Why Some Us Do Not Celebrate ‘Thanksgiving Day’ Celebration of Violence

Thanksgiving 2019
Guest Commentary

Published November 28, 2019

The mindset of mainstream America is vastly different from the mindset of Native Peoples in regards to the so-called ‘Columbus and Thanksgiving Days.’

To Native Peoples, the two holidays represent racist symbols that are a direct slap in the face to Indian Country’s historic trauma. Columbus destroyed entire Native populations in the Caribbean Sea. Up in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims did ethnic cleansing of the Wampanoag people, who had helped them survive.

Americans seem to have forgotten Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, Washita and other numerous sites of racial extermination against entire Native populations.

Mike Raccoon Eyes Kinney

Indian Country’s historical trauma is at the heart of it, when we as Native People have unresolved grief about this type of violence and death that involved the use of ethnic cleansing. So when mainstream celebrates the so-called ‘Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day’, they are actually asking we in Indian Country to celebrate their culture’s wars of violent killings and racial cleansing they did to our People.

Mainstream culture fails to see our total opposition to celebrate these racist events. They are viewed as rude, offensive and contributes to more racial discrimination and prejudice against Native communities and populations.

I remember one time on the American Fourth of July in Texas, a friend and I burnt the American flag. To tell you the truth as a Native Man, it felt pretty good.

Simply put, a majority of Native Americans are fed up with such conduct. Many of us view, “how dare they have these racists acts of celebration!” Again mainstream culture does not have a clue of how truly angry and offended we are with these shameful and disgraceful ‘holidays’.

These ‘holidays’ are in direct violation for the advancement of our People for more human and civil rights for Indian Country. Many Natives no longer accept this type of thinking. We are a People that must write and tell our own stories and histories, so that the truth may be told and learned.

Enough is enough, this is one time that Indian Country will not go along to get along with mainstream culture’s celebration of violence and killing of Native Peoples.

Mike Raccon Eyes Kinney (Cherokee) is a longtime American Indian advocate, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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