Thanksgiving: Should it be a holiday?

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Sunil Bishwokarma

Loryn Kykendall and Ashlyn Dupree

Yes

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I don’t know why, because it’s almost like any other Sunday lunch spent with my immediate family except there’s a turkey instead of a roast. Maybe it’s the different options served compared to the Sunday lunch or because I get to spend quality time with my extended family. Or it might be the traditions my family  have made together.

But there are many families opposite of mine. They hate Thanksgiving and don’t celebrate it because they view it as religious or a holiday where the pilgrims stole the land from the Native Americans.

Thanksgiving shouldn’t hold these standards. In fact, Thanksgiving should only be a time to be with family and friends. Let’s leave the history of Thanksgiving behind and create a new inclusive Thanksgiving.

As mentioned before, most people that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving do so because it is viewed as a national day of mourning, according to Independent. These individuals consider Thanksgiving a symbol of the conquest of Native American land.

While it is true that most of the land was taken from the Native Americans, in the beginning settlements, Americans bought the land from the them, according to Harvard University Press. The Native Americans wanted to create alliances with the colonists and buy goods from sellers.

I am not condoning the pilgrims’ acts.This shouldn’t be the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving should be a time to be with family and friends. This can be a time to develop your relationships with family members.

While I always knew Thanksgiving was about the pilgrims, I didn’t look at it that way. Thanksgiving was a day for me to proclaim what I was thankful for in my life.

If you don’t like viewing Thanksgiving as the conquest of the Native Americans, make your family aware of the horrendous acts by the pilgrims. But also cultivate Thanksgiving into a day where you appreciate your loved ones and friends.

No

If you go to Google and type “real Thanksgiving story” into the search bar, you’ll be met with a wave of articles, all insisting they know it—But they don’t.

Some say that the first Thanksgiving was simply a feast of unity between the Wampanoag and the pilgrims. Some say it was a celebration of only the pilgrims and although no Native Americans were invited, they showed up anyway. Some say that it was a celebration thrown by the pilgrims after the 1623 massacre of the Pequot.

No matter what the real story is, Thanksgiving is a holiday that perpetuates lies and it shouldn’t be celebrated.

While the details of the first Thanksgiving are foggy and nobody seems to agree on the story, it’s an unavoidable fact that European colonists decimated the Native American population over hundreds of years.

And how do we acknowledge the half a century of brutal transgressions against the Native Americans? We teach every American child that pilgrims and Natives got along perfectly well. We teach them lies.

According to TIME, the Thanksgiving story was already being taught in schools by 1920. Native Americans weren’t even allowed to become citizens until 1924.

The truth has been completely abandoned and the made-up story we tell disrespects every Native American life that was stolen by the European settlers.

Some people would argue that a solution would be to celebrate Thanksgiving only for the purpose of giving thanks. To forget the fake story of the pilgrims and Native Americans, and just make the holiday all about being thankful for everything you have.

While that’s a nice thought, it wouldn’t make any difference.

It wouldn’t make anyone understand the severity of the lies that have been nailed into the minds of every American since elementary school.

But you know what would get people’s attention? The removal of a national holiday.

Since that’s unlikely to happen, we must take it upon ourselves to stop celebrating it.