Wednesday, November 23, 2005

i wish i could wish you a happy thanksgiving, but i can't.

i don't consider myself to be all that militant, really. i'm just a regular sista trying to find her way through life the best way she can. i've got a regular 9 to 5 job in a regular city, drive a regular car to a regular dwelling and got regular fam.

in other words, i've conformed in many ways, choosing a lifestyle that doesn't have alot of drama in it. now this isn't to say i'm passively just letting the troubles of the world pass by without addressing them in an active manner. i do what i gotta do. but i'm not generating alot of controversy with how i'm living, you know?

however in this intance, i gotta just say fuck it and buck it. i can't do this thanksgiving shit. i just can't. i can wish you a happy "couple of days off of work" or a merry "get to watch the nfl on a thursday for a change" day or even a happy "stuff yourself silly with your mom's cooking" day. but i can't refer to it as thanksgiving. why? cuz it's some bullshit, that's why. to me, the whole idea of thanksgiving is laughable. it's celebrating fiction, really. we know the indians didn't break bread with the pilgrims. it wasn't that harmonious relationship the children books depict it to be. i can distinctly remember my third grade class putting on a play about thanksgiving. i was one of the indians. i had feathers stuck through my plaits and my line was "we thank you for breaking bread with us."


might as well have said "we thank you for giving us smallpox and wiping out a large portion of our population with that shit before taking over our land and ruining it with your destructive agricultural techniques. oh yeah, and thank you for the 'trail of tears' thing. alot of us were able to shed off alot of unwanted pounds during the journey." but no, i thanked the pilgrims for breaking bread, then glanced up to see the teacher with a huge smile on her face and an approving gleam in her eye. she mouthed "you did great!" and i put out the cheezy grin, all happy with my eight-year-old pride blowing up because i had done it right.

thinking back, i can't be mad at the teacher. she was doing what she was paid to do. but i can damn sure be mad at the school system for making the teachers put that bullshit into our minds. that's right along the lines of "slavery was a good thing for you black folks! think about would have been stuck in africa living in huts and trading cowry shells for food instead of here in the good ole u.s. of a. living large and in charge!"

i'm part indian but i wasn't raised on a reservation, so i can't act like i'm living that life, so my outrage is first and foremost as a black person. thanksgiving is an insult to me. indians were straight up jacked up by the same folks who ended up enslaving our ancestors. what if white folks were living on reservations instead of indians? what if they'd had to suffer the kind of history and oppression here in america that the indians had to suffer? how would they feel if, on top of all that shit, the same government that fucked them over had created a national holiday based on the lie that white folk went willingly into the slaughter? they'd be pissed, i'm sure.

now for many, it's more about getting together with fam and eating food, playing cards, and watching football. i'm down with that.

so have a happy "get full, hang with fam, play spades, and watch football" day.