ancestors,” and no, we’re not going into the fact that to our knowledge no human beings evolved in America. We’re instead going with the fact that the native tribes were genetically swamped. So swamped that I think the amount of Amerindian DNA to be considered “Native American” is about 16 percent. Might be less.
Sure, a lot of them got raped and killed. A lot more put on their Sunday shoes and went a-courting, or at least integrated into “colonial” society.
This is because – second error – Amerindian tribes weren’t cartoon Disney characters. They didn’t live in “harmony with nature” singing to the pretty flowers and animals. Sure, some Indian writings have catered to this, but that’s just proof they were thoroughly assimilated. The idea of the Indians as noble savages is a thing of French romanticism, not of any native culture.
Native cultures were much like tribal cultures anywhere, red in tomahawk and war band.
Yeah, lots of them were raped and killed – by other tribes – in more or less endless warfare long before the Europeans arrived.
That they were pretty thoroughly genetically swamped and culturally destroyed was not a particularly rare thing in history. It was a story repeated many times.
In the case of the Amerindians, as in the case of African tribes faced with European colonization, the problem wasn’t even their lack of sophisticated weapons. Early colonists didn’t have weapons that effective.
The problem was “hardware in the head.” Tribal cultures have one way of dealing with invasion: they attack and commit the worst atrocity they can think of. This often causes the invaders (if another tribe) to retreat, and avoid future contact, thereby avoiding or postponing war.
They didn’t realize the Europeans weren’t a tribal culture and that the supply of both colonists and people angered by their atrocities was essentially for their purposes endless. Nor did they realize that their atrocities would engage “all the right thinking people” to retribution.
It was a tragic cultural clash, one repeated – often – when tribal culture meets a less tribal culture. The tribal culture always loses. Very sad. Yes, I’m sure there were atrocities — on both sides. Colorado Springs, where I lived for years, has a memorial stone to three little boys playing by a creek when the Indians attacked for the last time. They could have done nothing to deserve their gruesome deaths, and the children of the tribe had done nothing to deserve the retribution visited upon them, either.
This “original sin” is not an American sin. It has been part of human history as long as we have been humans, and probably – honestly – knowing something of nature, long before.
It was set in motion long before America was America. And the result was already set in the cast die before it landed.
That we feel guilty about it and pay homage to the enemy vanquished makes us fairly unusual, in the way of people.
And that we’ve built a better nation – devoid of tribal warfare – for us and the descendants of those vanquished tribes (well, at least 16 percent descendants) makes us thankful. Because as the Middle East proves, endless tribal war, waste, and destruction without anything better coming from it is quite possible.
Perhaps that’s why the left is, once again, going to war against Thanksgiving. Yes, yes, the poor lost Natives who sang to plants and frolicked with animals will be brought back from their graves to justify leftists’ hatred of every society that won’t hand them total power.
And they’re once more prepared to curdle your digestion with political nonsense.
Note the special snowflake saying that if the pilgrims came back they would vomit at America as it is today. He’s right, you know. They would be very upset that we’re not following a strict Puritan version of Christianity, that we allow single women to be harlots, don’t execute gay people and allow people of all colors into our polity. I mean, where has decency gone?
And no, I’m not slamming the Pilgrims. They were people of their time, and through their blinkered prejudices – and we have our own – and other beliefs which permitted them to survive in their time they had a dream of something better.
That dream brought them here, and to the Liberty we enjoy.
And if that precious snowflake doesn’t enjoy it, he can move anywhere he wants in the world he considers more congenial.
If he refuses to, he can eat his turkey and leave the rest of us to enjoy our holiday in peace. Historically illiterate infants shouldn’t be allowed to sit at the adult table, no matter how tall they’ve gotten.
So smile and treat them like mentally ill people. Which they are. And if you must debate them, question their most fundamental assumptions. Like the idea that Europeans made Amerindian life worse. Point out to them that their idea of Amerindians as simple-minded nature-loving peaceniks denies their essential humanity. Then call them racist and get some pumpkin pie.
Refuse their attempts to draw you into tribalism and stupidity.
And have a happy Thanksgiving.