On the surface, that alternative approach to the holiday seems innocent and it certainly generates enough distance from the standard approach to appease the consciousness of most liberal folks, but an honest look at what will happen for the overwhelming majority of people this Thursday has to lead us to conclude that much of what is taking place is still making that firm contribution to upholding white supremacy. We can state this confidently because we are aware that everything this system does it does to propagate it's interests. In other words, since the Western world was founded on colonial conquest, death, and destruction, the narrative of this society has always been about laying out a historical perspective that justifies these crimes. So, every institution, meaning school, church, social organization, work, and the so-called "culture" of this society has been carefully crafted in a way that protects the values of this society. Yes, we are saying the holidays are nothing except propaganda tools to justify capitalist exploitation. And, there is none better than the one practiced this week that we prefer to call thankstaking. From a factual context, there is no doubting that the Puritans practiced systematic death against the Pequot people of the Eastern seaboard in 1637 and that the first documented "Thanksgiving" dinner was nothing more than a celebratory feast to commemorate that massacre. So, if more and more people are realizing that actual history, what's the purpose of the holiday? The purpose of the holiday is to instill the values of the massacre in a subtle and systematic method that convinces you that you can disagree with the cause of the holiday while continuing to accept the values that the Puritans established with their violence. Those values are the belief that you can create the world whatever way you desire, regardless of how wrong that is to others, provided the vision of your world is the dominant vision being presented. Let me give you an example. While you are sitting around with your relatives, friends, etc., on Thursday, regardless of what you call this get together, after the turkey, cranberry sauce, and dressing have been consumed, if there are children present who don't live in the house you are in, I challenge you to carry out an easy experiment. As the children are playing, place some monetary coins on the floor in plain sight, insuring the children will see the money. Then sit back and observe. When the children come upon your change, most of them are not going to say "someone lost some money!" There may be some children who say that - as my daughter would have done when she was little - but most of them won't respond that way. Most of them will respond by exclaiming "I found some money!" When this happens, you will be realizing the true reasons behind these so-called holidays. What the children will be demonstrating is the values of the day which are designed to promote the concept that the only reality that matters is the one your create, regardless of whether your reality is connected to history, the rest of humanity, or anything else material. Of course, it is not possible to "find" money in someone else's house, but in the subjective reality of capitalist truth, this impossibility becomes very possible. Therefore, if the capitalists want to say they discovered America, they can say that. If they want to say that Indigenous people, Africans, other people of color, working class white people, have it best in America, they can say that. If they want to say the most dangerous terrorist threats come from people of color around the world (despite clear evidence that it comes from white males), they can say that. If they want to convince you that the upcoming presidential election is really an exercise in democracy, they can do that. It doesn't matter that one plus one equals two. If you can convince people that one plus one equals five, than it equals five. That's the propaganda objective behind thankstaking, every imperialist holiday, and everything else this system does. Its to promote the concept that truth is what you make it which means their truth is really the truth, no matter how far from the truth it is. That's why it doesn't matter whether you call it Thanksgiving or not, you are still promoting exactly what they want you to promote because nothing is happening at your get together to challenge and address the injustices that the day represents. Nothing is happening to challenge the subtle propaganda the day is promoting.
So, if you seriously don't want to promote the reactionary concepts contained in "Thanksgiving" you will have to do much more than just not call it that, and there is a whole lot you can do that doesn't even require that much on your part. First, stop wishing people a "Happy Thanksgiving." By doing that, even if you just do it because you don't know what else to say, you are perpetuating violence, theft, and the destruction of an entire people. Instead, just wish them a nice break. Second, if you are having a get together, make a place to have an honest conversation about what the day means and how it contributes to the subjugation of a people. Do a little research and provide people information about the Pequot people, Lakota, etc. Educate about the American Indian Movement and their un-thanksgiving sunrise ceremonies they have been conducting at Alcatraz since the 1970s. This can all be done in a three to five minute stretch right before people eat. It may seem overwhelming, but it will make you feel much better because once you infuse this truth, your gathering will have character. Getting back to the sunrise ceremonies, these ceremonies are now happening all over the Western world. Find out if there is one in your area and respectfully attend and take your children. These ceremonies are generally over by 8am, leaving you plenty of time for your afternoon social get togethers. Third, educate your children year round about these critical issues. If you don't have children, find some to educate. We are certainly educating the children who come to our breakfast program about thankstaking so the children don't have to be yours in the biological sense. We need to promote the development of a generation of children who are raised without those reactionary "holidays." My daughter is 28 years old and she has never celebrated "Thanksgiving." She was raised listening to the American Indian Movement at 5am on that day every year. Today, she's an educator and she educates her students around these truths. Finally, like a broken record we ask people to join organizations fighting for justice because the injustices against the Indigenous people's, along with the rest of us, will only be addressed by the organized masses coming together to make things change. Then we can promote real holidays like May Day and African Liberation Day that rise up the quest for justice for all people.
Then, there is the so-called "Black Friday." That's another article all together, but for now, just don't spend your money with capitalism that day. Don't support the big money machine.