I always love the stories that come out about Thanksgiving… From the hardly believable Indian (or Native American, if you so choose – maybe we should do like the Australians and push for “Aboriginal American”?) perspective which will quite literally leave your head spinning… Wait, a group of Indians were taken to England to be a slaves but one mystically got back home and then taught the pilgrims to plant corn and to fish (hey, I didn’t know they didn’t have fish in England back then!)?
Or then there’s the New York Times’s version, where a platoon of heavily armed pilgrims landed on Plymouth and promptly mowed down the Indians with their Uzis and night-vision goggles and ate them as their thanksgiving feast. [ED. That whole last paragraph is a parody of the nail biting ninnies who consistently write bigoted accounts of the first Thanksgiving]…
Then, of course, there’s the actual story of what really happened… And hold onto your shorts, the occasion was attended by both pilgrims and Indians and was happy, a celebration.
Native Americans (I switch tones if you notice, this isn’t an accident) and the Pilgrims had a fair relationship for decades. Yes, the pilgrims brought smallpox, but they also nursed for Native Americans and they didn’t spread the disease on purpose for God’s sake. In fact, according to William Bradford’s journal, half of the pilgrims died that first year. Eventually, they divied up a small chunk of land and set up a community in which everyone worked for the collective. The pilgrims struggled mightily because there was no incentive, other than survival itself, to work for another’s wife and children (paraphrasing Bradford in his journal). My friends, they set up their system according to what they knew.
Eventually, they changed tactics. They granted each family their own plot of land and allowed each family to keep their own harvest and trade the overage. They set up the first free market system. Once an individual was given the ability to further his own family for his effort, the pilgrims prospered. The first Thanksgiving was a celebration to thank God for their prosperity and they celebrated with the Indians who did indeed have a hand in helping the pilgrims survive.
Now, this account is rather crude and certainly short, but it is far more historically accurate than most narratives out there. Certainly better than you’ll find coming from the New York Times or the Native American account. Indeed, I would far more trust the journal of a man who lived through the first Thanksgiving than I would the advertising arm of the Democrat party.
Either way, and I do, upon second thought, apologize for that last crack, because we are in need of a better message this Holiday Season…
We in the United States of America are a prosperous, decent people. We have our flaws, just like any other group of people on the planet. I include myself in the collective “we” even though my grandparents and great grandparents were all immigrants who “yearned to breathe free”.
For months now, we are being divided to further politicians’ whims. This will continue to be the case for another year… The truth about politicians is that they like us afraid and dependent, when we all live, with the exception of Washington DC, in free States. If we are afraid and dependent we cannot possibly concentrate on that which matters most: The politicians are the servants, not the masters. From the President to the Congress person. They do as we say, not the other way around. Maybe it’s time we stick together and remind them of this fact. Legally and peacefully but loudly.
So for one day, eat some turkey (or tofurkey as the case may be) and mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes as the case may be). Have some gravy and green bean casserole (WOO-FREAKIN-HOO!). Have some pie and remember, we’re all in this together, one way or another – and the powers that be don’t like us to look at it that way. They’re much happier when we’re agitated and hating one another – we are much easier to manipulate that way.