Please note: This staff editorial reflects the views of the large majority of The Alestle staff, not of each individual staff member.
A historic festivity and opportunity for reuniting with family and friends, Thanksgiving is no stranger to conflict. Once a masquerade to gloss over the injustices against indigenous people by colonizers, Thanksgiving has now become a political battleground, dividing families each year.
With the results of the presidential election settling in, many families are likely to crumble under the tension of their opposing views. We at The Alestle say let the whole holiday crumble.
Families across the nation celebrate Thanksgiving under a guise of gratitude. Some look forward to gathering with loved ones every year, because for some families and friends this is the only day of the year they can all get together. However, for some, besides great food, all the holiday ever seems to bring is arguments and the denial of truth.
At some point in our lives, most of us have been in a position where we felt as if we had to hide our political views or various opinions to spare others the discomfort of heated dialogue. This feeling becomes rampant during Thanksgiving, as we’re told to be gracious of the company we keep — regardless of how we align politically or other beliefs we hold.
While there is beauty in the sentiment of having a day devoted purely to gratitude, there is also ignorance related to this holiday. We ignore our beliefs. We ignore our values. And, perhaps most ironically of all, we ignore what Thanksgiving Day truly meant to indigenous people in the United States.
It’s time we stop ignoring our personal truths and the truth of the holiday. We are driven by conflict, and we are capable of great injustices. This is not something we should carelessly ignore.
As a country, we must embrace our past — regardless of how uncomfortable this process may be. The discomfort is well deserved. We should be trading all the turkey, stuffing and tension for honest dialogue and cultural awareness.
Lost in the overwhelming marketing for the holiday, Native American Heritage Day, Indigenous Peoples Day and Native American Heritage Month are often overlooked. We can’t say we’ve truly made progress if we continue to bury our country’s past.
In order to make Thanksgiving great, Thanksgiving would have had to be great in the first place, and we at The Alestle believe it never was.