Thanksgiving Day in the US is an awkward time. Aside from the fun of having a day off, watching football, overeating, or just being with family and friends, we *** forget that the holiday actually commemorates a big myth in American history. This holiday originated as a feast of giving thanks, celebrated by cooperation of the Native Americans (aka Indians) and the newly arrived immigrants, the pilgrims. Have you ever wondered how Native Americans feel about this holiday today?
We've all seen images of the meal, with both groups contributing and enjoying a feast. History books report that this happened ([link to external website removed] But, considering what we now know happened to the Native Americans in the years that followed (see Native American links below), it is extremely unusual that this image is still pushed onto school children and the public at large. Most of the Native Americans at that feast were dead a few years after their contact with the pilgrims, from diseases introduced to their native land. Most of the Native Americans that were spared death from these new diseases, died resisting the expansion of territories held by the colonists. The result has been that a population that numbered a few million 300 years ago, is now no more than 400,000 - most of them living in isolated reservations far from their original fertile hunting and farming lands.
Thanksgiving Day symbolizes the "Last Supper" of the Native Americans. Arab-Americans familiar with the modern history of the Palestinians find it difficult to play along with this game. Jewish Europeans fleeing the Holocaust and survivors of persecution in Europe arrived in Palestine for refuge. They then turned around, took the land with arms and forced out the local population in 1948, destroying as much of Palestinian culture and history as they could. Golda Meir's remark that, there is no such thing as a Palestinian, shows clearly the attempt of the colonialist to rewrite history. If the Arabs resist, label them terrorist. This sounds all too much like the term used to describe the Native Americans, "savages", for their attempts to protect their nation, land and way of life.