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"In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians

were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them."

"It may be demanded...Should not Christians have more mercy and

compassion? But...sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents.... We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings."

-Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana

Crossposted at Native American Netroots &
Docudharma

Frank James, a Wampanoag tribal member, would have given a speech in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1970; however, the ones in charge of the Thanksgiving ceremony at Plymouth Rock denied Frank James from ever uttering it. I learned about this in The Thanksgiving Day Massacre...Or, would you like Turkey with your genocide?

 (Correction)

The timeline itself along with basic knowledge of the Pilgrim's Puritan's religious beliefs exposes the fact that historically speaking, Thanksgiving was literally about gratitude for genocide. Furthermore, the low population counts of the Pequot in more recent years points to how the devastating effects of the English's, or Separatists', or Pilgrims', or Puritans' crime of genocide almost destroyed the Pequot population. The English, who no doubt formed an American Colony in New England, claimed the land as theirs by the Doctrine of Discovery, which is still in effect today as federal law. To be accurate, the word genocide was not created until 1944 by Raphael Lemkin;nonetheless, the word genocide is appropriate when discussing the near extermination of the Pequot. To be clear, the Doctrine of Discovery legally applied to the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England, but not to the Pilgrims in New Plymouth. What was the difference?

No Doctrine of Discovery -



Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 47.

Thus it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags. To the pilgrims, this became their "deed of cession," authorizing them to seize unspecified acreage.

- or, Doctrine of Discovery,

Source

The Doctrine of Discovery provided that by law and divine intention European Christian countries gained power and legal rights over indigenous non-Christian peoples immediately upon their "discovery" by Europeans. Various European monarchs and their legal systems developed this principle to benefit their own countries. The Discovery Doctrine was then adopted into American colonial and state law and into the United States Constitution, and was then adopted by the federal legislative and executive branches, and finally by the U.S. Supreme Court in Johnson v. M'Intosh in 1823. Johnson is still federal law today and the Doctrine of Discovery is still being applied to Indian individuals and the American Indian Nations notwithstanding its Eurocentric, religious, and racial underpinnings.

It was all the same in both of their usages. There was no difference.



Patent Granted by King Henry VII to John Cabot and his Sons

...to find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians...
And that the before-mentioned John and his sons or their heirs and deputies may conquer, occupy and possess whatsoever such towns, castles, cities and islands by them thus discovered that they may be able to conquer, occupy and possess, as our vassals and governors lieutenants and deputies therein, acquiring for us the dominion, title and jurisdiction of the same towns, castles, cities, islands and mainlands so discovered;...

However, Roger Williams tried to "make a difference;" in good conscience he stated:



Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 48.

"We have not our land by patent from the King, but that the natives are the true owners of it, and that we ought to repent of such receiving it by patent..." For his radical ideas Williams was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635."

Now that all that is stated, let us go to the  specifics of the timeline.

First, the Pilgrims landed in Wampanoag controlled land in 1620.



Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. "A People & A Nation." Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53.



The Pokanokets (also called Wampanoags) controlled the area in which the Pilgrims settled, yet their villages had suffered terrible losses in the epidemic of 1616 - 1618. To protect themselves from the powerful Narragansetts of the southern New England coast (who had been spared the ravages of the disease), the Pokanokets decided to ally themselves with the newcomers. In the spring of 1621, their leader, Massasoit,  signed a treaty with the Pilgrims, and during the colony's first difficult years the Pokanokets supplied the English with essential foodstuffs.

 Yet, where were they beforehand and why did they set sail?



Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. "A People & A Nation." Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53.



Separatists were the first to move to New England. In 1609 a group of Separatists migrated to Holland, where they found the freedom of worship denied them in Stuart England. But they were nevertheless troubled by the Netherlands' too - tolerant atmosphere; the nation that tolerated them also tolerated religions and behaviors they abhorred. Hoping to isolate themselves and their children from the corrupting influence of worldly temptations, these people, who were to become known as Pilgrims, received permission from a branch of the Virginia Company to colonize the northern part of its territory.

Next, there was just one feast in 1621, not a succession of feasts. Why? There was probably only one feast, because "it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags," and these.



Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 49.

The fact is that to the Puritan, the Native American was the instrument of Satan. For Cotton Mather the Indians were "doleful creatures who were the veriest ruins of Mankind, who were to be everywhere on the face of the earth"; and even Roger Williams, the great friend of the Indians, said they were devil - worshippers.



Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving By Rick Shenkman

...the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them. Besides, the Pilgrims would never have tolerated festivities at a true religious event. Indeed, what we think of as Thanksgiving was really a harvest festival. Actual "Thanksgivings" were religious affairs; everybody spent the day praying. Incidentally, these Pilgrim Thanksgivings occurred at different times of the year, not just in November.

Consequently, the European invasion brought a whole new level of violence to the native tribes,



Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p.75 - 76

...But tribal rivalries and wars were relatively infrequent prior to Puritan settlement (compared to the number of wars in Europe)...Neither would have increased if it were not that a colonizing European nation was asserting political jurisdiction, in the name of God, over indigenous New England societies...When thus threatened with the usurpation of their own rights, as native tribes had been threatened years before by them, Puritans came to the defense of a system of government that was similar, in important ways, to the native governments that they had always defined as savage and uncivilized... 

and out of that heightened violence came the massacre for which Thanksgiving is named.



Thanksgiving Day Celebrates A Massacre

William B. Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chairman of the Anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, says that the first official Thanksgiving Day celebrated the massacre of 700 Indian men, women and children during one of their religious ceremonies. "Thanksgiving Day" was first proclaimed by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance...Thanksgiving Day to the, "in their own house", Newell stated.

- small snip -

-----The very next day the governor declared a Thanksgiving Day.....For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won."

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Historically revised events of and after 1621: that the feast was of friendly intent and not a political ploy since "it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags;" that there were successive feasts which involved the Indians; and that ignore the Pequot Massacre, "For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won.." all hide the truth. Adding to every one of those assertions is Frank James' suppressed speech that he would have spoken publicly if he had been allowed to do so in 1970.



THE SUPPRESSED SPEECH OF WAMSUTTA (FRANK B.) JAMES, WAMPANOAG To have been delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1970

...Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece. The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans.

Mourt's Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians' winter provisions as they were able to carry.

Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic. Or his knowledge of the harsh oncoming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts. This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end; that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a free people.



What happened in those short 50 years? What has happened in the last 300 years? History gives us facts and there were atrocities; there were broken promises - and most of these centered around land ownership. Among ourselves we understood that there were boundaries, but never before had we had to deal with fences and stone walls. But the white man had a need to prove his worth by the amount of land that he owned. Only ten years later, when the Puritans came, they treated the Wampanoag with even less kindness in converting the souls of the so-called "savages." Although the Puritans were harsh to members of their own society, the Indian was pressed between stone slabs and hanged as quickly as any other "witch..."



Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. p. 219

As difficult as it may be for non - Indians to realize the corruption of American Institutions, such as universities, or to recognize the hypnotic effect of propaganda and hegemony, it may be far more difficult for them to mitigate the shadow side of their own cultural histories. In this chapter a non - Indian (David Gabbard) scholar stresses how vital it is to do so nonetheless, for until a true realization occurs, the United States of America will likely continue its similar intrusions of colonialism in other parts of the world and on other people. He points out that for this realization to take place, we must recognize First Nations scholarship as a set of practices aimed at helping everyone remember themselves and that efforts to discredit that scholarship and the worldviews that it attempts to recover can keep us in a cycle of genocide that will ultimately consume us.

Update:

My User Name is of the Wampanoag King, Pometacom (0+ / 0-)

Son of Massasoit, brother of the murdered Wamsutta, best friend of Tispaquin, the Black Sachem of Nemasket. All but Massasoit were murdered by the Pilgrims. Wamsutta was murdered in prison (without explanation), Pometacom (King Phillip was shot and beheaded, and his wife and children were sold into slavery to Barbados, Tispaquin was promised that if he surrendered his life and his family's life would be spared. When he did surrender, he was beheaded and his wife and children were sold into slavery to Barbados.

I was born and grew up a few miles from Plymouth, Mass. These are the historical facts we were deliberately not told when going to school. It's not so much that our teachers lied to us, they had been lied to, and they were just repeating the lies without even knowing they were lies.

In 2000, I finally wrote a poem to deal with my anger of how much I had been lied to as a young kid growing up in the home of the Wampanoag. It is here:

http://www.glooskapandthefrog.org/....

Below is the story of Tispaquin, the Black Sachem:

http://www.friendsofsebago.org/....
http://www.friendsofsebago.org/....

For those not wanting to click through, here is the poem:

Pometacom

By Douglas Watts

I was born on soil soaked with blood

Where the head of King Philip was ground in the mud

By the Pilgrims of Plymouth, and their first born sons.

They put his head on a spike and let it rot in the sun.

Shackled his children and family.

Shipped them to Barbados and sold them into slavery.

Now they taught me in grade school

About the first Thanksgiving

How Massasoit and Squanto kept the Pilgrims living.

But the teachers never told us what happened next.

How the head of King Philip was chopped off at the neck.

The teachers never told us what happened next.

How the head of Pometacom was sawed off at the neck.

The teachers never told us what the Pilgrims did

To Massasoit’s second son.

They put his head on a spike and let it rot in the sun.

The teachers never told us what they did

To kids who swam in the same brooks as me.

They put their legs in iron chains and sold them into slavery.


Originally posted to Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:30 PM PST.

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  •  Tip Jar (325+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, sdf, JekyllnHyde, Sean Robertson, SarahLee, natasha, mickT, TrueBlueMajority, Powered Grace, tiponeill, mattman, Bob Love, bread, Sprinkles, dengre, rincewind, exotrip, tacet, cotterperson, bellatrys, oysterface, xynz, devtob, acuppajo, frisco, caliberal, object16, expatjourno, Addison, Gustogirl, opinionated, TheMomCat, Mariposa, mint julep, MD patriot, Aquarius40, slatsg, Dick Woodcock, PeteZerria, navajo, wader, normal family, psnyder, mrkvica, Urizen, Sycamore, grannyhelen, TiaRachel, cosette, GN1927, Penny Century, Steveningen, betson08, RebeccaG, fritzrth, DMiller, JayBat, KateCrashes, ybruti, Marcus L Salyer, jcrit, TexasLefty, valadon, realalaskan, Timroff, rapala, nailbender, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, capelza, BluejayRN, Heiuan, Irons33, tomhodukavich, ccasas, ZappoDave, truong son traveler, ChemBob, susanw, chidmf, FutureNow, Blissing, mattwynn, Pam from Calif, GreyHawk, Burned, lotlizard, Phil S 33, SheriffBart, Geekesque, mikolo, CWalter, neroden, snoopydawg, dsteffen, Rogneid, Beezzley, playtonjr, Hannibal, Detroit Mark, JanL, Ekaterin, Snud, Land of Enchantment, noweasels, debedb, third Party please, esquimaux, trashablanca, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, vigilant meerkat, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, dharmafarmer, profundo, Kimball Cross, HoundDog, Yellow Canary, duckhunter, mooshter, Sagittarius, arlene, hideinplainsight, Lefty Coaster, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, erratic, 4Freedom, The Hindsight Times, nilocjin, Crashing Vor, imabluemerkin, Dauphin, sceptical observer, soccergrandmom, Dinclusin, dirtfarmer, MBNYC, nicejoest, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dreaming of Better Days, horatius, Eryk, Nulwee, OHdog, Aaa T Tudeattack, DBunn, One Pissed Off Liberal, J Royce, Dave the Rave, marykk, dotsright, dmh44, tgypsy, leema, EdSF, moosely2006, power2truth, DvCM, la urracca, operculum, Jimdotz, certainot, LamontCranston, aliasalias, newpioneer, HCKAD, jayden, second gen, akdude6016, vbdietz, Uberbah, jnhobbs, millwood, Moderation, Wreck Smurfy, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, word player, LWelsch, i like bbq, TexasTwister, keikekaze, cloudbustingkid, cacamp, TomP, Empower Ink, Dem in the heart of Texas, rogerdaddy, Shahryar, mobiusein, wayoutinthestix, mamamedusa, Judge Moonbox, Wes Opinion, Akonitum, beach babe in fl, moose67, Cassandra Waites, dewley notid, temptxan, Gemina13, LaFajita, Jacques, Abra Crabcakeya, CatfishBlues, Zikar, Rich Santoro, greenpunx, shortgirl, jlms qkw, princess k, ZhenRen, maggiejean, SciMathGuy, prettygirlxoxoxo, J M F, DontTaseMeBro, snackdoodle, WereBear, dark daze, m4gill4, h bridges, velvet blasphemy, a girl in MI, mkor7, JesseCW, Fixed Point Theorem, Daily Activist, wmdrpa, beijingbetty, Angry Mouse, obscuresportsquarterly, sanglug, allep10, Deoliver47, kevinpdx, KenInCO, Roxy Hope, haremoor, Nonconformist, azadmanish, AkaEnragedGoddess, collardgreens, o possum, Larsstephens, ruscle, Lazar, BigVegan, sulthernao, brentbent, on2them, KroneckerD, pyegar, icemilkcoffee, LaughingPlanet, fidellio, KentuckyKat, JupiterIslandGirl, polar bear, Mudderway, samanthab, Lady Libertine, Mariken, 2020adam, cai, Earth Ling, nycjoc, Pay It Forward, alethea, KKats Love, HylasBrook, samantha in oregon, rossl, no way lack of brain, gobears2000, Hill Jill, xgy2, mama jo, Powell, slowbutsure, Stella 4 Obama, b4uknowit, BlueJessamine, scarysota63, ontheleftcoast, soothsayer99, Situational Lefty, smallgal, DawnoftheRedSun, Ojibwa, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, tardis10, Prinny Squad, beyondleft, vzfk3s, enhydra lutris, antooo, EdgedInBlue, bigsurtree, svboston, Conure, Jemsoul, stevie avebury, henry porter, cailloux, lincoln deschain, James Protzman, GameMusic, OtterQueen, Catlady62, blackjackal, zenox, KingofSpades, Ezekial 23 20, NightOwl40, Jerry Melton, Only Needs a Beat, QES, James Robinson, LakePipes, Liberalindependent28

    She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

    by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:30:41 PM PST

  •  thank you for the diary... (56+ / 0-)

    ...on a side note, if anyone's ever in the area I can recommend the Mashantucket Pequot Museum: http://www.pequotmuseum.org/ . I take the kids there and it's a very impressive museum going from the ice age into modern times.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:36:12 PM PST

  •  Thank you for this diary. (53+ / 0-)

    There is something so disturbing about the American need to ignore the ugliness of our history for the sake of a Monday holiday (Columbus day) or an excuse to eat pie.

    I was listening to a George Carlin special on Pacifica Radio just the other day, and among his many insights, this one, about the many contradictions upon which our country was founded, has been resonating with me a lot this week:

    America was founded by slave-owners who wanted to be free.

    I don't want the liberal elite communists socializing my Nazism.

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:38:27 PM PST

  •  Thank you for the reminder and lesson. (21+ / 0-)

    I'll print it out and give it yo my grandkids at Thanksgiving dinner.

  •  Thank you for this diary. (30+ / 0-)

    I came here because of my deep interest and affection for a land settled by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, then taken over by the British, and at last independent; a land in which the native inhabitants were at first subdued, but relations with whom remain a problem to this day; a land which defined itself on a hostile frontier; a land which has tamed rich natural resources through the energetic application of modern technology; a land which once imported slaves, and now must struggle to wipe out the last traces of that former bondage. I refer, of course, to the United States of America.

    But I am glad to come here to South Africa.

    Robert F. Kennedy, University of Capetown, Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966

    The real question is what we do about it now.  Native Ameircans have much lower life exectancies than other ethnicities.  How do we make real reparations that help the living?

    "Free your mind & your ass will follow" Parliament Funkadelics

    by TomP on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:39:53 PM PST

  •  As always, Winter Rabbit, (21+ / 0-)

    sincere thanks.

    "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:40:07 PM PST

  •  There isn't much background here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, auapplemac

    There is virtually nothing here about the Pequot War and all of its participants.  What of the Mohegans, who were a splinter group from the Pequots and the Narragansetts who stood to benefit from their demise?

  •  Why didn't I hear about this before? (20+ / 0-)

    I prefer the myth to the truth, but we all need to know the truth.

    Recommended for setting the history record straight.

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:43:04 PM PST

  •  HFS (16+ / 0-)

    I knew it was bad, I knew the Thanksgiving narrative was a myth, but I had no idea it celebrated genocide directly.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:44:27 PM PST

  •  What's a holiday... (10+ / 13-)

    if not an opportunity for some white American Christian hatin'.  Good grief.  Give it a rest.

  •  Diaries like this, even though they cause (40+ / 0-)

    discomfort, make it worth suffering through the really awful crap here.

    Thank you.  Rec'd.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:46:44 PM PST

  •  Related Topics (30+ / 0-)

    There's a diary up on American Indians as Slaves. Following the defeat of the Pequot, Indians were rounded up in New England and sold as slaves in the Caribbean.

    There's also a diary over on Street Prophets about Indian Education under the British.

    Migwitch.

    •  Thanks Ojibwa, on my way there now! (14+ / 0-)

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:58:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did not the native Americans also enslave (4+ / 0-)

      members of other tribes?

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by auapplemac on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:29:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (10+ / 0-)

        There was slavery here prior to the European invasion. This was generally in the form of war captives and there was not the kind of massive slave trade that the Europeans brought with them.

        •  Does the morality of it come down to a matter of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Otherday, Ojibwa

          numbers or mindset?

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by auapplemac on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:45:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. But context always matters. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, i like bbq, Ojibwa

                Just because some Native American tribes may have engaged in slavery doesn't justify white settlers coming along and doing it too, does it...?

                And yes, you could indeed give consideration to the distinction between the abuse of war captives, as noted by Ojibwa in the previous comment, as compared with European imperialist powers that made it their absolute goal and mission to enslave, slaughter, and colonize the world around them.

            •  Why did the NAs fight with each other? Was it (0+ / 0-)

              over property, insults, discrimination? They had to fight over something.

              Why should the Europeans be any better. It had been going on for eons and still does. just look around the world.

              It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

              by auapplemac on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 12:12:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hunting rights. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                i like bbq

                Land.

                She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 03:32:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  It seems to me that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza

                the argument of "[Oppressed population] wasn't perfect, so why should [oppressor population] be?" implies that oppressed people must somehow be perfect in order to have their rights taken seriously.

                This is never required of the privileged. Men, white people, Christians, straight people, etc. ... people from those groups can and do behave terribly at times, but nobody ever questions the basic humanity of those groups based on the evildoing members thereof. At least, not in mainstream culture (vs. some, though not all, left-leaning political blogs).

          •  Imperfections of native culture is not an excuse (5+ / 0-)

            for teaching lies as history.

            The people who lived here before Columbus arrived were not saints. However it is ridiculous to teach children that Columbus discovered America, as if the people living here and who knew where this land was, do not count.

            It is wrong to glorify the settlers who immigrated to America as being brave heroes who had to fight evil savages, in order to win a place for themselves in a new land.

            These settlers were participants in Genocide and should not be promoted as role models for children.
            Role models like these could cause children to fail to recognize Genocide, when it is happening in the future.

            The rhetoric and rationale may change. However, whenever a better armed group of people pack up with the goal of taking land away from a less well armed group, it usually results in Genocide.

            People resist the theft of resources such as land, which produces food needed to survive. If people taking land by force from others, can delude themselves that what they are doing is righteous and not a crime they are committing against the people who they are stealing land from, then they can delude themselves that they are only defending themselves, when they kill the victims of their land theft, who use force against them. They can consider it a crime worthy of mass killing, when the victims they are stealing land from, attempt to defend their land from being stolen.

            The model of Genocide used by European Colonial culture depopulated entire tribes of native peoples. This occurred all over south America, North America, Australia and on numerous Islands. It is a model of Genocide that has been used far more often and far more effectively than the one used by Nazi Germany. It is a model that is currently being used in more than one area of the world. Unless children are taught to recognize this cultural model for what it is, it will continue to cause Genocide in the future.

  •  Wait, what? (24+ / 0-)

    There are a lot of weird elisions in this history.  The federal Thanksgiving Day has no connection with the Massachusetts Thanksgiving Day to commemorate genocide: days of giving thanks were celebrated all over the colonies - not to mention in Europe before the colonization - and for different reasons.  It's literally a celebration of thanks to the creator.

    The federal holiday was first proposed by Washington for completely different reasons: it eventually became tied to the 1619 celebration for reasons that, historically suspect or not, have nothing to do with the official Massachusetts ones beginning in 1637.  Nor does our contemporary celebration, which began after a proclamation by Lincoln.

    That's not to say that the whole "Pilgrims and Indians living in mutual friendship" myth isn't bunk, but this diary is a mess of historical elisions.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:48:00 PM PST

  •  Fascinating and horrifying (17+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this excellent diary, dear Winter Rabbit.  It made my blood run cold, as I am directly descended from 10 of those Pilgrims . . . Blessings.

    "Let reverence for the laws . . . become the political religion of the nation." ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by noweasels on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:50:02 PM PST

  •  What happened to the Native Americans (20+ / 0-)

    was an atrocity, to be sure... but to have a national holiday that glorifies the Puritans in and of itself is depressing as hell. Those people were the Christian equivalent of the Taliban - fanatical and intolerant... not to mention murderous.

    I know I'm a Grinch but it wouldn't bother me a bit to skip both Thanksgiving and Christmas - and having our government support both as national holidays very much seems to blur the lines between church and state.

    Just my .02 cents.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 02:57:56 PM PST

  •  The foods we eat during our Thanksgiving (8+ / 0-)

    celebrations nowadays are also much different than what was eaten during the first Thanksgiving.  They had a lot of venison, swan, lobster, seal, etc.

    Lots of things have changed.  Including the fact that we celebrate a day when families normally spread out all come together to be together.

    The historical aspect of Thanksgiving, in my opinion, has really gone by the wayside as the holiday has evolved to what it is now.

    •  " a lot of venison, swan, lobster, seal, etc." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      Some of us still do.   Though I am not a fan of seal, except the liver.  And we don't have lobster here, but crab.

    •  Enchiladas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      Are what I eat on Thanksgiving.  Don't know how traditional that is, but in my opinion it's awesome.  (The flat, New Mexican kind.  Chile is traditional vegetable, right?)

      "As scientific knowledge advances, it does not mean that religious knowledge retreats." - horse69 on the bnet recon C&C board

      by lonespark on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:21:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I like about Thanksgiving (0+ / 0-)

        is the ideal that it gives us to aspire to, rather than the reality of the history behind it.  As with our constitution and founding, there is a tremendous amount of tragedy and hypocrisy accompanying our lofty notions of what our country stands for.  I think that we can recognize our faults and also be thankful for what we have, and hope for a better tomorrow.

        So many different people have so many different stories of hopeful immigration to this country, that just about every kind of food is "traditional" in my eyes.  I'd say a few hundred years of New Mexican history definitely qualifies New Mexican food as traditional American.

  •  A BTVS Quote... (4+ / 0-)

    BTVS:

    Spike: I just can't take all this mamby-pamby boo-hooing about the bloody Indians.

    Willow: Uh, the preferred term is...

    Spike: You won. All right! You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not goin' around saying, "I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it." The history of the world is not people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:01:02 PM PST

  •  What a really good diary. (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you Winter Rabbit for reminding us of these occurrences.  Shameful.

    "Politics is not left, right or center ... It's about improving people's lives." -Paul Wellstone

    by maggiejean on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:01:11 PM PST

  •  reminds me of the story of Washington's Axe (23+ / 0-)

    An old guy walks up to a stranger and says, "I have Washington's axe--the exact one he used to chop down the famous cherry tree."

    "No kidding," says the stranger.  "The exact same axe?"

    "It's the exact same axe," replied the old guy.  "The handle and the blade have been changed a few times over the years, but other than that it's the exact axe Washington used on that very day."

    ::

    Thanks for the historical reminder at the heart of this diary.  

    When Hobsbawm and Ranger wrote The Invention of Tradition, they never intended for it to be used as a method for denying ourselves the social value that comes with certain holidays, celebrations, and rituals.  I once had dinner with Terrance Ranger who lamented the tendency for people who read his book to use it as a premise for stripping themselves of culture. Culture is contradictory, he explained.  All they intended was to show that tradition, too, has a past, present, and future, sometimes troubling, always unexpected.   The challenge is to understand where it came from without throwing it away.

    I've never met anyone who thinks of Thanksgiving as a celebration of the death of Indians, nor does anyone use the language of conquest in connection with it--at least I have never heard it in 42 years of Thanksgivings.  It is a holiday, today, that references a certain painting by Norman Rockwell--an idea of a perfect American family. That, too, is an invention, but one that I hope stays with us.

    My only point, here, is pretty simple: beyond the value of looking deep into our past to recall forgotten brutalities that must be acknowledged, we also need to remember that every holiday like Thanksgiving brings with it a big box of changed handles and blades--and we should make sure not to throw them all away by accident.

  •  1491... (15+ / 0-)

    ...by Charles Mann, a fantastic book I recommend to everyone, has a great description of the first European impressions of what became Massachusetts Bay. Rich, fertile townlands and fields, filled with healthy and well-fed people who completely outshone the Europeans. This because living conditions in cities like London or Southampton were nothing short of pestilential, nutrition was awful, starvation and disease rampant.

    If not for the smallpox and the attendant mass death, there would not have been a Massachusetts colony.

    People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch. - Jack Nicholson

    by MBNYC on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:01:59 PM PST

    •  I'd also read that archaeologists (8+ / 0-)

      have found that the 19th century Plains Indians were far and away the most robust people on Earth. Apocryphal but if true, wouldn't be surprising at all.

      Tens of thousands of years ago, a Neanderthal man would have been able to crush a young Arnold Schwarzneggar. But even in the 15 and 1600s, the Spanish wrote of people pierced by arrows, carrying on in no dire state. Indians who's misstep on the hunt, alerting the deer to the predation, would take off running after. Running miles, they'd keep up with the deer until they could slay it by hand. These are not legends. But to some degree only a few hundred years has changed humans. I read another article recently, about how our facial structure had evolved from our not-too-distant ancestors.

      But immunity comes over generations, and immunity Indians did not have, or any knowledge of other continents. Europeans had been dealing with Africa and Asia for millenia.

      These clowns claim to admire him [Cronkite] but do not wish to emulate him - GUGA

      by Nulwee on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:17:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How do you propose we deal with Thanksgiving? (11+ / 0-)

    It is my favorite holiday.  No gifts...much less commercialized than Christmas or Halloween.  It's food and family and an opportunity to share and discuss the real history between Native Americans and Whites.  Lots of history buffs in our family.  And yes, be Thankful for the blessings we do have in this shitty world.

     An authentically American holiday.  Meaning the origins do represent what America is.  Arrogant.  Generous yet spare.  Warlike.  Patriotic.

    Holidays are what you make them.  I am an humanist but I still put on a nice show for Christmas.  

  •  Those Killed By Indians are Lionized as Martyrs, (12+ / 0-)

    including a certain Rhode Island legend.

    Those who killed Indians are our civic saints.

    These clowns claim to admire him [Cronkite] but do not wish to emulate him - GUGA

    by Nulwee on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:12:10 PM PST

  •  Gee, we never pass up an opportunity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, JPhurst, The Navigator

    to blame white people for everything wrong with the world.  And I'm not even white...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:13:52 PM PST

  •  Another great dkos diary that teaches!! (12+ / 0-)

    Thanks, WinterRabbit.

    Off to some more history books....

  •  Do you know how many Americans (8+ / 0-)

    have no knowledge of Metacom (Massoit's son) and King Philip's War? - and there are schools and such named after him (and schools named his brother Wamsutta) .

    But Americans know little to nothing about this or Massasiot and this was in the 1670s ... I'm doing research on the war, the time and the men right now, and I am constantly getting comments from people living west  and south of NY that they knew nothing about it.

    It seems a little ironic considering Metacom's feelings about the invading whites echo much of the anti Mexican sentiment in the west.

    The end result of KP war was to remove (by murder, massacre,  deceit, slavery, escape the rest of the NativPequot Ware American population (that was left after the Pequot War and Mystic Massacre) from New England.

    Now if they can't remember this (1670)  and they deny that Amherst EVER gave small pox infected blankets to the native population (1763) WHY would they ever remember something that happened in 1620?

    I know it was in my history book in high school - but it didn't seem important so we did not pay attention - it burns my butt that we cannot or have not made American history much less World history accessible and inviting to students.

    That said, Thanksgiving is the ONLY holiday that all our family can share irrespective of their faith (and we just about have all the major ones covered)

    (Green Water is in the middle)

    If Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are sick puppies, may I catch whatever the illness is. May it invade every pore of my body, and may I never recover!

    by Clytemnestra on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:28:19 PM PST

  •  Asante WR, another great diary to print n' share. (5+ / 0-)

    The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks.

    by mawazo on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:28:58 PM PST

  •  Mahk Jchi ( Heartbeat Drum Song ) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer, Winter Rabbit, Kharafina

    English translation:

    A hundred years have passed
    Yet I hear the distant beat of my father's drums.
    I hear his drums throughout the land.
    His beat I feel within my heart.
    The drum shall beat
    so my heart shall beat.
    And I shall live a hundred thousand years.

    Through all your faults and all my complaints, I still love you.

    by jayden on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:35:50 PM PST

  •  Winter Rabbit (5+ / 0-)

    I deeply and sincerely hope you plan to write an additional diary before Thanksgiving talking about how far we've come since the days of conquerors.  While much work remains and there is a great and desperate need to stop the systematic oppression of the Native Americans, it remains that we can't change the past, but we can work towards improving the future.

    We cannot forget the past, but we cannot let the past be an albatross around our necks; never allowing us to acknowledge that we can grow, create, change and evolve.

    My best friend growing up was Navajo.  I don't understand or condone prejudice, but Thanksgiving is a time for my friends and family to reflect on the year without a religious requirement; for everyone I know, the holiday has come to mean something special and not be a forced religious celebration.  It may have started from genocide, but it has evolved and I pray continuously that we evolve.  Your message is correct and necessary and we need the truth to be told.  But I will celebrate my Thanksgiving and treasure the precious time with a 92 year old grandmother, offering thanks that she is still with us, active in mind and body.  I also get the most wonderful extra this year - I get to hug a friend lost and recently found again.  We need things to be thankful for more than ever.

    "... a dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars" - Captain Kirk (Whom Gods Destroy)

    by PixieThis on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:40:33 PM PST

  •  I'm a big believer... (9+ / 0-)

    ... in facing up to the ugly past of this Nation - but I also believe in celebrating the good and the beautiful in our past.  White-washing the horrors doesn't make them better or less hurtful, but darkening the shining moments doesn't correct the wrongs, either.

    I did a lot of research on the subject of Thanksgiving a few years ago, and though my notes are currently unavailable, the idea that Thanksgiving is a celebration of genocide is just as as untrue as the image of Pilgrams and Indians skipping merrily through the woods holding hands.  

    The history is a lot more complicated than either idea suggests -- and there's both evil in the stories, and good.   Why must we oversimplify it into one or the other?

  •  I always learn so much from you. (5+ / 0-)

    Which makes it clear to me how lacking I am in understanding my ancestors.  My family always told me when I was growing up that thanksgiving was a Native celebration which was 'stolen' by the white people.  I always had this little feeling at thanksgiving time that "Ha! you got this from us"  Funny, and kind of arrogant too.  

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:48:12 PM PST

  •  This would be a good diary... (11+ / 0-)

    to include a few links for folks who can afford to be thankful for their current circumstances to donate to others.

    Pretty Bird Woman House comes to mind, as well as the Red Cloud school for the Lakota.

    Any other suggestions, folks?

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 03:52:38 PM PST

  •  good ol' boy Cotton, he done still be alive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq

    jest a ready to go a killin' agin!  And he is righteous unto the lord, doncha no.

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:01:06 PM PST

  •  Man, all my holidays are being wrecked this year. (3+ / 0-)

    First I find out how brutal Columbus really was, and it's a travesty we have a holiday to commemorate him. Now the Thanksgiving Day Massacre.

    Next thing, I'll find out Santa Claus is just an old drunk Russian thief who broke into homes by climbing down the chimney. Or that he's not even real in the first place...

    I own half a house- it's a duo.

    by EsnRedshirt on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:01:17 PM PST

    •  Actually, Santa Clause was Turkish... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      ... but made into a festive presence in America by the Dutch (who baked kuchen -- cookies -- in their New Amsterdam kitchens instead of biscuits), despite the English puritans levying fines and worse for celebrating Christmas, which is NOT in the Bible, you Sinner!   How terrible that Black Adder couldn't do it all for the Anglo Whitey Tighties!  They SO need help.

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:14:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, since you mention it (4+ / 0-)

      Christmas was an attempt by Christians to supplant and replace the standard traditional European Winter Solstice festivals.

      Santa Claus seems to come out of a mix of Nordic traditions with Christian ones.  But most of what we celebrate as "Christmas" is basically a Winter Solstice festival.

      If it's any comfort, practically every civilization in history has celebrated a Winter Solstice festival, and usually by lighting a whole gob of fires.  :-)  Bring back the sun by sympathetic magic!

      So if you remember that -- the real "reason for the season" -- you'll be in good company with pretty much all of humankind.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:31:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I do take comfort in the fact that... (0+ / 0-)

        ... Santa and other pagan elements keep popping up despite any efforts to divorce Christmas from its past. Some things are in the blood, I guess.

        I own half a house- it's a duo.

        by EsnRedshirt on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:29:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, as long as the reindeer (0+ / 0-)

          are still part of the narrative, the old Norse myths are strong.  I can't remember which Norse god or goddess drove around in such a sleigh and tossed gifts out.

          The holly and the ivy, the tree, mistletoe, etc... all the fun parts of Christmas have jack all to do with Christianity.

  •  It's Nice to Come Home to a Turkey Dinner After a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq

    long, hard day of perpetrating Indian Genocide.

    We'll give them the smallpox-infected blankets for Christmas.

  •  The winners have always written the history (8+ / 0-)

    but that doesn't mean that it's the truth or the only history.

    Thanks for telling the other side. Around our house this is old news but it's obviously a surprise to many here.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:13:28 PM PST

  •  Thanks Winter Rabbit. I look forward to your.... (7+ / 0-)

    diaries.  There's always so much to learn from them.

    "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin

    by duckhunter on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:14:48 PM PST

  •  The shocking history (5+ / 0-)
    of European colonists' behavior to the First Nations deserves no defense.

    Sidelight: In Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday, University of New Hampshire Press, 2009, author James W. Baker brings out that the early English colonists in Massachusetts observed several "Thanksgiving Days" but none of these was a harvest festival or involved First Nations. "Thanksgiving Days" were irregularly declared official religious events in recognition of some specific occurrence, a custom and a term both carried over from England, not invented in America.

    In 1621, the Plymouth, Mass., colony held something different -- a harvest festival. Colonist Edward Winslow wrote in his diary that a three-day feast was held, including "many of the Indians [who came] amongst us, and among the rest the great king Massasoit, with some ninety men." (Quoted by Baker on page 4.) The English and the First Nations people both contributed food to the common feast, Winslow related. This was not, however, an official Thanskgiving Day or any kind of religious occasion.

    More than 100 years later, in 1841, a Unitarian minister, the Rev. Alexander Young, was looking over Winslow's diary and decided that the 1621 harvest festival in reality constituted the "first Thanksgiving." It wasn't exactly so, but the idea was widely appealing and it spread and was eventually taught to millions of public school pupils and so went viral.

    Baker:

    "Once all the problems and difficulties with the First Thanksgiving have been confronted, there remains the poignant and inspiring fact that...there once was a time when, with the best intentions, two very diferent cultures came together in that autumn celebration. We can and should ackowledge that it was a brief, fleeting, doomed event that has been greatly disserved...

    Much of Baker's book tells the history of that "disservice," including the patronizing of the First Nations by self-serving Thanksgiving images and mythology.

    The holiday could be a valuable occasion if it is used to remember real history and try to reconnect with the better, more inclusive  impulses of our human nature, rather than the usual occasion for colonial triumphalism and selfish "thankfulness."

    This would involve frankly repurposing the term "Thanksgiving," but bigger repurposings have happened to holidays throughout human history (just look at Yule).

  •  No Way, Winter - - (17+ / 0-)

    I studied with Bill Tuttle and Dave Katzman.
    Yikes!

    First, you use an introductory history text in the worst possible way. Introductory texts are only general narratives - they are not monographs and certainly not primary sources.

    Second, you do not distinguish between Pilgrim and Puritan. They were different, you know. The Pilgrims' relationship with the Wampanoag was more tolerant - if only because of their dependent relationship. The Puritans arrived en masse a decade later and had far less need for Native American allies - but they they used traditional Native hostilities to their advantage.

    Of course, Native peoples most likely tried to use Europeans to their own advantage, too.  Hoping to shift Native rivalries in their favor by allying with the newcomers.  One of the worst aspects of historical "victimhood" is to deny agency to indigenous peoples.

    I believe the exact incident to which you are referring is the attack on the Pequot village of Mystic in 1637 during the Pequot War.  I hasten to remind you that the Narragansett were allied with the Puritans in this conflict. Yes, the attack was genocidal - 600 to 700 people slaughtered with no prisoners taken - and the Narragansett reacted with horror while the Puritans celebrated.

    But the context is far more complex than you write here. And you are simply wrong about the "First Thanksgiving" - at least the first Thanksgiving in New England. (There are thanksgiving traditions in other colonies and among most Native peoples.)  That Thanksgiving did, indeed, take place in 1621 in Plimouth to give thanks for the Pilgrims' first harvest. And, yes, the Wampanoag participated, as well.

    It certainly wasn't the "Happy Family" story that kids learn in elementary school, and the Puritans did slaughter the Pequot in 1637.  And they did, indeed, celebrate their bloody victory as "God given". But you have the historical "problem" of using the massacre at Mystic in 1637 as "evidence" of intent in 1621.

    You do history no service and Native Americans no favors by such a historically inaccurate portrayal.  There is plenty of evidence of cultural destruction and genocide of Native peoples without having to embellish.

    •  I "studied" with someone I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa, Larsstephens

      directly knew and wrote about him a little here, but I asked his permission before shouting his name all over.

      From the linked site from the quote you are contesting.

      http://www.ncidc.org/...

      The NCIDC began as an Indian youth education program provider. Soon after formal incorporation NCIDC was designated a Native American Grantee, to serve the employment and training needs of the American Indian people residing in Del Norte, Humboldt and Siskiyou counties, by the U. S. Department of Labor. Employment and training programs continue to be provided for Indian people of these counties, and Trinity County which was added to the NCIDC "primary service area" during Fiscal Year 1981. The NCIDC provides many programs and services, including: education, employment and training services; statewide disaster assistance programs, food and nutrition program awareness and assistance; housing development and rehabilitation services; transportation assistance; child care; youth education, career exploration and recreational services; habitat enhancement on the Klamath River; and community development and enhancement projects among others.

      So, you're more of an authority? Do tell.

      William B. Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chairman of the Anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, says that the first official Thanksgiving Day celebrated the massacre of 700 Indian men, women and children during one of their religious ceremonies. "Thanksgiving Day" was first proclaimed by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance...Thanksgiving Day to the, "in their own house", Newell stated.

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:52:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No - (5+ / 0-)

        But to claim an event in 1637 as evidence of, indictment of, or proof of something that took place in 1621 is counter-historical.  To quote Cotton Mather, who wasn't even born until 1663, is simply absurd. Mather was influenced by events and cultures a half-century after the time period in question - most certainly Metacom's War in his childhood.

        Not only do you conflate Pilgrims and Puritans - although they had different social and religious traditions as well as separate colonies - but you also do not mention the long-standing hostilities between Native peoples. The Pequot were traditional enemies of the Wampanoag, the Narragansett, and the Mohawk. Interestingly, it was the Mohawk who eventually killed the Pequot sachem, Sassacus, and his remaining warriors.

        One must also not run the risk of presentism - placing present-day mores and cultural norms upon historical actors of the early 17th century.  In the mid 1600s the Iroquois Confederacy smashed the Hurons - killing, capturing, or driving into exile the entire nation. During the English Civil War in the mid 1600s, Cromwell's conquest of Ireland resulted in more than half a million deaths through war or famine.  During the Kossack uprising in Ukraine in the mid 1600s, hundreds of Jewish communities were wiped out.

        The slaughter of one's enemies was most certainly cross-cultural. Does this include Native peoples of the Americas?  The Carib expansion in the Caribbean, the Mayan collapse, and the Inuit displacement of the Dorset suggest that it may. It is important to remember that Lemkin's term "genocide" has origins in the 20th century.

        •  And what was the difference in (5+ / 0-)

          attitudes towards the American Indian, did it change?

          I mentioned wars generally

          ...But tribal rivalries and wars were relatively infrequent prior to Puritan settlement (compared to the number of wars in Europe)...Neither would have increased if it were not that a colonizing European nation was asserting political jurisdiction, in the name of God, over indigenous New England societies...When thus threatened with the usurpation of their own rights, as native tribes had been threatened years before by them, Puritans came to the defense of a system of government that was similar, in important ways, to the native governments that they had always defined as savage and uncivilized...

          We had this talk about presentism, and I still say it's an excuse to deny that the same attitudes live today and the "Indian Wars Never Ended" but moved into the courtroom; or, the US supports or condones genocide abroad for economic reasons while the effects of the genocide still are experienced today here on US soil.

          I gave links and cited all my sources, I expect no less in return.

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 09:07:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Do Not Disagree with You - - (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, ADamiani, HiKa

            I believe, quite strongly, that the history of relations between Europeans/Euroamericans and Native peoples has been one of nearly uninterrupted violence, theft, and oppression.

            "Genocide" is an appropriate term to use over and over again - certainly in the case of the Pequot, the Trail of Tears, and the cultural genocide of the boarding schools. If the Wampanoag at that first supposed "Thanksgiving" knew what would transpire, would they have joined in so readily? But in 1621, I suspect they viewed the stubby little white people as possible help against their traditional foes - the Pequot.

            The challenge of presenting the issue within a historical framework is to show how rapidly conditions deteriorated - from a mythic shared table - whether or not such actually existed to any great degree - to the slaughter of an entire people in only 16 years.

            It is the transition - and the speed of that transition that has the power to shock - and shock even more, the greater one believes in the fantasy parts of the Pilgrim Thanksgiving. Records do indicate some sort of shared harvest celebration - despite the cultural gulf which existed between English and Wampanoag peoples. For whatever reason - Pilgrim dependence upon Native knowledge and resources, Wampanoag hopes to assimilate the newcomers into their culture to replace recent mortality due to disease, mere curiosity and a fleeting cooperation - 1621 was quite different than 1637.

            Here is John Mason's account - digital on line -
            "A Brief History of the Pequot War"
            http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/...

            I grant you - this account is that of one of the perpetrators.  Still, it is a primary source.

            Not the most eloquent, but gotta call it.

  •  Well, my great...great grandfather was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, FishBiscuit

    William Bradford, gov. of Plymouth Colony.

    I guess I'm sorry...or something.

    "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - My Dad

    by briefer on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:19:44 PM PST

    •  Tell me about the something (6+ / 0-)

      If you've read his diaries, you know how Bradford and his compatriots stole and stole and stole -- food before grocery stores when you had to grow and harvest it -- as they tried so desperately to survive here.  I don't hate them for that at all.  What else would I myself have done, especially for my children?  But I'd like to think that I -- and Bradford's descendants -- would give freely and gratefully to those who kept the first English here alive by letting them feed from the hard-earned harvests of the competent First Americans.

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:19:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think this is an excellent, and fair, diary. (3+ / 0-)

    I'm a big white dude from the Midwest and I don't see anything other than some much-needed historical context. Not sure why others feel aggrieved by it.

    I do not personally celebrate Thanksgiving but family obligations do require my presence some years.

    New White House slogan- "Don't make the mediocre the enemy of the inadequate."

    by MarkTrueblood on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:25:12 PM PST

  •  A quote from my friend (7+ / 0-)

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with.
    Mike Hastie
    U.S. Army Medic
    Vietnam 1970-71

    The folded coffin flag means nothing to me but a receipt from the Masters of War to the pawns in the games.

    by BOHICA on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:31:45 PM PST

  •  Oh for god's sake... (3+ / 0-)

    Yeah..  this wins us voters...  great diary.

  •  Sorry, but this is bunk. (25+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry to say it, because as a student of American history I have long been aware of the genocide perpetrated upon the American Indian population by European settlers and their American descendants.

    I do not mean to suggest that the Mystic Massacre (which is the commonly-known appellation of the massacre described in the diary) never occurred.  The massacre was surely a horrific event.

    Nor is my point that the Thanksgiving Day legend is literally true. The 1621 Thanksgiving legend possibly conflates the dinner formalizing the alliance between the Plymouth Rock colonists and the Pequots with the traditional fall harvest festival. Its roots have been thoroughly explored by others, and I will not belabor the point here other than to say that the current tradition began in 1841 when historian Alexander Young rediscovered and embellished Edward Winslow's account of the 1621 harvest celebration.  Wikipedia describes it as follows:

    The autumn celebration in late 1621 that has become known as "The First Thanksgiving" was not known as such to the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims did recognize a celebration known as a "Thanksgiving", which was a solemn ceremony of praise and thanks to God for a congregation's good fortune. The first such Thanksgiving as the Pilgrims would have called it did not occur until 1623, in response to the good news of the arrival of additional colonists and supplies. That event probably occurred in July and consisted of a full day of prayer and worship and probably very little revelry.[39]

    The event now commemorated by the United States at the end of November each year is more properly termed a "harvest festival". The festival was probably held in early October 1621 and was celebrated by the 53 surviving Pilgrims, along with Massasoit and 90 of his men. Three contemporary accounts of the event survive: Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford; Mourt's Relation probably written by Edward Winslow; and New England's Memorial penned by Plymouth Colony Secretary – and Bradford's nephew – Capt. Nathaniel Morton.[40] The celebration lasted three days and featured a feast that included numerous types of waterfowl, wild turkeys and fish procured by the colonists, and five deer brought by the Native Americans.[41]

    My point is that the claim that the modern Thanksgiving Day began as a day of thanks for the massacre of 700 Pequots is untrue. That claim, in this diary, at least, is based entirely on an unauthenticated (and possibly out-of-context) quote of the opinion of Prof. William Newell, apparently lifted from this description.

    Now, I'm not claiming that the governor's proclamation of a "day of Thanksgiving" in 1637 did not refer to the massacre.  But there's an insurmountable problem with the claim  that the governor's proclamation of a day of Thanksgiving is the basis for the modern holiday. And that is that the Mystic Massacre occurred on May 27, 1637.  Which means the governor's proclamation, "the next day" after the massacre, puts that "day of Thanksgiving" on May 28, 1637.

    To state the obvious, May is miles away from November, or even late July (many historians place the original "Thanksgiving" at the end of July, with the harvest.)

    There is no evidence to suggest that the May 28, 1637 "day of Thanksgiving" was repeated annually thereafter, much less that it migrated to the fall.

    In fact, "days of Thanksgiving" were commonly proclaimed for many different reasons by the Puritans of the era.

    I might add that even the apparent Newall quote does not directly say that the modern Thanksgiving Day came from that "day of Thanksgiving" proclaimed by the governor; just that the May 1637 day was the "first official Thanksgiving." There's a wide gulf between the two statements.

    In short, the claim that the "real" Thanksgiving we celebrate today actually began as a celebration of a massacre is not true.  Yes, the governor of Massachusetts have proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving for the massacre, it was not the Thanksgiving Day we celebrate today.

    America has much for which to answer for the genocidal extermination of native Americans and the ethnic cleansing of their lands.  But creating a new myth based on the false claim that Thanksgiving Day began with a massacre is no way to promote reconciliation.

    We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

    by Simian on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:37:40 PM PST

    •  Careful now...don't confuse anyone around here... (9+ / 0-)

      ...with facts, which are never allowed to get in the way of a good America bashing session.

      I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

      by The Navigator on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:44:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In fairness, both the diarist and the critics (8+ / 0-)

        have offered valuable information here to consider, and I've tipped and rec'd some on both sides.  Surely, one ought to take into account multiple viewpoints, recognizing that every POV is likely to be colored by each writer's personal background and biases.  I think WR's diary is educational, but may or may not be 100% accurate.

        •  That's a fair assessment. (4+ / 0-)

          I wish the diarist would respond to some of the criticisms, in fact.  Otherwise it's like two dialogues aimed in different directions, so we're not getting the benefit of pooled scholarship here.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:25:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •   From the linked site from the quote some are (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, i like bbq, Larsstephens

            contesting.

            http://www.ncidc.org/...

            The NCIDC began as an Indian youth education program provider. Soon after formal incorporation NCIDC was designated a Native American Grantee, to serve the employment and training needs of the American Indian people residing in Del Norte, Humboldt and Siskiyou counties, by the U. S. Department of Labor. Employment and training programs continue to be provided for Indian people of these counties, and Trinity County which was added to the NCIDC "primary service area" during Fiscal Year 1981. The NCIDC provides many programs and services, including: education, employment and training services; statewide disaster assistance programs, food and nutrition program awareness and assistance; housing development and rehabilitation services; transportation assistance; child care; youth education, career exploration and recreational services; habitat enhancement on the Klamath River; and community development and enhancement projects among others.

            So what's the real issue? One side of telling the history verses the other.

            A couple of the critics always show up on the rec list, one here even said he'd "shove it up my ass every time," he's just keeping his word. So some might be doing what's considered trollish behavior, and I'm ignoring them.

            She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

            by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:33:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that's not the only issue. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lestatdelc, Simian, capelza

              You're right that there are sometimes opposing 'sides', and those sides can be fiercely ideological.  It doesn't help that there are people who dismiss your diary as America-hatin', as if that's the only criterion by which we should judge diaries.  I'd agree with you that they're disruptive in a way that's not helpful.

              But comments like mine above, and the one that started this particular thread, aren't trying to be dismissive outright.  It's not because we're on the other 'side', but about what we have on record, what we can reliably trust, and how we string that information into a narrative.  I don't see the grounds for the claim you make in the diary's title, or for how you arrange the pieces in the diary itself.    

              Thank you for responding, at least.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 07:30:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's a difference in criterion. (4+ / 0-)

                For example, I consider this part of the 500 year Native American Holocaust, at least one of the critics does not consider that valid.

                Second, if an event has been in tribal oral history but not in text books, or there are disagreements, you know what I lean towards. So that's my position on "what we have on record, what we can reliably trust," as you say.

                As to "how we string that information into a narrative." It's clear that the Europeans who committed the genocide thought they had Divine authority to murder and steal land, which is why it's all the easier to believe, for me anyway, that the First Thanksgiving was "Thank God we slaughtered the savage Indians, and let's make a habit of it." How many are secretly glad for the genocide? But that went for motive.

                To me, they were invaders and predators and why people want to argue about "Pilgrims vs. Puritans" other than the time line and location is missing the point. I discussed that at the beginning, their origins which I wanted to show their hypocrisy of leaving for their intolerance - the myth is they left for religious freedom.

                Many history books I read about this, I see lies and genocide denial. People on the side of the executioners as Zinn stated. But back to the narrative.

                This was not meant to be a dissertation, it was meant to point out also the origins of increased violence, another source for the "New World" being a more peaceful place than the "old" one, and the genocide denial that still exists - a "double killing."  But look at Iraq, not that old is it? Look at Blackwater having done the massacre, not so old. US involvement in Honduras. Army Corps having allowed the levies to deteriorate. Who got the property after Katrina? Yes, I'm related to someone who knows Bush allowed it to happen for political reasons - letting people die that is. So many comments here, "let the memory and history of your people die." Barbaric.

                So, it is about people who object not thinking "an Indian youth education program provider" is credible, and they miss the point.  

                Neither am I fond of Lincoln or Washington.

                http://www.greatdreams.com/...

                George Washington...
                In 1779, George Washington instructed Major General John Sullivan to attack Iroquois people. Washington stated, "lay waste all the settlements around...that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed". In the course of the carnage and annihilation of Indian people, Washington also instructed his general not "listen to any overture of peace before the total ruin of their settlements is effected". (Stannard, David E. AMERICAN HOLOCAUST. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. pp. 118-121.)

                In 1783, Washington's anti-Indian sentiments were apparent in his comparisons of Indians with wolves: "Both being beast of prey, tho' they differ in shape", he said. George Washington's policies of extermination were realized in his troops behaviors following a defeat. Troops would skin the bodies of Iroquois "from the hips downward to make boot tops or leggings". Indians who survived the attacks later re-named the nation's first president as "Town Destroyer". Approximately 28 of 30 Seneca towns had been destroyed within a five year period. (Ibid)

                Abraham Lincoln...

                In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution, by hanging, of 38 Dakota Sioux prisoners in Mankato, Minnesota. Most of those executed were holy men or political leaders of their camps. None of them were responsible for committing the crimes they were accused of. Coined as the Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History. (Brown, Dee. BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1970. pp. 59-61)

                Washington and Lincoln were probably grateful for genocide too, otherwise, where would the rich landowners successfully go after having used the pioneers as a buffer zone between them and the Indian?

                To some the British were enemies, to some allies who betrayed them by leaving.

                Also, if critics are going to slash this, they need to cite their sources with links or books with page numbers like I have.

                She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 08:30:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Please. You haven't answered anything (5+ / 0-)

                  yet you challenge anyone to cite page numbers to answer you.

                  Your point that there was a genocide is valid.

                  But your claim that Thanksgiving Day started as a celebration of a massacre is lie.  And it's wrong of you to try to sell that lie as a way of pushing the message that there was a genocide.

                  We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

                  by Simian on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 09:11:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  In all historical fairness.... (0+ / 0-)

                  You need to put this in context.  Washington was responding to the continuous slaughter of white settlers in what is now western New York by the four Iroquois nations who sided with the British. He did not order destruction of the towns of the Iroquois Oneidas or Tuscaroras who sided with the American colonists. After the war, Washington ordered that their land be restored to them.  What happened after that is another story.

                  As far as the behavior of the American troops, only one incident of the atrocity of skinning has been verified.  But the countless atrocities committed against white peoples and their children by the Mohawks and Senecas have been verified by the native Americans themselves, as well as eye-witness diaries.  Imagine coming upon children who have been scalped, disembowled and burned alive, and you might understand why Washington was less than sanguine about the Iroquois' participation in the war.

                  All peoples have performed hateful acts against those different from themselves. It is wrong and cruel and inhumane, but whites did not invent the practice.  Having said that,what happened to too many native Americans is a terrible tragedy of immense proportions and should never be glossed over or forgotten.    

                  •  Fairness (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza, i like bbq

                    In fairness, you have to admit that Washington treated Iroquois who fought with the British as less than human, to be utterly destroyed along with their families, including the most barbaric treatment. While Washington refused to let actual British soldiers be physically mistreated when captured in battle.

                    The distinction between "British" and "American" was not nearly as big as the difference between "Iroquois" and "human".

                    I will also note that the White women and children living in the tribal lands were also invaders who supported the genocidal war against the tribespeople.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:48:44 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  The problem isn't page numbers, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Simian, HiKa

                  the problem is that your information doesn't support the claims you're making, at least as presented in the diary.  There's a difference between saying that you consider all of these events part of a tapestry of crime against the indigenous peoples, which I won't argue with, and saying that X lead to Y lead to Z, which I will argue with.  

                  Believe me, I understand the desire to rescue history from the 'victors'.  Children are still taught the Myth of the Glorious Past, and I have no objection whatsoever to deflating that myth from the very beginning.  But as far as I can tell the Pequot massacre has no connection with the holiday we call Thanksgiving.  None.  Zero.  Your diary isn't history: it's an impressionist poem about European violence that's masquerading as history, and yes, there is a difference.  In fact, it's much the same as this long, rambling comment you left me, which has little to do with what my criticisms of this diary are.

                  I'm aware that this may be a bias on my part: I come out of academia, so when I see claims about historical cause-and-effect, I expect to see evidence and clear lines of causation.  I'd be no objection to a diary that presented this stuff as a tapestry rather than as a history.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 12:31:35 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Here (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza, i like bbq, mamamedusa

                http://www.nativeamericannetroots.ne...

                The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous "city upon a hill" speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots."
                The descendants of Massasoit's Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip's War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by "King Philip," known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

                She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:22:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry, even the esteemed Meteor Blades doesn't (0+ / 0-)

                  equal an actual historical source.  The problem is the conflation of the May 28, 1637 "day of Thanksgiving" proclaimed to celebrate the Mystic Massacre with the modern holiday, which began being celebrated in the 1840s explicitly as a celebration of the mythic peace between the first Mayflower pilgrims and the Pequot in 1621.  There is no evidence that this is true.  The fact that some people have claimed it to be true is not evidence.

                  --Puritans commonly declared "days of Thanksgiving."

                  --There is no evidence the 1637 "day of Thanksgiving" was repeated, much less that it somehow migrated to November.

                  --Contemporaneous accounts describe a feast shared by Pequots and Puritans, who entered into an alliance.

                  MB or anyone else can call the 1637 day the first "real" Thanksgiving, but that doesn't make it the same as the one we actually celebrate.  Nor is it the claim that the 1637 day was the first "real" one even historically accurate.  See, e.g., The First "First Thanksgiving."

                  If you want to make something of the myth of the the First Thanksgiving, by all means, write about how the Puritans (or their immediate descendants) later betrayed and ultimately wiped out the Pequots.  You might even accurately say that the memory of the "First Thanksgiving" was soon sullied by the "day of Thanksgiving" that was proclaimed to give "thanks" for the Mystic Massacre.  But stop spreading the lie that the modern Thanksgiving arose from the Mystic Massacre.  It clearly did not.

                  We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

                  by Simian on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 11:46:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I choose to call 1637 the first "real" ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Winter Rabbit

                    ...Thanksgiving because it is the first one announced by official proclamation. Before then, in 1621 and including all those cited in your link, they were ad hoc affairs. And then they were sporadic, even Geo. Washington's proclamation held only for one year.

                    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 02:01:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanksgiving, if it is genuine (0+ / 0-)

                      by its nature is ad hoc.

                      •  I am descended (0+ / 0-)

                        From Edward Dotey, or maybe Doten, or maybe Doty. He was illiterate and signed his name on the Mayflower Compact at gunpoint with an X. Something about mutiny.

                        It does not make me a better person and I am not proud of his behavior. I am otherwise engaged this year and will not post a diary on this topic.

                    •  Nevertheless (0+ / 0-)

                      it is irrefutable that that May 28, 1637 "day of Thanksgiving" did not become the Thanksgiving Day now celebrated.  It is false to say that Thanksgiving Day we celebrate today was originally a celebration of the Mystic Massacre.  Moreover, the claim is both false and so inflammatory that making it will harm more than help any effort to convince people to recognize the genocide and ethnic cleansing that was perpetrated on American Indians and to address their continuing effects.

                      Say, rather, that the good feelings initially expressed at the first Thanksgiving, in 1621, were within 15 short years replaced by, or perhaps even merely hid,  racial hatred of such intensity that after a clash with the Pequot over the alleged murder of several settlers, the colonists slaughtered 600-700 Pequot Indians, many women and children, by burning their village on the Mystic River.  May 28, 1637, the day after what is now known as the Mystic Massacre, was proclaimed a "day of Thanksgiving" by the governor in "honor" of the massacre.

                      We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

                      by Simian on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 03:40:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I made an assumption, (0+ / 0-)

                That this is common knowledge and we could discuss how it's repeating. How many are grateful for torture, the war?

                http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

                http://www.blackcommentator.com/...

                William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:

                   "Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire...horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

                The rest of the white folks thought so, too. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

                And continuation of the "First Official Thanksgiving, ".

                " In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

                http://rwor.org/...

                In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The "Praying Indians" who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with "hostiles." They were enslaved or killed. Other "peaceful" Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.
                It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.
                After King Philip's War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan's New York colony: "There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts." In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."
                Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

                http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

                http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

                The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

                She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:05:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  As a newcomer to all this -- (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Simian, DocGonzo

              by which I mean that I never knew anything about any of this before -- I have to say that the guys who are pointing out that the massacre was in May and we celebrate Thanksgiving in November are making a very persuasive point, and you seem to be determined not to address it.

              They also keep pointing out that the harvest celebration involving both whites and Native Americans, which we all grew up hearing about as the first Thanksgiving, happened in 1621, and the massacre was in 1637, so again, it's hard to believe that the massacre was the first Thanksgiving.

              I'm just reading points on both sides and getting the distinct impression that the other side is presenting strong evidence that isn't being addressed. You don't have to worry about persuading bystanders if you don't want to, but if your goal is to be persuasive, addressing the facts presented by the other side would probably be a good move.

              Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

              by Noisy Democrat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:23:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  This diary (4+ / 0-)

      has nothing to do with reconciliation.  

    •  You're picking at some pretty tiny twigs . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq

      . . . while the tree of genocidal extermination (your own words) still stands.

      "Americans are a wonderful people: They will always do the right thing--after exhausting every other possible alternative."--Winston Churchill

      by keikekaze on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:32:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't want reconciliation, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      megisi, i like bbq, mamamedusa

      I want the land theft to stop including encroachments on sacred sites, Peltier to be freed, and the genocide denial to stop. Whenever someone says "reconciliation," they mean "do it our way; we feel bad but we'll keep doing it over and over again," kind of like you denying this genocide.

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:05:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a crock (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat, Simian, HiKa, smileyman

        kind of like you denying this genocide.

        Neither Simian, nor others who are rightly calling your title a lie, which it is, are denying the Mystic Massacre occurred, or that a larger campaign of eradication of many indigenous people's and cultures occurred. But when you lie about not just the record which you do in this diaries title, but then go on to lie about what people are saying right here in this thread, does neither the truth nor any of us any favors.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        January 20, 2009... the end of an error.

        by Lestatdelc on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:07:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Show me where I denied the genocide. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat, smileyman

        You can't, so why don't you stop claiming I did?

        We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

        by Simian on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:11:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, i like bbq

      http://www.nativeamericannetroots.ne...

      The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous "city upon a hill" speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots."
      The descendants of Massasoit's Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip's War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by "King Philip," known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:22:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is true (0+ / 0-)

      http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

      http://www.blackcommentator.com/...

      William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:
       

      "Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire...horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

      The rest of the white folks thought so, too. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

      And continuation of the First Official Thanksgiving.

      " In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

      http://rwor.org/...

      In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The "Praying Indians" who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with "hostiles." They were enslaved or killed. Other "peaceful" Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.
      It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.
      After King Philip's War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan's New York colony: "There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts." In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."
      Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

      http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

      http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

      The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:08:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, as long as I'm on KOS, I'll never need.... (7+ / 0-)

    ...a calender.  I'll always have the annual "America is bathed in blood" diary to remind me Thanksgiving is coming. :)

    I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

    by The Navigator on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:42:14 PM PST

  •  What exactly would you like (0+ / 0-)

    white people  born within the last few decades to do about what  other people did centuries ago?    

  •  There were settlers before the Pilgrims (0+ / 0-)

    . . old maps of Nova Scotia show variou settlements. And some of the earliest settlers described meeting light skinned red headed Indians that spoke "Irish". . .which likely was really Scottish. Of course, none of that refutes the authors points and I thank him for this inciteful diary. Should make for a lively discussion on Thanksgiving. . .I'll be as welcome as "whitey" at one of those native American religious ceremonies.

    •  Are the Irish white these days? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      They'll be surprised.  Much of your comment is fantasy or geographically misplaced.  But why hate ignorance when you can hate hatred?  On that basis, we are kin.

      "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

      by KateCrashes on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:21:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, as far as I know, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        there were European visitors, if not settlers, to North America well before 1492. The Vikings are the best-known example; it's possible they passed on the genes for red hair to some natives (consensually or otherwise). They certainly weren't the only pre-Columbian visitors. I don't think acknowledging any of this detracts from also acknowledging the later genocide of natives, though it is somewhat of a non sequitur in this thread.

        These days, yes, the Irish are considered "white," but your point is well-taken that this was not always true.

  •  Great diary, WR. (4+ / 0-)

    Sorry so many defensive people wish to derail it.

    •  Thank you i like bbq, (5+ / 0-)

      it's pretty much the same people at the same time, when and if one of these makes the rec list.

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 04:58:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re-read diary... (5+ / 0-)

        Still think it is excellent and fair. I would call it "fair and balanced" but that's probably not the best choice of slogan. (rimshot)

        Upsetting truths, especially on issues like this, cause many strong and unpredictable reactions. They still need to be spoken, repeatedly.

        New White House slogan- "Don't make the mediocre the enemy of the inadequate."

        by MarkTrueblood on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:17:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The part I don't get (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smileyman

          is how it happened that a "day of Thanksgiving" proclaimed in May migrated to November. Simian keeps asking where the evidence is that this happened, and it keeps not being answered. In particular, what's the evidence that this massacre in May of 1637 was the origin of the modern Thanksgiving holiday, and not the feast that happened in autumn of 1621 -- the event which we were always told was the origin?

          The more I look at it, the more it doesn't add up.

          Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

          by Noisy Democrat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:31:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That might be a good point (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, i like bbq

            White Rabbit is the one who should respond to that charge.

            I still think it's a valid diary as most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with nary a thought paid to what we did when we got here.

            Native Americans weren't even brought up in my history classes growing up, except for Pocahontas and the French & Indian War.

            New White House slogan- "Don't make the mediocre the enemy of the inadequate."

            by MarkTrueblood on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:41:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to Me that there is no lack (0+ / 0-)

    of Sin in the First Nation, nor the Second Nation.
    The Americas Frist Nation killed each other less only becuase there was less of a market to fight over. Enter the Eu and the FN start to pick sides
    on who can give them the most.

    Sounds like wallstreet and CDS to me.

  •  outstanding diary -- thank you.. (4+ / 0-)
  •  Violent DangerousPuritans Were Exiled By England (3+ / 0-)

    Wasn't the deal that they were part of the apocalyptic nutcases that assassinated Charles I during the English civil war, much like the Xtian assassin wannabes who are after Obama?

  •  human (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq

    Human species = Epic FAIL

    (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

    by dark daze on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:13:48 PM PST

  •  Nice to see that white christians... (4+ / 0-)

    haven't changed significantly over the years.

  •  Manifest Destiny was taught to me in school--- (8+ / 0-)

    I had to grow up, watch a movie, "Soldier Blue," read a book, "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee," and move to Washington state where I've met local Tribal members at various functions in order to begin to understand the truth of what Native Americans, if such they must be called, have suffered at the hands of our ancestors. I call them Colville, and Nisqually, and Quilute, and whatever is the name of their Nation, and am honored if they call me friend. Perhaps our Thanksgiving should also be a day of atonement.

    "I should have been a pair of ragged claws.." T.S. Eliot

    by collardgreens on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:19:01 PM PST

  •  seems nothing ever changes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, LynneK, mamamedusa

    depressing...........

    "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

    by JadeZ on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:25:44 PM PST

  •  Winter Rabbit Speaks For Me--------------------- (6+ / 0-)

    What should you do as a New American, on desecrated soil, to honor the ancient inhabitants? Figure it out yourselves, and be sure not to let facts get in the way. Those Indians, they couldn't read contracts. Thanksgiving was really, officially started later and blah blah blah--------------
    We talking here, and I speak as a Californian, of PEOPLE living here 12,000 fucking years!!!!!!!!!!!
    So read your history books and make sure your timelines are accurate etc.
    I'm an historian also, as well as a lawyer. "You don't need a weather vane to tell which way the wind blows"

  •  Oh great! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Korinthios

    Now I'm sitting through a Howard Zinn history lesson. Next year children, we take on the bastards that brought you Easter!

  •  Thanks, WR, did you know... (7+ / 0-)

    about the Joint Resolution sponsored by Baca in the House and Inouye in the Senate that Obama signed into law last June, that creates a Native American Heritage Day on the Friday after the Thanksgiving Thursday?

    The language in the legislation directs America to appreciate achievements and contributions of indigenous people to the United States.

    Seems long overdue to me.  I think hardly anyone knows about it.  

    I was going to write a diary attempting to explain this a bit.  Are you planning to?  You would probably do a better job.  

    A lot of people probably are unaware of most of the positive things that could be discussed.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:38:08 PM PST

  •  thank you for this diary n/t (3+ / 0-)
  •  I hate it when... (7+ / 0-)

    people like me bring this stuff up, and they say things like "boo hoo! you hate columbus day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas is too "consumerist"? You have no sense of joy."

    Live without dead time-Anoymynous Paris graffiti from 1968

    by greenpunx on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 05:56:42 PM PST

  •  Diary Is Wrong - 1st British Thanksgiving In 1619 (5+ / 0-)

    Actually the first Thanksgiving was held by the Spanish in the 1500s, but as far the British colonists go it was the Virginia Colony which held their first Thanksgiving celebration to celebrate the date of their arrival per the colony's charter. It was not about gratitude for genocide, but gratitude for making it to the New World and it was established as part of their legal documents prior to arrival, not something done after an event in the new world.

    •  Interesting comment and wondering if (0+ / 0-)

      you can provide links or cites for supporting evidence - ? -

    •  Okay, that's true, and there were other (7+ / 0-)

      days of thanksgiving declared in the colonies. But the Thanksgiving holiday we have now is traced back to the Pilgrims, and to a feast they had with the Indians after (according to the story) the Indians gave them food that helped them get through the winter; they then raised a successful crop, and held a feast of Thanksgiving.

      The national holiday is not traced back to the Virginia colony thanksgiving. So, for our national "story," the real history of "thanksgiving" in Massachusetts is relevant. And Winter Rabbit is telling us that the reality is, from 1637 to 1737 what was commemorated was a bloody massacre of Indians. This is the truth, so we need to know it and teach it as history.

      I still think it's valid to remember that first feast, and I do assume there was gratitude in it though I acknowledge that there was also the political element of needing an alliance.

      Still, I think it's valid to remember that moment of coming together in celebration, and to remember that the Indians helped the European settlers survive. We should remember it as a little seed, a little piece of what we wish our history here had been like, and that image should move us to build toward peaceful comings together in many ways.

      But we also have to remember and teach the rest.

      The hard part for me is when and how you teach children. I know this is a question for many different people. Germans wonder about when and how to tell their kids about the Nazis and yet not have them think that's all there is to Germany's cultural heritage. Jewish families debate about when and how to tell the kids about the holocaust, how to be real about it without overwhelming children or making them too afraid or distrustful of non=Jews.  I haven't heard Indian people talk about this, but I assume they also struggle with how to teach the children all that has happened to Indians over the centuries.

      With the children I'm helping to raise, I want them to see this country as holding a belief in equality and justice that has often been violated and betrayed, but has also often moved poeple to struggle to move a step forward.  I want them to feel committed to moving this country closer to those ideals. But they also need to know how bad that things that have been done here are -- the destruction of Indian cultures and peoples, slavery, and the other wrongs that have been done and that are still being done or having their impact.

      I'm not ready to start describing massacres to a 7 and 4 year old. I give them positive picture books about Indian cultures, and tell them stories. I've also told them that the white people often stole the Indians land, and sometimes killed them. But at some point you have to move beyond that and deal more concretely with the depressing, horrific aspects of history. It's not clear to me when or how to do that.

      •  No don't. No details, just enough to begin (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq, mamamedusa

        the questions. You'll know, but you have to get them young enough to listen, before they're so old they think they know it all. Just my 2 cents, hope wasn't being intrusive.

        She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

        by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 08:37:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not at all. Thanks for sharing your view. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

          ANd thanks for the diaries you do.

          •  this is the most relevant thread here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Winter Rabbit

            My personal frustration is the same -- how to teach my kids the historical facts. Unfortunately there aren't many elementary grade level teaching guides/tools for Native American history (they are exclusively about custom or culture which in many ways makes it seem like it was "cool" to be a Native American). It certainly makes no sense to focus on the deaths and massacres but what does make sense is to start accurately teaching both sides of the story not just the Euro-centric one -- the indigenous perspective is way under-represented in school curricula at every grade level. It doesn't have to involve gory details like scalping and disemboweling but most pre-teens can handle the concept of a tribe or family not surviving because of illness, war and forced relocation without becoming unhinged. So, Winter Rabbit, can you point us to some age-appropriate material that parents can use to supplement the woefully inadequate history education of their children and non-parents can use to help educate their friends, family and social contacts? If there is not such a thing, would Winter Rabbit or others with motivation be willing to help put together a course outline or curriculum that could be used?

            •  No promises about online course, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              silveraxis

              but here's what you do, beginning about 8.

              Draw a map of the US, tell them "this was all American Indian Land," around Oklahoma, draw a crude picture and say "They were relocated (explain forcefully - against their will - no violence, children don't need violent images this young)." Use plain language. Tell them that was to be their home, of many different tribes and compare them to England, France (other nations in the world, which ones could you use they know of), ect. Then draw little boxes and tell them they split their land up, draw even smaller boxes and tell them that's how it is now, that many lost their home - land. Let them ask the questions. That'd work with any state about the land allotment/ Dawes Act, good moral lesson on stealing.

              As to how much, go by what beginning with what is taught about slavery and Martin Luther King as they get older. Tell them more detail beginning in 6th.

              Younger than 8, just take them to museums, play Native American music in the home sometimes, exposure and just be an example. Ask if they know anyone in school who is Native American, what have they seen? Have they seen things that aren't right? Tell them why. Things that are good? Tell them why.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:08:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  An account of 1637 massacre at Mystic. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    The Society of Colonial Wars

    Attack on Mystic
     
    25 May 1637
    English and their allies approach Sassacus's Pequot Harbor fort. They decide to attack fort at Mystic instead. English and allies arrive at Mystic at night and make camp.

    26 May 1637
    Attack on MysticEnglish fire a volley at dawn, then storm the fort. Mason enters at northeast, and Underhill enters at southwest. Pequots fight fiercely. Mason abandons plan to seek booty and sets fire to 80 huts housing approximately 800 people (men, women, and children). 600-700 Pequots die in an hour. 7 are taken captive, and 7 escape. Two Englishmen are killed, with 20-40 wounded. English march toward their ships, burning Pequot dwellings along the way.

    "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:15:09 PM PST

    •  This sounds awful (3+ / 0-)

      Truly horrible.

      I still wonder how this event in May supposedly got to be the origin of our official November Thanksgiving, however. Simian pointed out that discrepancy up above and now it strikes me as truly odd.

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:33:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  maybe, not is, named (0+ / 0-)

      This diary has a misleading title and lacks coherence. It's unfortunate because there is some cool historical information and good juxtaposition.
      I was disappointed to learn however that the entire premise of the diary boils down to a quote by a dude named William Newell. I was even more disappointed to learn that the quote was selective and lifted out of context in order to paint a picture of absolute certainty whereas the source document expresses a qualified, subjective opinion: "maybe the source for" and "possibly roots in". Perhaps the underlying message would resonate better with average Americans if it wasn't wrapped up in an antagonistic, sensationalized, and politicized package that essentially shit on a centuries-old tradition that transcends ideological lines. Well, at least that was the opinion across a spectrum of average Americans I talked to today.

  •  Unbelievable Winter Rabbit, (5+ / 0-)

    Not the story, although you provide details most of us have no clue about - but your writing: it's becoming more and more powerful.

    Please keep writing and sharing.  The time is ripe, and the need is severe.

    "Only when the last tree has withered, and the last fish caught, and the last river been poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money." Cree

    by Tyto Alba on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:19:31 PM PST

  •  I've always been facinated by Native American (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    culture and history.  When I was young I searched out books regarding Indians and read whatever I could get my hands on.  I read about the real history (not what we learned in school) and was horrified at what really happened to so many tribes.  

    I grew up in San Diego and my mom made us go to church at the Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first church in CA, and the place that marks the birthplace of Christianity in the far West.  

    On a Saturday night when I was 16 I went to my mom and said (after practicing in my room for an hour) something to the effect of "I refuse to go to church at the mission anymore.  It was erected to create a Christian presence that justified taking away the land and resources of the native Kumeyaay tribes.  The missions were used to enslave the Indians and force the white man's beliefs on them."  

    She knew how much I cared about Native American culture, and I must have been pretty convincing, cause she never made me go again.  I'm still pretty proud of myself for that one.  

    Great diary, keep the truth out there.

    "Whenever the people are for gay marriage or medical marijuana or assisted suicide, suddenly the "will of the people" goes out the window." -Bill Maher

    by roknsddemo on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:30:17 PM PST

  •  the aussies are happy they got the convicts and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hannibal, i like bbq, LynneK, HiKa

    we got the puritans

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:39:31 PM PST

  •  That story of Onate in New Mexico. (4+ / 0-)

    Similar story when they hacked the right foot off c. 500 adult Acoma Pueblo males.  It was a food raid.  The settlers didn't have enough food to survive.  But they had guns.  Horses and guns.  They took the harvests by force.

    Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden, 8/30/09)

    by Land of Enchantment on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:42:09 PM PST

  •  Thanks for collecting all these bits (9+ / 0-)

    of history. Certainly not something that was taught in my grade school.

    It is sad that history has so many terrible chapters but it is still fascinating.

    I do find it unfortunate that when anyone writes an "inconvenient" diary about the dark side of America's history – some jump right to the conclusion that it is an attack on everything past, present and future. This is especially true in the areas of history regarding the indigenous people and the period of slavery.

    I had to go back over your diary after reading some of the comments as I hadn't caught all of the "white-man hate" that some seem to find. There is no denying that the peoples who persecuted those they called "Indians" were white and Christian but I couldn't find the part where "all" white people or "all" Christians were attacked in your diary.

    I wonder if any diary about the English treatment of the Irish causes such alarm? I wonder if a diary about the destruction of Carthage at the end of the Punic Wars brings angry replies from residents of the Eternal City? I wonder if Holocaust diarists get a lot of German commentators asking them to just forget about it...you know...just drop it...really what is the point...

    I suppose the fact that you get responses like, "let it go," speak to the need to write more of these diaries. It is important that we at least acknowledge the evil side of history. It shouldn't be swept under the rug. This is especially true of the history of all of the peoples whose way of life, land, and liberty were taken from them. Surely we cannot undo the massacres and the broken treaties. But we can remember what happened and honor and pay respects to those who lost everything. They lived and died and had value and loved ones – they matter and their story matters.

    In the 1850s my ancestors came to this country from Ireland. They were not well treated in their native land. Their ancestors were not allowed their language, their land or their freedom. If they maintained their religious practices they were not allowed franchise or opportunity. And when they arrived in America they were not welcomed by the descendants of the Pilgrims and Puritans. They were ill used and ill treated and many of them joined the army and built the railroad and killed "Indians." I don't deny them their history – my history. The bad and the good, the triumphs and tragedies happened and make part of who I am today. But that history doesn't define me as an individual.

    Currently Native Americans do not have equality of opportunity. They do not get to share equally in the prosperity, the health and the community of America. In many ways they are kept separate and unequal. I think a big part of this is the outright denial of their history by our society as a whole. As your diary shows by the comments it elicits there are still many people who want to forget what happened. I think this is another tragedy that compounds all of the others.

    Denying the truth is a big part of what creates the walls between us.

    "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." Ann Althouse, Conservative Thoughtmeister

    by Bill Section 147 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:50:04 PM PST

    •  It used to really get me, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, newpioneer, i like bbq

      but you get used to it, not necessarily good, but it's genocide denial and a projection of racism. The conservatives found a loop hole to quiet dissent, just call it racist and not an over generalization. I know you know what I'm getting at.

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 06:59:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't (4+ / 0-)

      decide if I like the diary more than this comment or the comment more than the diary.

      I enjoyed reading this diary and many of the comments brought a balance and perspective.

      Your comment hit a chord in me though and helped reinforce a theory I have about insecurities and the problems of mankind. Nothing scientific or proven, simply a thought. Thanks:)

      I brought my mop Mr President, let's do this!

      by JupiterIslandGirl on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 07:08:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is an awesome comment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza

      I'm so used to, as I said above to Fall line, seeing the statement "My ancestors were Irish; they suffered too!" used to derail discussions of the historical sufferings of people who continue to suffer.

      What gets me the most are the arguments in this thread over historical details. Now I certainly don't think facts are unimportant things, even facts about "minor" details, but let's be honest: Written history is most certainly privileged over oral history in our culture, and certain kinds of written history are privileged over others.

      I'm not going to say that all of WR's critics are absolutely wrong about the date and other matters, but I'm also very, very hesitant to say that because Scholar X disagrees with "mere" oral history, Scholar X must be correct.

  •  Enjoyed your diary , as always , Winter Rabbit. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winter Rabbit, Oh Mary Oh

    Have longed to get in fall woods and enjoy them this year - mostly from porch rocker thus far. Will try to get out next Monday , Tuesday and provide a deer for family's Thanksgiving dinner. Gonna have a casserole of pumpkin and aples , and soup with corn , squash , and pumpkin seed too.Only eat wild turkey , but can't stand to take myself away from spring fishing to hunt them.

  •  I did not know. Thank you. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    Maxie Baucus took an axe, gave Single Payer 40 whacks. And when he saw what he had done, gave Public Option 41. (NO, Max! Bad Senator!)

    by SciMathGuy on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 07:11:50 PM PST

  •  This tribe lives down the my street (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Derfel, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    and my heart sinks when I drive by that small lot and wood cabin - the remnants of the long gone beautiful and open land the tribe enjoyed and partnered with.

    Somehow the term 'collaborate' has been lost - and so has the wisdom they might have passed onto us who now live here.

    Welcome To The Golden Hill Indians Website.

    Who Are The Golden Hill Indians Of The Paugussett Indian Nation?

    They are the descendants of a proud people, thousands of whom inhabited hundreds of square miles of land running from Orange/Woodbridge in New Haven County through Fairfield County to Greenwich, and extending North into Eastern Litchfield County up to the Massachusetts border. They farmed, fished and hunted, often moving the villages with the seasons.

       The first time that the Paugussett Indians formally complained about the theft of their lands was in the 1650's. In a 1659 hearing at which no Indians were allowed to testify, the General Court in Hartford decided that the settlers had the right to take the Paugussett lands in what is now the Bridgeport area. In return, the Indians were to receive an 80-acre tract of land known as "Golden Hill.' Golden Hill is the site of downtown Bridgeport. This transaction is how the Paugussett Indians came to be known as Golden Hill Indians. This name has been with the Tribe for over 300 years.

       The well documented history of this 80-acre Golden Hill Reservation is typical of how the lands of the Paugussett Indians were stolen. Immediately after thousands of acres were stolen from the Tribe and the Indians were granted the tiny 80-acre reservation "forever," settlers in Stratford and Fairfield started to encroach on the reservation.

       Throughout  the 1700's, reports of the General Court of Connecticut reflect a continuing series of complaints from the Indians regarding the incursions of settlers.  The General Court recognized the claims of the Golden Hill Indians, but nothing was done to help the Indians.

       By the 1750's,   Tom Sherman had begun to act as a tribal leader presiding over the affairs of the Golden Hill reservation, where he resided, as well as those of other Paugussett lands.  In 1763, Tom Sherman and other Tribal members brought a complaint against the settlers to the Connecticut General Court.   The General Court ruled in favor of the Tribe, but after the settlers complained, the Court reconsidered.

       The matter was resolved in 1765 when the Tribe gave up 68 of the 80 acres and the Tribe also received a useless 9-acre woodlot.  Thus, the settlement was that the Tribe gave 68 acres of prime land and received an 8-acre woodlot in return.

    For more reading pleasure,

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    If you only have a chainsaw, you tend to see every tree as a problem.

    by Sprinkles on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 07:24:42 PM PST

  •  A class action against the Public School system (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    would be a great idea.

    Lies slanderous of the culture and ancestors of Native American students, are being taught in public schools.

    Lies are required to be given as answers in order to pass history tests.

    Unfortunately, those who know that racist lies are being taught as American history, is too small of a minority group to protect itself.

  •  Wouldn't be thanksgiving w/o guilt (0+ / 0-)

    Not letting people enjoying holidays is getting to be a tradition.

  •  Why put "make a difference" in quotes? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Derfel

    Throughout his life Roger Williams strove to promote peaceful co-existence of settlers and natives.

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 08:19:37 PM PST

  •  Hallmark... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, i like bbq

    ... can't put THAT on a card.

  •  Thanks for the diary and the details... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat

    ... though the title is not entirely correct (Thanksgiving is not named for the massacre, as a few other posts have pointed out); the federal day of Thanksgiving is not connected to the events the diarist cites. The history, though, is important and deserves to be highlighted.

    That said, this is not something I'd teach my children, at least in the context of Thanksgiving Day. For my family, this is a day to gather family and friends together (and we always seem to take in a few strays as well), cherish one another's company, and be thankful for all that we have (and be mindful that others are not as fortunate).

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 08:44:34 PM PST

  •  I guess i'm wondering (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, Medina Mahmoud

    what countries started at least two hundred years ago weren't started with some amount of genocide. not condoning, but to think that somehow this phenomena is unique to the US is a little short-sighted. It's been about resources and land since, well, forever. Native Americans also engaged in inter-tribal warfare. One mode in particular, the "mourning war, " usually began at the behest of women who had lost a son or husband and desired the group's male warriors to capture individuals from other groups who could replace those they had lost. Captives might help maintain a stable population or appease the grief of bereaved relatives: if the women of the tribe so demanded, captives would be ritually tortured, sometimes to death if the captive was deemed unfit for adoption into the tribe." Pillaging, enslavement, torture and murder. It's not a unique American tradition. I understand of course the quantity of these Native American acts pales in comparison to the massacres perpetrated by the early American settlers. I just think it's important to get some perspective with our heapin' spoonful of political correctness this holiday season.

  •  Revisionist history at it's finest (5+ / 0-)

    There's a great deal of difference between a thanksgiving day and the Thanksgiving holiday. The former has been declared many times by many officials in our country's history. Some of the reasons are good, some bad.

    The holiday we celebrate every November had nothing to do with the Pequot Indians (or any other Indian war). George Washington designated Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of thanks after the ratifcation of the Constitution. In 1863 Lincoln made it an official holiday.

    National Archives

    Go to the National Archive website--you can actually see photos of the original documents. This diarist is dead wrong about the history of the holiday.

    A rudimentary search by the author of this diary would reveal that--the fact that White Rabbit chose not to do so is unfortunate.

    For those interested in the truth, here is the official proclamation issued by Lincoln.

    By the President of the United States of America.

    A Proclamation.

    The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

    In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

    By the President: Abraham Lincoln

    "WE GET WHAT THE FUCKING WE DESERVE"
    Classical Music Mayhem

    by smileyman on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 08:47:53 PM PST

    •  Lincoln (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i like bbq, mamamedusa

      http://www.greatdreams.com/...

      Abraham Lincoln...

      In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the execution, by hanging, of 38 Dakota Sioux prisoners in Mankato, Minnesota. Most of those executed were holy men or political leaders of their camps. None of them were responsible for committing the crimes they were accused of. Coined as the Largest Mass Execution in U.S. History. (Brown, Dee. BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1970. pp. 59-61)

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 08:57:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I get that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lestatdelc, Noisy Democrat, ADamiani

        I own the book. I've read it. It's heartbreaking.

        It still doesn't have anything to do with the Thanksgiving holiday.

        "WE GET WHAT THE FUCKING WE DESERVE"
        Classical Music Mayhem

        by smileyman on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 09:08:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The fact that the first one was gratitude (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

          for genocide apparently isn't that significant to you or some here, and obviously some do not think it influenced what occurred next.

          Follow the links in the diary and their sources.

          ...the first official Thanksgiving Day celebrated the massacre of 700 Indian men, women and children during one of their religious ceremonies. "Thanksgiving Day" was first proclaimed by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance...Thanksgiving Day to the, "in their own house", Newell stated.

          What other first official political events are rendered insignificant to you? Or is it just this?

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 09:43:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There's a great deal of difference (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, i like bbq, mamamedusa

      between Yule and Christmas. But no Yule, no Christmas.

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:09:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At least Yule was celebrated (0+ / 0-)

        the same time of year as Christmas. Your time line is 6 months off if you want to link the Mystic Massacre to Thanksgiving.

        "WE GET WHAT THE FUCKING WE DESERVE"
        Classical Music Mayhem

        by smileyman on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:22:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Missing the point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:32:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No I'm not (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lestatdelc, Noisy Democrat

            you're twisting historical facts to support your thesis which is wrong.

            Yes it's horrible that the Indian massacres of the 1600s aren't more well known. Some of the Indian tribes along the Atlantic coast suffered 99% mortality rates within a few years of white men landing on their shores (the NE areas were particularly hard hit in both environment and population).

            It still doesn't mean that your contention is right. Thanksgiving holiday was not started in honor of an Indian massacre, and no amount of wishing will change that fact.

            However, you've got your blinders on and refuse to believe that, so I'm done with this conversation.

            "WE GET WHAT THE FUCKING WE DESERVE"
            Classical Music Mayhem

            by smileyman on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:38:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Holiday and influence. Thanksgiving was, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, i like bbq, mamamedusa

              and appeal to ignorance works both ways. You can't say because there's no evidence (which you give none) therefore it wasn't celebrated annually, any more than I can say it was annually, but the name in connection with the American Indian. What do elementary children dress as? There's that influence you can not conveniently sidestep. It was the birth of that connection, and with the birth of that connection between cultures - was genocide.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:49:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                smileyman

                This comment is very confusing, but are you actually saying that since some schoolkids dress as the Natives in Thanksgiving pageants, while others dress as the Pilgrims, that that's the evidence that there's a connection between this massacre and the modern holiday? Excuse me?

                Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

                by Noisy Democrat on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 12:06:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          i like bbq

          http://www.nativeamericannetroots.ne...

          The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous "city upon a hill" speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots."
          The descendants of Massasoit's Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip's War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by "King Philip," known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:20:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

      http://www.blackcommentator.com/...

      William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:

         "Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire...horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

      The rest of the white folks thought so, too. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

      And continuation of the "First Official Thanksgiving, ".

      " In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

      http://rwor.org/...

      In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The "Praying Indians" who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with "hostiles." They were enslaved or killed. Other "peaceful" Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.
      It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.
      After King Philip's War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan's New York colony: "There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts." In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."
      Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

      http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

      http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

      The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 02:54:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My User Name is of the Wampanoag King, Pometacom (6+ / 0-)

    Son of Massasoit, brother of the murdered Wamsutta, best friend of Tispaquin, the Black Sachem of Nemasket. All but Massasoit were murdered by the Pilgrims. Wamsutta was murdered in prison (without explanation), Pometacom (King Phillip was shot and beheaded, and his wife and children were sold into slavery to Barbados, Tispaquin was promised that if he surrendered his life and his family's life would be spared. When he did surrender, he was beheaded and his wife and children were sold into slavery to Barbados.

    I was born and grew up a few miles from Plymouth, Mass. These are the historical facts we were deliberately not told when going to school. It's not so much that our teachers lied to us, they had been lied to, and they were just repeating the lies without even knowing they were lies.

    In 2000, I finally wrote a poem to deal with my anger of how much I had been lied to as a young kid growing up in the home of the Wampanoag. It is here:

    http://www.glooskapandthefrog.org/...

    Below is the story of Tispaquin, the Black Sachem:

    http://www.friendsofsebago.org/...
    http://www.friendsofsebago.org/...

    For those not wanting to click through, here is the poem:

    Pometacom

    By Douglas Watts

    I was born on soil soaked with blood

    Where the head of King Philip was ground in the mud

    By the Pilgrims of Plymouth, and their first born sons.

    They put his head on a spike and let it rot in the sun.

    Shackled his children and family.

    Shipped them to Barbados and sold them into slavery.

    Now they taught me in grade school

    About the first Thanksgiving

    How Massasoit and Squanto kept the Pilgrims living.

    But the teachers never told us what happened next.

    How the head of King Philip was chopped off at the neck.

    The teachers never told us what happened next.

    How the head of Pometacom was sawed off at the neck.

    The teachers never told us what the Pilgrims did

    To Massasoit’s second son.

    They put his head on a spike and let it rot in the sun.

    The teachers never told us what they did

    To kids who swam in the same brooks as me.

    They put their legs in iron chains and sold them into slavery.

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:00:02 PM PST

    •  I updated the diary with your comment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sean Robertson, i like bbq

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:22:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sean Robertson, i like bbq, brentbent

        That's very nice.

        You are doing a great job of putting forward the actual primary source documentation. People tend to or want to forget that these events you describe, which despite occurring 400 years ago, were extremely well documented by contemporary observers. If nothing else, the early colonists were avid writers and reporters. They wrote everything down.

        It's not a matter of "we don't know" -- it's a matter of it's all there, in the Massachusetts Archives, in the Maine Archives, and many other places, at extraordinary levels of detail.

        It just takes someone willing to do what you have done: present the texts as they were written. They are not pretty and are very painful to read, but they are true. The facts in them need to be told. Kids need to know their history. Without the lies.

        My name is Douglas Watts.

        by Pometacom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:05:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please also link to it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i like bbq

        so more people will find and tip it.  Right click the date and copy the link target to link to it.

  •  The Pilgrims were not Puritans. (3+ / 0-)

    They are two separate groups. The Pilgrims were pacifists who later became the Quakers.

    The Puritans committed the crimes in your diary, not the Pilgrims. And while the Puritans had Thanksgivings, they were separate from the Pilgrims' Thanksgivings. The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving did not involve a slaughter.

    I'm unclear what you're refering to as "the" Thanksgiving, but it wasn't the one that involved the Pilgrims. They were forthright toward the Native Americans.

    Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

    by rb137 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:13:48 PM PST

    •  Not true, sorry. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, i like bbq, mamamedusa

      If you are familiar with the history of southeastern Massachusetts, you would know the first and second generation of the original Mayflower passengers committed the acts of aggression which caused the Pokonoket Wampanoags to take up arms in 1696, King Phillip's War.

      My name is Douglas Watts.

      by Pometacom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:20:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm talking about the original Thanksgiving, (3+ / 0-)

        And I am talking about the original Mayflower passengers -- they did not commit these slaughters.

        I am actually familiar with these stories. The Quakers were/are pacifists.

        Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

        by rb137 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:24:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And there it is, I take his word over yours. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, i like bbq

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:34:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He is not talking about the Pilgrims. (3+ / 0-)

            The Pilgrims were the first generation. He is talking about their descendents -- who were not Pilgrims, and who weren't even born at the relevant time. They aren't relevant to Thanksgiving.

            My word does not conflict with his word on this point.

            Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

            by rb137 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:15:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sean Robertson, i like bbq

              http://www.nativeamericannetroots.ne...

              The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous "city upon a hill" speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots."
              The descendants of Massasoit's Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip's War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by "King Philip," known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:20:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're not addressing my point. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Simian, Otteray Scribe

                Which is that you are lumping all of the white people together as if they were a unified batch of murdering thugs. This is not true.

                Winthrop was a Puritan -- we was not a Pilgrim.

                This mistake happens often. For example, Ronald Reagan once called Winthrop a Pilgrim, but we was wrong. The dates he cited were also wrong.

                These illustrations of the apparent ignorance of many Americans concerning at least some parts of our own history have produced among some of us Mayflower descendants an emotional reaction. We become highly incensed if someone refers to the Plymouth settlers as "Puritans," and we become downright angry at the thought that Winthrop might be called a "Pilgrim." The purpose of my presentation today is to examine with as little prejudice as possible the shared history, similarities, and differences between the two groups we commonly call Pilgrims and Puritans.

                The Pilgrims were Separatists, who split away from the Puritans:

                And that brings us to these shores. The Pilgrims at Plymouth were Separatists; the Puritans at Massachusetts Bay were not. As a matter of fact, one of the deepest concerns for Governor Winthrop was the fear that, in New England, his followers would be drawn to the Separatism that was already here because of the presence of Plymouth Colony. And that, in effect, is what ultimately happened.

                You are conflating Pilgrim, pilgrim, Puritan, and purtian -- and they all mean different things. While there were slaughters and Thanksgivings attached to slaughters, they were not carried out by the Pilgrims.

                It is the Pilgrim Thanksgiving that we celebrate in November, and it was one of the rare, tiny moments of peace in our shared history.

                Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

                by rb137 on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:04:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I'll say it again, since you didn't read it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, i like bbq, mamamedusa

      Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. "A People & A Nation." Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53.

      Separatists were the first to move to New England. In 1609 a group of Separatists migrated to Holland, where they found the freedom of worship denied them in Stuart England. But they were nevertheless troubled by the Netherlands' too - tolerant atmosphere; the nation that tolerated them also tolerated religions and behaviors they abhorred. Hoping to isolate themselves and their children from the corrupting influence of worldly temptations, these people, who were to become known as Pilgrims, received permission from a branch of the Virginia Company to colonize the northern part of its territory.

      And this wasn't "forthright."

      The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans.

      Mourt's Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians' winter provisions as they were able to carry.

      Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:29:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are correct. (4+ / 0-)

        As the Mashpee Wampanoag timeline correctly states, by the time the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth in 1620, the Wampanoag had just been devastated by virgin soil plague epidemics several years earlier that killed 80 percent of the population. When the Pilgrims arrived at Patuxet (Plymouth) they encountered empty villages that had obviously been very large and well-inhabited, but were nearly empty.

        Squanto (Tisquantum) who, according to folklore, met the Pilgrims and surprised them by speaking fluent English, had been the victim of a kidnapping several years earlier, where he was forcibly brought to England and displayed there and (somehow) avoided being sold into slavery. These kidnappings were common during this period. A number of accounts describe the Nausets (who were the tribe on the outer arm of Cape Cod) as being particularly nasty to any ship nearing shore. Needless to say, given the 50 years of bad experiences the local Wampanoag had already had with "visitors" in boats from overseas, they were none too welcoming of more visitors, esp. fundamentalist Christian settlers. The massive deaths caused by the virgin soil epidemics along the Massachusetts coast in the 1615 period is the only reason the Pilgrims even had the opportunity to land and try to settle.

        My name is Douglas Watts.

        by Pometacom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:49:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

        I did in fact read your diary. In places, you misrepresent your sources. For example, you included a quote:

        ...the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them. Besides, the Pilgrims would never have tolerated festivities at a true religious event...

        This is a dishonest representation of your source.  The full first sentence reads:

        Thanksgiving Was About Religion

        No it wasn't. Paraphrasing the answer provided above, if Thanksgiving had been about religion, the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them.

        The point is, of course, that the Pilgrims did invite the Indians to eat with them, (and hence this was more of a feast than a religious ceremony). You quote the second half of this sentence to make it look like the Pilgrims would never have done such a thing.   You also ignore that there was in fact an alliance and friendly relations (temporary, but still) between the Pilgrims at Plymouth and Wampanoag.

        Throughout the diary you conflate crimes carried out by the Puritans --- whose various Thanksgiving ceremonies are not particularly connected to the modern American Thanksgiving holiday --- with the Pilgrims, who were a different batch of people altogether. The American Thanksgiving holiday, as it has been understood for over a century, commemorates one peaceful episode in our shared history. An episode which this diary fails to mention entirely. The Thanksgiving story that's told in schools is not a myth (though it has been embellished); there are at least three first-hand accounts of it.

        None of this is to minimize or excuse the crimes our ancestors committed against one another.  This many generations down the line, most of us have ancestry on both sides of this 17th century conflict.  I certainly do, and quite a hefty dose of both.   But this holiday does not commemorate that conflict.

        Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

        by rb137 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:12:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you know what three ... means? (0+ / 0-)

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 03:23:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't understand your comment. (0+ / 0-)

            Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

            by rb137 on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 12:54:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Three periods (0+ / 0-)

              means that there are more words in between the quote, used in scholarly writing. Used to cite, in my case, as little of another author's work as possible while keeping the meaning of what was said. You accused me of misquoting. A misquote would've been if I hadn't used the other 2 periods.

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 01:10:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But you misrepresented the quote. (0+ / 0-)

                Even in your commentary. You cherry picked. It was delibnerately misleading, not matter how many periods you used.

                But here is the thing, White Rabbit. History is full of white on red atrocity -- you don't need to go creating one of your own. If you just wrote about the slaughters that really happened, your word would be much stronger.

                You've confused which white people slaughtered whom. I posted a comment elsewhere in the diary that explains the difference between Pilgrim, pilgrim, Puritan, and purtian elsewhere in the diary.

                The Puritans committed these crimes. The Pilgrims were a different group of people. And it just happens that we're celebrating the Pilgrim Thanksgiving, not one of the Puritan Thanksgivings.

                Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

                by rb137 on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 01:32:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You missed the context. (0+ / 0-)

                  The point is that the Pilgrims would not have invited them to join them if in fact they were inviting the Indigenous people to one of their religious events, hence the

                  MYTH # 3

                  Thanksgiving Was About Religion

                  So, what was it about? I explained it.

                  "it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags,"

                  Why?

                  They needed land.

                  As you think,

                  It is the Pilgrim Thanksgiving that we celebrate in November, and it was one of the rare, tiny moments of peace in our shared history.

                  You say the Pilgrims didn't commit atrocities and you've read the descendant's comments to you. The pilgrims and puritans were in different locations, and it surely would be an over generalization to say all were bad, some though out history were friendly but they were the exception. And a lot of the friendliness was manipulation.

                  But you missed the point I was making.

                  To be clear, the Doctrine of Discovery legally applied to the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England, but not to the Pilgrims in New Plymouth. What was the difference?

                  Hence,

                  it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags,

                  They still got the land, didn't they?

                  http://www.richmondancestry.org/...

                  It was not till the end of March 1621 that all the Pilgrims had a place to live. Today, this original village the Pilgrims built has been re-created in Plymouth, Massachusetts and is called Plimoth Plantation.

                  And you're saying they had one nice meal together.

                  It is a great day to be in Plymouth. Thousands of people take part in the public Thanksgiving meal at Plymouth Memorial Hall every year and eat the traditional turkey with cranberry sauce with all the fixings. When there one cannot forget that the Pilgrims - 50 colonists out of 102 survived that first winter along with Massasoit and his 90 Indians celebrated their feast over a three-day period because for them it was truly a joyous time of thanks for all their good fortune.

                  It is the Pilgrim Thanksgiving that we celebrate in November, and it was one of the rare, tiny moments of peace in our shared history.

                  The point I made, was that regardless of Puritan or Pilgrim, there was no difference in the outcome. But, you didn’t read the whole diary, you cherry picked. You assumed I blamed the Puritan’s actions, due to all the citations regarding them, on the Pilgrims.

                  http://www.richmondancestry.org/...

                  "The Pilgrims interpreted the Bible literally, and nothing in the Scriptures mentioned having a good time at Christmas. While the rest of the Christian world celebrated the Lord's birthday, the Pilgrims chopped wood. Governor William Bradford had to reprimand several of the colonists who took Christmas Day off 'to pitch ye barr, and play at stoole ball and such like sports." Mr. Pelton writes in his article on this subject; "Although we think of Pilgrims as ideal Americans, actually they were a cantankerous group of fervent believers who had little or no tolerance for those who had different opinions or ideas."

                  Yes,

                  http://endtimepilgrim.org/...
                  John Winthrop was a prominent early Puritan minister. He was one of 20,000 who came to America between 1620 and 1640. He clearly laid out the Puritan agenda in his memorable exhortation to the Puritans in 1630. As they prepared to sail out on their voyage to the New World he charged the early colonists with these words,

                  Winthrop was a puritan, and was he who said the quote. Where did I say He, a pilgrim, made the quote?

                  Notice the last source I used? Is it eerie some today find inspiration?

                  I spelled the "legal" means they stole land, but it’s still New England now, isn’t it?

                  I said there was no difference in regards to the land loss regarding Puritan or Pilgrim. And don't tell me how "good the Pilgrims were to the Indians."

                  Quakers maybe.

                  Wondered how things might've been different

                  So one day "tiny moments of peace in our shared history."

                  I'd like to think you're right, but one day.....wish if it were true it'd of made a difference.

                  She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                  by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 05:36:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Winthrop was not a Pilgrim. (0+ / 0-)

                    He was from another group entirely. The Pilgrims were actually a problem for Winthrop. The Pilgrims were the Plymouth group. The others were not Pilgrims.

                    The point you made was that the Pilgrims committed a massacre against your people, and that massacre is what we celebrate for the American Thanksgiving. That is wrong.

                    And the Pilgrims' descendents were also not Pilgrims. You are doing yourself and your cause a disservice by bending history this way.

                    Peace to you White Rabbit. I do wish you well in your quest to raise consciousness.

                    Elephant: (noun) A mouse designed by committee.

                    by rb137 on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 11:32:05 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Tribes have always been territorial, true? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi

    It's a nasty business when one tribe takes another tribes territory/hunting grounds by force, no doubt about it. It is an unhappy universal trait, isn't it?

    Native American tribes behaved as people do long before the terrible Americans showed up. Now take the standards expressed by this diarist and apply them to all the other tribes on earth. Human beings have behaved as blood-soaked killers from time to time.

    Those who hate the Thanksgiving holiday shouldn't celebrate it. Keep working. The rest of us will enjoy our turkey and the company of our families.

    Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

    by Otherday on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:01:45 PM PST

    •  Fail. (5+ / 0-)

      Given your logic, the Germans were just following an "unhappy universal trait" by shoving 6 million Jews into gas chambers and ovens.

      Hey, it's just the way we are !!!

      So.

      Do you have a point?

      My name is Douglas Watts.

      by Pometacom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:08:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like packs of wolves from time to time. (0+ / 0-)

        Well, yes. The Germans before and during WWII were tribal in the extreme. Consider the Khans before that. Read the account of how the Israelites handled those who lived in the land of milk and honey before Moses showed up - very ethnocentric.

        Those who believe that the USA is the product of nothing but genocide probably should leave it to the Native Americans folks who are still around. How can anyone retain property that was stolen by genocide?  Are those people frauds? Hand over the deed to your house to the next Native American that you see and leave.

        There's few spots on Earth that haven't been taken many, many times by one tribe from another. Native Americans seized the hunting grounds/territory of rival tribes when they could, right?

        Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

        by Otherday on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:49:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have a point? (5+ / 0-)

          You seem to be saying that because murder is practiced by many people, ip so facto, it is not something we should be bothered about.

          My name is Douglas Watts.

          by Pometacom on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 01:08:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's called blaming the victims. (0+ / 0-)

          You have no clue to as the different reasons the different cultures, European and Indigenous, engaged in warfare nor the differences in levels of violence between the two prior to the invasion.

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:13:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have no "clue" either? (0+ / 0-)

            Actually, there are some clues. The rare eye witness accounts that were kept. And the findings of those who study said cultures. And some traditions that have been passed on.

            Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

            by Otherday on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 10:23:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like I said. (0+ / 0-)

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 01:15:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Read (0+ / 0-)

              http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

              http://www.blackcommentator.com/...

              William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:

                 "Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire...horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

              The rest of the white folks thought so, too. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

              And continuation of the "First Official Thanksgiving, ".

              " In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

              http://rwor.org/...

              In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The "Praying Indians" who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with "hostiles." They were enslaved or killed. Other "peaceful" Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.
              It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.
              After King Philip's War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan's New York colony: "There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts." In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."
              Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

              http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

              http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

              The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

              She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

              by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 02:52:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kind of Like a Scalp Dance, Isn't It? (0+ / 0-)

                Tribes enjoy their victories. That's people for you.

                As noted by others, the original Thanksgiving was long before the event that you describe, true? Facts are stubborn things.

                All tribes that lose out are unhappy with the result - same the world over. And you are right, people should feel guiltier about that nasty side of us than they tend to be. A good scalp dance does feel soooo good sometimes.

                Happy Harvest Celebration.

                Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

                by Otherday on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 12:59:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Each year my friends & I play William S. Burroughs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Hannibal, Marja E
    "A Thanksgiving Day Prayer" that should be listened to by all Kossacks. It's easy to find if you google his name and the title of the piece. His reading of it is sublime.

    William S. Burroughs "A Thanksgiving Day Prayer"

        For John Dillinger
        In hope he is still alive
        Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1986

        Thanks for the wild turkey and the Passenger Pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts

        thanks for a Continent to despoil and poison --

        thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger --

        thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin, leaving the carcass to rot --

        thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes --

        thanks for the AMERICAN DREAM to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through --

        thanks for the KKK, for nigger-killing lawmen feeling their notches, for decent church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces --

        thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers --

        thanks for laboratory AIDS --

        thanks for Prohibition and the War Against Drugs --

        thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business --

        thanks for a nation of finks -- yes, thanks for all the memories... all right, let's see your arms... you always were a headache and you always were a bore --

        thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.

    Krusty the Klown Brand Irate Emoticons (tm) So You Can Express the Hate You Didn't Know You Had!

    by brentbent on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:25:12 PM PST

    •  Wow (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nightsweat, sviscusi, FishBiscuit

      Do some people really believe that this is all America means? Only the bad parts and the failings? And that that's what we should focus on on Thanksgiving Day?

      I'm stunned.

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:36:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, sometimes this site is a f'ing embarrasment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sviscusi

        This would be one of those times.

        Progrsssive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

        by nightsweat on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 06:57:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is William S. Burroughs' Thanksgiving Day (0+ / 0-)

          Prayer and it is to remind me and my friends that the American Dream has much further to go before it is truly fulfilled. Guess what, we're activists so we have to have a dark sense of humor or we burn out too fast and stop working for our causes. What you see as negativity we see as truth and empowerment. And keep in mind Burroughs' had a very jaded and cynical view of the world. Essentially we are acknowledging all aspects of America on this holiday including the tragic. It's not like we aren't thankful, don't appreciate our hard won freedoms, or think America is a hell hole. We just think we can make America better and part of that is acknowledging our tragedies and our triumphs. Our we can do like Japan did with Korea and pretend we never committed genocide on the people who were here long before Europeans.

          The embarrassing aspect is both of you concluding things about me and my friends based on one frakking post.

          Krusty the Klown Brand Irate Emoticons (tm) So You Can Express the Hate You Didn't Know You Had!

          by brentbent on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:52:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It wasn't directed at the WSB prayer per se (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noisy Democrat

            It was directed at what I consider inaccurate historical information in the diary and everyone jumping onto the bandwagon.

            I like Howard Zinn and I think it's important to recognize how badly we boned the people who were here before us. I also think that for many of us, Thanksgiving is the high holy holiday we most enjoy and that it's about family and friends and personal roots.  Shitting all over the day by linking it to an unrelated massacre is just... shitty.

            Progrsssive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

            by nightsweat on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:38:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  We've got all kinds of holidays (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, i like bbq, brentbent

        Proclaiming how awesome America is, yet we don't have a day where we remember the wrongs we've committed. 4th of July, V-Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, the list goes on and on. Yet not one holiday to remember the atrocities committed in our name.

        Nothing brings people together more than mutual hatred.

        by Hannibal on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:08:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fail. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishBiscuit, Otherday, HiKa, smileyman

    I've read the cogent arguments put forth by Simian and others in the comments thread, and seen the dancing-around-the-facts put forth by those who want people to be upset about a non-existent connection between two different events, and who apparently feel that so long as people get stirred up, the facts be damned.

    I would hope that a "reality based community" would be better than this.

    There isn't a shred of evidence here that this horrific genocidal event that occurred in May 1637 had anything to do with our modern holiday celebrated in November, nor with the harvest that was celebrated in November 1621 that has historically been believed to be the forerunner of the Thanksgiving holiday, nor with the national holiday that Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed in 1863. Unrelated events. Pure and simple.

    Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

    by Noisy Democrat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:45:28 PM PST

    •  no evidence just opinion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noisy Democrat, smileyman

      Note the diarist quotes a William B. Newell to advance this conspiracy theory and yet even that guy apparently said "may" and "possibly". Therefore I'm not sure how the diarist can muster such conviction from what amounts to academic speculation. I can just about as credibly claim that Thanksgiving Day is named for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

      •  Here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, i like bbq

        http://www.nativeamericannetroots.ne...

        The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous "city upon a hill" speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots."
        The descendants of Massasoit's Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip's War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by "King Philip," known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

        She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

        by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:19:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, i like bbq

      http://www.nativeamericannetroots.ne...

      The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous "city upon a hill" speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots."
      The descendants of Massasoit's Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip's War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by "King Philip," known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

      by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:19:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not evidence (0+ / 0-)

        We've heard this guy's opinion over and over. Where's the evidence that this event in 1637 had anything to do with the modern holiday of Thanksgiving?

        Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

        by Noisy Democrat on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 11:07:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not an opinion. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noisy Democrat

          http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

          http://www.blackcommentator.com/...

          William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:

             "Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire...horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

          The rest of the white folks thought so, too. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

          And continuation of the "First Official Thanksgiving, ".

          " In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

          http://rwor.org/...

          In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The "Praying Indians" who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with "hostiles." They were enslaved or killed. Other "peaceful" Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.
          It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.
          After King Philip's War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan's New York colony: "There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts." In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."
          Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

          http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

          http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

          The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

          by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 02:46:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting, but still not there (0+ / 0-)

            One article is saying the first Thanksgiving wasn't a celebration of a massacre but of a smallpox epidemic; that in itself is a horror, if true, but it's a different claim. The other article talks about a day of thanksgiving proclaimed in Massachusetts in 1676, but doesn't say what month it fell in or whether it's directly linked to the modern Thanksgiving.

            There's no question that European settlers committed horrible genocide against the original inhabitants of this continent. The question is whether our modern holiday of Thanksgiving was based on a celebration of a massacre. So far, it doesn't appear to be the case.

            Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

            by Noisy Democrat on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 10:43:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  this is why i have not celebrated TD for over 25 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927

    years...the American Indian was slaughtered and the Christians rejoiced...It's our worst era in history.

    "Conservatives care about children from conception all the way up until birth." Barney Frank

    by on2them on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:47:33 PM PST

  •  Excellent diary, Winter Rabbit. (5+ / 0-)

    To me the most important task is presenting the actual, primary source documentary history, unexpurgated, as you have done. People need to know their own history whether it makes them uncomfortable or not. Kids need to know it.

    Unlike the Germans, Americans have an extremely stubborn resistance to acknowledging and confronting their own recent history. In part because much of it is shameful and not pleasant to read. But trying to cover it up by lying and hoping this make it disappear is putting a band-aid on gangrene and hoping your leg will magically stop rotting.

    This is no different than talking about the commonplace lynching of black American citizens during the 20th century. Nobody wants to "talk about it," but if you go through microfilm of newspapers (even in Maine) during the 1920s and 1930s it was on the front page of the newspaper. But somehow, today, some construe it as "impolite" and "divisive" to even mention that these acts occurred.

    Well, these acts did occur, and they are extremely well documented -- by the people who did them.

    That said, focussing exclusively on the past narrows the mind. What's more important is combining a knowledge of the past with a vision for the future. This is exactly what the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine is doing. Since 2000, the Penobscot Nation has devised a plan, with multiple partners, to restore all of their 1794 treaty sustenance fishing rights to the Penobscot River in Maine by removing the obstacles (dams, primarily) to full exercise of those rights. The Penobscot have never budged an inch on the issue of their independent sovereignty -- they correctly view themselves as negotiating with Maine and the U.S. as would separate sovereign nations. This, to my mind, is the only way for native American tribes to deal with the U.S. -- as a nation to nation dialogue, just as if Obama was negotiating with Spain. Once you concede this point, you lose.

    Read about it:

    http://www.penobscotriver.org

    Thanks for all your work on this.

    Doug Watts

    My name is Douglas Watts.

    by Pometacom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 11:59:02 PM PST

    •  well that's nice (0+ / 0-)

      but actually the diarist craftily mixed fact and fiction. As for "nation to nation" posturing, it's very easy to take the idea too far, witness the Balkans and Palestine. The approach taken by this diary does little to help raise awareness for meaningful efforts like the Penobscot River restoration, at least outside the audience that eats it up no questions asked. For example a diary that talked about Thanksgiving Day in a historical context while basically making the point that Native Americans have maintained a connection with nature through thick and thin and the least we can do is give a hand with projects like the Penobscot River project? That would have a shot at syndicated wider distribution beyond the hallowed halls of dkosdom and I don't think even Colonel Custer would object to the message.

      •  You don't get it. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, capelza, i like bbq, mamamedusa

        Nothing in the diary is fiction. It is all direct quotes from primary source historic documents.

        What the diary is trying to show is how fact has been replaced by more comfortable fiction.

        If you really want to understand the subject White Rabbit is discussing, a good place to start is Harvard historian Jill LePore, who has dug deeper into the dusty files of the Massachusetts Archives than anyone I know of :

        Here is a good start:

        http://www.randomhouse.com/...

        My name is Douglas Watts.

        by Pometacom on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 01:05:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  please allow me to rub the word stupid off (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HiKa

          my forehead while assuring you that neither I nor probably anybody else would have a problem if the diary simply stuck to showing how "fact has been replaced by more comfortable fiction". Change the title and those paragraphs attempting to connect massacre to the "naming" of Thanksgiving and we have a winner. Otherwise what we have is a bunch of important truths overshadowed by one big lie all packaged together in a message that is repugnant and offensive to (I'm fairly sure at least) 99% of Americans. This type of "failure" mindset is also why PETA gets no traction (its founders would run over a baby while swerving to avoid a deer) and also why blocking rush hour traffic is an ineffective method of appeal to the public's sympathy.

          •  Here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pometacom, i like bbq

            http://www.nativeamericannetroots.ne...

            The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous "city upon a hill" speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots."
            The descendants of Massasoit's Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip's War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by "King Philip," known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

            She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

            by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:18:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wootonekanuske (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, i like bbq

              Pometacom's wife was named Wootonekanuske. Since she and her 9 year old son were sold into slavery to the sugar cane slave plantations of Barbados, by the Pilgrims, it is appropriate that at least she be known by her name.

              My name is Douglas Watts.

              by Pometacom on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:57:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  that is the opinion of another diarist (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Simian

              You are citing the opinion of another diarist who does not provide a primary source for the allegation that "real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637". There is no argument from me that a day of thanksgiving (notice lower case) was declared by the governor for the victory and there is no argument from me that modern Thanksgiving Day as understood by most Americans is a grossly unfair revision of the historical facts. My argument is simply that there is no evidence modern Thanksgiving Day owes its origins specifically to the Pequot massacre as opposed to the literally thousands of other reasons why early colonialists and subsequently early United States citizens had to be thankful. Of course most of the bounty and opportunity to be thankful came at the direct expense of the indigenous population and that is a very important historical lesson, but that lession isn't going to get through to the average American with this antagonistic approach.

              •  Exactly. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

                by Simian on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 01:05:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I saw MB answered you, and he said Was (0+ / 0-)

                  hinton's didn't last a year, or something like that?

                  I choose to call 1637 the first "real" ... (1+ / 0-)

                  Recommended by:
                     Winter Rabbit

                  ...Thanksgiving because it is the first one announced by official proclamation. Before then, in 1621 and including all those cited in your link, they were ad hoc affairs. And then they were sporadic, even Geo. Washington's proclamation held only for one year.

                  Lots of comments, was that you he responded to? If so, why didn't you answer, and why do you give more weight to the Lincoln/Washington than the above?

                  She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                  by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:40:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  now we're getting somewhere! (0+ / 0-)

                    I can see your point a lot better -- the modern Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed officially by Lincoln (?) while the governor of Mass. might have been the first (at least documented) to officially proclaim a thanksgiving day. It's not the same as "the massacre for which Thanksgiving is named" and you cite no evidence that either Washington or Lincoln's proclamation was based, derived or borrowed from the 1637 proclamation but at least we should allow the possibility. It's still opinion and subjective -- even NCIDC uses "may" or "possibly" -- but cannot be dismissed out of hand.

                    I don't know why it was so hard for me to recognize at least the possibility, perhaps it was the emotional psycho-babble wall I put up in reaction to the direct, confrontational and assured tone of the diary as it sought to shatter a common and deeply-held belief. If so, I think there are probably lessons here for all of us -- including that message delivery can be as important as the message itself. In this case the diarist could have stuck to the uncontroversial idea that the Lincoln official proclamation of Thanksgiving Day may have originated at least partially with the first documented official proclamation of a thanksgiving day, which celebrated victory achieved by massacring an entire indigenous people. But had the diarist taken that approach, at least one person (me) would not have made a self-discovery.

                    Still, for many people the uncontroversial approach might work better...

                    •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                      http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

                      http://www.blackcommentator.com/...

                      William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:

                         "Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire...horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

                      The rest of the white folks thought so, too. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

                      And continuation of the "First Official Thanksgiving, ".

                      " In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

                      http://rwor.org/...

                      In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The "Praying Indians" who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with "hostiles." They were enslaved or killed. Other "peaceful" Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.
                      It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.
                      After King Philip's War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan's New York colony: "There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts." In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."
                      Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

                      http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

                      http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

                      The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

                      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                      by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 02:49:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Not may have - did. (0+ / 0-)

                      http://content.usatoday.com/...

                      http://www.counterpunch.org/...

                      http://www.dinsdoc.com/...

                      3 See Sylvester, op. cit., ii, p. 457, for expedients adopted by Massachusetts to obtain money to defend the frontiers. Yet the number killed and sold, along with those who escaped, practically destroyed the warring Indians. According to the Massachusetts Records of 1676-1677 a day was set apart for public thanksgiving, because, among other things of moment, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them (the Indians) but are either slain, captivated or fled."

                      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                      by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 12:29:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I did answer MB. (0+ / 0-)

                    Look again.

                    Also, I didn't give more credence to Washington.  As MB said his proclamation also lasted only one year.  But there was no celebration of the Mystic Massacre between 1637 and Washington's proclamation in, I think, 1793.  That's over 150 years with no continued celebration of the Mystic Massacre.

                    The holiday we celebrate today was consciously and explicitly taken from the 1621 feast.  That is irrefutable fact.

                    The 1637 proclamation happened in May, and there is no evidence of a following celebration the next year or any other year.  That is also fact.

                    Taken together, the two foregoing irrefutable facts clearly prove that the modern holiday does not arise from the 1637 celebration of the Mystic Massacre.  And no matter how many times someone may opine otherwise, the facts don't change.

                    We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

                    by Simian on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 10:06:58 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No evidence of following celebrations? (0+ / 0-)

                      http://www.blackcommentator.com/...
                      In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

                      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                      by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 08:15:47 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Right. Of the May 28, 1637 "day of Thanksgiving." (0+ / 0-)

                        Which disproves the claim that that day is the basis for the Thanksgiving we celebrate today.

                        Winter Rabbit, you can't credibly use other examples of atrocities and other examples of white celebrations of atrocities to try to prove the false claim that the 1637 day is the holiday we celebrate today.  It still doesn't wash.

                        Yes, they declared a day of thanksgiving in May 1637 to thank their god for the Mystic Massacre.  Yes, they declared one in 1676 to thank their god for, essentially, genocide.  They probably declared other days of thanksgiving for other atrocities, too.

                        NONE of that proves that the modern Thanksgiving Day derives from those days.  If you want to say that white Americans later cherry-picked one of the few peaceful celebrations between American Indians and colonists as a way of covering up the atrocities, that is a different and much more defensible position.  But the claim you make in your headline is false and inflammatory.  And I believe, from the standpoint of trying to get whites to accept that genocide happened, it is wrong of you to make it for the reasons I have stated elsewhere on this thread.

                        We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

                        by Simian on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 08:42:42 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Modern Thanksgiving? (0+ / 0-)

                          http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

                          The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

                          - snip -

                          He was inspired to issue a proclamation: "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots." The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

                          Read more about the righteous destruction of the Native Americans committed by the land-hungry colonists, in the excellent history "Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating & Empire Building" by Richard Drinnon.

                          http://content.usatoday.com/...

                          http://www.counterpunch.org/...

                          http://www.dinsdoc.com/...

                          3 See Sylvester, op. cit., ii, p. 457, for expedients adopted by Massachusetts to obtain money to defend the frontiers. Yet the number killed and sold, along with those who escaped, practically destroyed the warring Indians. According to the Massachusetts Records of 1676-1677 a day was set apart for public thanksgiving, because, among other things of moment, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them (the Indians) but are either slain, captivated or fled."

                          She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                          by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 01:55:46 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  No evidence of following celebrations? (0+ / 0-)

                      http://content.usatoday.com/...

                      http://www.counterpunch.org/...

                      http://www.dinsdoc.com/...

                      3 See Sylvester, op. cit., ii, p. 457, for expedients adopted by Massachusetts to obtain money to defend the frontiers. Yet the number killed and sold, along with those who escaped, practically destroyed the warring Indians. According to the Massachusetts Records of 1676-1677 a day was set apart for public thanksgiving, because, among other things of moment, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them (the Indians) but are either slain, captivated or fled."

                      No, you said there was no evidence. The first was gratitude for genocide, and the one above is thanks for the resulting extermination, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them (the Indians) but are either slain, captivated or fled." a primary source. Read the date.

                      The title stands.

                      What some don't get, is presidents who themselves committed genocide - don't get to whitewash the true meaning of documented events which gave thanks for genocide. It's bad enough their faces desecrate the Black Hills.

                      So, being polite, wrong.

                      The 1637 proclamation happened in May, and there is no evidence of a following celebration the next year or any other year.  That is also fact.

                      Sure they were grateful for the atrocity of the slavery, too.

                      Still a third way was to grant the captured Indians directly to those who took them prisoners, as a bounty for their capture. The Massachusetts act of 1695, which, along with the rewards for killing Indians,1 conferred on the soldiers for their own use all plunder and provisions taken from the enemy, appears to have been the earliest relinquishment by the provincial government of its sovereign right to prisoners and captives.2 In the later laws liberal premiums were continued for scalps, and volunteer captors of Indians were, by the law of 1706, granted the benefit of captives and plunder.3 A law of 1703 provided that the governor and council, in the absence of the general assembly, possessed the power to pay for Indian captives under ten years

                      Thanks for hijacking this diary in the presence of one of the descendants of this genocide.

                      She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                      by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 12:27:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Now you're taking ME out of context. (0+ / 0-)

                        You, sir, are a liar.

                        Furthermore, it is certainly NOT hijacking a diary to point out that it contains lies.  Hijacking a diary is when you go off topic.

                        I'm done with you.

                        We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

                        by Simian on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 02:33:15 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Read (0+ / 0-)

                http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

                http://www.blackcommentator.com/...

                William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:

                   "Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire...horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy."

                The rest of the white folks thought so, too. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

                And continuation of the "First Official Thanksgiving, ".

                " In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."

                http://rwor.org/...

                In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The "Praying Indians" who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with "hostiles." They were enslaved or killed. Other "peaceful" Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.
                It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign, 500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.
                After King Philip's War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan's New York colony: "There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts." In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a "day of public thanksgiving" in 1676, saying, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled."
                Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

                http://americanhistory.suite101.com/...

                http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com...

                The original Thanksgiving was marked by prayer and thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag Tribe due to smallpox contracted from earlier European visitors. Thus when the Pilgrims arrived they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. Happy Thanksgiving for white supremacy and imperialism! But the "holiday" was not yet declared by the colonists....

                She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

                by Winter Rabbit on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 02:47:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  That's offensive silveraxis, (0+ / 0-)

        As for "nation to nation" posturing, it's very easy to take the idea too far, witness the Balkans and Palestine.

        One thing denying the truth, the entire truth does, is make stealing land and sovereignty easier for thieves.

        Since you brought it up.

        The Bible and Zionism

        There are over 4 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East and nearly 70% of all Palestinians are refugees. The mini – holocaust (Palestinian Nakba or catastrophe in Arabic) and the exiling of hundreds of thousands of indigenous people which took place with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 – established in the name of the Bible(1) is one of the great war crimes of the twentieth century.

         

        She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

        by Winter Rabbit on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:26:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  my point was these are ancestral land disputes (0+ / 0-)

          between what are essentially tribes. Sticking to one's own guns too vehemently as a "nation" when it comes to ancestral land disputes will always result in great catastrophe for everyone involved. Always. There is no victory in denying either the Palestinian or Israeli position just as there is no victory in denying either the Serb or Bosnian/Kosovar position just as there is no victory in denying either the Native American or U.S. position. Ancestral land disputes don't get resolved by one side gaining something, they get resolved by every side giving up something.

  •  Old Testament=liscense to kill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    It worked for churchy types then and still does today.  They pervert the message that Roger Williams spoke of.  Even today when the self righteous crowd wants killing, they go to Leviticus or Dueteronomy.  Now it is OK, you may kill as you please.

  •  Rec'd (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, capelza, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    On a person note my family's celebration of Thanksgiving has nothing to do with the history, at this point. It might as well be a tradition limited to my family, it's just a mandated get-together with food and has no outside context. I suspect most people's relationship with Thanksgiving is the same.

    There were of course many days of Thanksgiving back then, for many different reasons, at many different times. I'm not sure if it's accurate to claim that any one of them is necessarily the one "for which [modern] Thanksgiving" is named.

    That said, that there even was a Thanksgiving day that commemorated and gave thanks for a massacre should provoke questions among anyone who is interested in this country and its founding. And is a fact that shouldn't be dismissed.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 04:21:54 AM PST

  •  Depressing...but needed to be written... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, xgy2

    but please dont write one on Christmas

  •  thank you for posting this WR (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, capelza, Pometacom, i like bbq

    and thank you for not allowing the typical derailing that is about appeasing and appealing to the terms of white people and their need to cling to revisionist history to diminish the conversation.

    people should accept that their comfort zones are built on the backs of others without white skin privilege and sealed with blood.

    time out for coddling that mess.

    thanks again.

    .."In the end it all came down to one wonderfully simple principle: win or die."

    by princessglitterboots on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:36:24 AM PST

    •  Well said, and thank you. (5+ / 0-)

      It is important to understand that for nearly 400 years, children growing up in New England (like me) have been systematically lied to and told complete falsehoods about the actual history of where they were born.

      Even worse, we were told that there literally were no "Indians" here in Massachusetts anymore, that they had all been killed or died off centuries ago. Which, of course, is stupid.

      Most important, children of Indian heritage in New England have been systematically taught to hate themselves, to hate their parents, to hate their culture and to deny and hide and erase their heritage and culture and to adopt whatever "superior" culture was in vogue and power at the time.

      This is not unique to New England. It was invented here and then exported this madness across the U.S. from Ohio to Michigan to the Lakota Sioux to the Nez Perce. In each instance, the modus operandi was to defeat Native Americans by making them hate themselves and make them hate their culture and heritage. It has worked, to some extent, but not completely.

      Here's a nice photo of a contemporary native Indian person from Massachusetts, Ms. Samantha Maltais, of the Aquinnah Wampanoag:

      http://tispaquin.blogspot.com/...

      She is our future.

      My name is Douglas Watts.

      by Pometacom on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 06:20:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  bookmarked for next week (4+ / 0-)

    thanks Winter Rabbit

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    --Tom Harkin

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 05:55:42 AM PST

  •  Magical Thinking (0+ / 0-)

    For me concepts like Manifest Destiny have always been offensive.  But to try to understand what was going on in the minds of the puritans, it is important to try to imagine what were they experiencing, looking out, perched precariously on the coast of a great, unending wilderness.  For example, for many of the tribes of the Northeast, the ritual torture and cannibalism of captured prisoners was a common practice.  Although this is controversial to mention, contemporaneous accounts as well as physical evidence definitely show this is true for the the Iroquois Confederacy at least - the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations, and most likely many other tribes.  So here are these religion rattled puritans, who see everyday life in terms of the biblical narrative (for example, for one of the crew-members who fell off the Mayflower, the accident was taken as divine retribution for making fun of the pilgrims).  So here they are tenuously perched on the edge of a great wilderness, surrounded by tribes of people whose cultural practices they associate with their most diabolical visions.  The pilgrims looked at things tribally too, and in many tribal languages, the word for devil and stranger is the same word, and so you have both the pilgrims and the native tribes looking at each other as devils.  This doesn't excuse anything, but I think it's better to try to understand that dynamic of demonization that can occur between peoples which leads to what is perceived to be just or sacred violence.  This dynamic is still occurring today in many parts of the world, and we are not immune still, both as perpetrators and victims.

  •  Avenge King Phillip (0+ / 0-)

    Raid a white settlement to celebrate Thanksgiving.

  •  modern native history; mine (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Nulwee, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

    Some here have written that the genocide was long ago and ancient history. For those that believe that here's my own modern history and that of my tribe.I posted this first a year or so ago on Native American Netroots.

     My history, like many ndns, is so much different than other Americans that they can not understand where I'm coming from... so, here's where I'm coming from:

    In the late 1880's the Americans decided my Ponca people belonged in concentration camps (you supply the reasons, it makes no difference), so they sent their army to round up my Grandfather, Grandmother and all the rest of my relations from the land guaranteed to them forever and made them walk to the concentration camp in Quapaw, Oklahoma, we stayed there for three years and one third of my family, my clan and my Tribe died before they made us buy another reservation and told us it was ours to live on forever.

     Luckily for me my grandparents survived the death march, my Mother was born on the new rez in Oklahoma. She was the child of genocide and I am the grandchild. Soon after we arrived on our new land the Americans decided we had too much and forced our leaders to accept individual allotment of the land we had purchased in common from the Cherokee (some people think we were given our reservation lands but we bought ours as a Tribe). By holding the land in common land thieves were held at bay and the Ponca could stave off starvation. Allotment meant individuals could be pinned down by greedy white people and robbed.  All across ndn territory our leaders fought allotment and my Grandfather resisted also, they were jailed, abused and finally defeated again.
    Allotment and the white "land runs" happened, suddenly the Ponca were surrounded by jackals in all their hues, just like the ones who had driven them from our ancestral homelands. The land runs created a white majority, this allowed the creation of the state of Oklahoma in 1906 and all powers of self government were stripped from my people. The Ponca had been reduced from over a thousand relatives to about five hundred or less, and my Grandpa had changed from being a buffalo hunter to a farmer on the poorest dirt America could find. Our family and my people were thrown into the very bottom of the okie melting pot and then the great depression hit what economics we had left and forced our people to sell their allotments, ending even farming.  Need I mention the BIA was busily trading on ndn misery by stealing the land in collusion with the new, white, Oklahoma powerstructure. My Grandpa still lived then and would not sell land as long as he was alive but finally he died and most of the land quickly went to whites, my Ponca Tribe still lives on the remnants.

     Ask yourself, what was your Grandfather doing when he was a young man and what did America do to (or for) him?  You now know what they were doing to mine and to every other Ponca.

     The first whiteman came among the Ponca in 1800, by 1880 we were one half dead from his disease, then by 1930 a third more had perished, and along with them our land was taken from under us twice. He stole our children and outlawed our religions, he banned our language, denigrated our history and enslaved our mentality. All this during the lifetime of my Grandfather and Grandmother. In 1908 the Ponca Chiefs were forced put away the sacred Sundance and our Clan system.
    In 1917 one hundred percent of eligible Ponca men volunteered to enlist for WW1. In return, in 1924 he gave us the right to vote and told us to forget our past. This is what my immediate family has lived through in America, each Tribe goes through their "time of horror" when he comes, the Ponca horror was not that long ago and we are not yet whole nor healed nor assured of a future. Some Tribes are going through it today and I hear their cries every bit as loud as I do 9-11.
    I think maybe only Jewish Americans, (whose parents and grandparents went through their own holocaust of death by government) can understand why it's too soon to ask us to trust the people who did this to us just because they have moved on to loot other tribes. History has a way of coloring ones view of America, my history sees that what he has given to his chosen few in rich white America, was taken in red blood and my Grandfather and Grandmother witnessed it, lived it.
    My history has rendered me unsusceptible to the patriotic brainwashing needed to excuse the killing. I am Carter Camp...Ponca.

    •  Thank You For Sharing Intimate Details Here (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Nulwee, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

      Having lived on the Navajo Nation, I am somewhat aware of how sensitive a thing sharing personal and family background information with strangers is, and particularly strangers who probably will scoff and express contempt and not respect. It takes courage.

      My own awareness of what this means is still developing.  I would say to those who are arguing with the premise of the diarist that there are layers to awareness that most of us non-Indian people do not bother to analyze or deal with.  

      For one thing, the Euro centric perspective we grew up with categorizes and disposes of everything in terms of dichotomies.  It is either this or it is that, so we can put it into the proper compartmentalization in our minds.  We have learned to do this, to some extent, because this is how we can promote war on other cultures.  It is a source of brain conditioning that allows bulldozing over things we decide to have no respect for.  

      I began to be aware of this, probably five or so years after I graduated from college as I began to be involved in a serious way in community level politics that involved going into minority communities as a participant.  Until one crosses the line between intellectually distant observer, content to accept authority figures dispensing canned wisdom; and non-objective caring and commitment to joining in common cause with people, the layers of our cultural conditioning will not be open to inspection.

      I think that American culture generally has a lot of serious work to do to inspect and come to terms with these layers of our being.  

      Carter Camp, to me is a modern hero as a person of tremendous commitment and courage who has contributed to the effort for a long time to constructively engage in a cross cultural dialogue.

      I also appreciate Winter Rabbit for his diaries.  He has been growing as a writer by doing this and I look forward to seeing his work blossom into print.  

      I think the general truth, that we little understand the implications of what we celebrate, and that we should become more aware of our history and how others view it, is very appropriate.  We should carry this in our thoughts on this supposedly contemplative occasion.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:57:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  my Grandparents (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, Nulwee, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit

        My Grandparents were the kindest and most gentle humans I have ever known. Neither ever had a harsh word for those who killed so many of their families. But they installed in me a will to survive and to help my people survive that guided me through my days as an AIM leader. They never gave up the old ways or turned to Christianity. They became patriotic Americans, which is amazing to me, and accepted their hard history with an unbelievable calmness. All that after surviving the "Ponca Long Walk" and seeing the demise of their entire way of life.

        Thank you for the kind words.

    •  Okay I am with you (0+ / 0-)

      in most of this, but it is really carrying it a bit too far to blame the white man for the disease he was carrying.  No one understood how disease was spread and his spreading of it was not a conscious act.

      Matter of fact, many explorers in the early 1800s were astonished to find huge Native American cities abandoned, emptied out by the plagues started by earlier generations of Europeans.  They had no idea that they themselves were the reason the Native American lands were depopulated.

      I am really enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:20:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  okay (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, Nulwee

        you're correct, for the most part spreading germs was unintentional. Killing the survivors wasn't.

      •  Two words. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        Plague blankets.

      •  I don't blame, in the deliberate sense, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, i like bbq

        for the most part anyway, for the diseases.   But I do think that most Americans really do not understand just how deadly the diseases were.   As I pointed out elsewhere, my own people when from a minimum of 20,000 to 500 in 50 years.

        The numbers are staggering and I am always amazed that most Americans are not aware of them.   Like you said, finding cities abandoned and the survivors dispersed...there was the additional indignity of the Europeans assuming these great cities had been built by someone other the people who remained, who to their mind were simply savages incapable of such feats.   The people they found were trying to survive the collapse of their world, the altering at best.

        I have seen it on Kos, the not understanding of how radically Native American societies were altered in a short time by the arrival of the Europeans.   Coming upon them, already weakened or decimated by disease or moved into a completely different way of life as they were pushed west (see the horse)...

        And to a large extent, that shattered world still exists.  There was no time to rebuild, everything has been "in transition" for what seems like always now.

  •  To point out only one of the obvious problems... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ADamiani, smileyman

    ...Thanksgiving was celebrated on a wide variety of dates, generally in the fall as a harvest festival.

    The 1637 massacre of the Pequot Indians is commonly known as the Mystic Massacre and occurred on... May 26th, with the day of Thanksgiving being... the day after, May 27th, no where near the traditional Thanksgiving harvest festival date.

    (Furthermore, this was part of the Pequot War, but that's neither here nor there.)

    Days of Thanksgiving following battles was a tradition that continued for at least a century (George Washington declared a couple) until the present date was settled upon in 1863.

    The idea that the modern festival was based off an unrelated battle a good decade after the tradition had been firmly established is laughable.  The only thing in common was the name, which referred merely to a celebration feast at the time.

  •  War on Thanksgiving (0+ / 0-)

    When you truthfully "Keep the Christians in Thanksgiving", you get a plateful of vile sins. More cranberry sauce?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:40:26 AM PST

  •  Perfectly ridiculous. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JPhurst, smileyman

    Days of fast and Thanksgiving proclaimed in Puritan and Separatist communities in the Old World and the New were common.  Counties and States also got into the act, not to mention that most cultures have some sort of a harvest celebration.  To say that this or that Thanksgiving was THE first official one is specious at best and a malefaction at worst.  This type of argument is exactly what we get on Fox and Friends and Hannity.

    A harvest celebration is sometimes just a harvest celebration.  This does not excuse genocide--but neither does it call for sophistry.

    The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. - Oscar Wilde

    by Nax on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 07:43:28 AM PST

  •  If memory serves, the same Puritans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, i like bbq

    were also known for incursions against other English settlements whose habits were judged to be too sinful to be endured. Now this does not include any incursions against competing European settlements such as by the French but incursions against their brother Englishmen who brought with them a desire to return to more jolly preCromwellian times.

    •  Like those evil Virginians, (0+ / 0-)

      who actually celebrated the antiChrist's holy day of Christmas.

      Not to mention the Native Peoples who gleefully joined with the Puritans to help wipe out competing, enemy, tribes.  Seventeenth century North America was a pretty violent place according to our standards.

      Are book recommendations allowed?  I think Sarah Vowell does a wonderful job nailing this in "The Wordy Shipmates."

      The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. - Oscar Wilde

      by Nax on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:08:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To The Left Brained (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Winter Rabbit

    The general truth, that we little understand the implications of what we celebrate, and that we should become more aware of our history and how others view it, is very appropriate.  We should carry this in our thoughts on this supposedly contemplative occasion.  

    The cultural propaganda about Thanksgiving, carried forward in many ways, including scholarship, ought to be viewed as being excessively left brained.  Leaving out the ability to understand what is meant through empathy for the feelings of those whose experiences have long been denied and dismissed, is precisely what has been happening.  An entire historical perspective has been deleted from the national memory.  We know that holidays have been used in the past to supplant and pave over the cultural relevance of Others.

    Giving respect where it is due is not too much to ask.  

    There is more to this than the kick off to the Christmas Shopping Season.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 08:04:18 AM PST

  •  With regard to the "Doctrine of Discovery" ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simian, capelza, Winter Rabbit, silveraxis
    ... I was pleased and proud that a resolution repudiating it was overwhelmingly passed at the Episcopal Church's triennial general convention this year.

    I'm especially pleased and proud that the resolution began in my own backyard and was passed at the Diocese of Maine's annual convention two years ago.

    In short, the resolution:

    * renounced the doctrine;

    * urged dioceses to reflect their history and seek a greater understanding of indigenous peoples "within the geo-political boundaries claimed by the United States and other nation states located within the Episcopal Church's boundaries," and to support their efforts to have "their inherent sovereignty and fundamental human rights" respected;

    * called for the elimination of the doctrine's "presence in its contemporary policies, program, and structures";

    * directed the church to advocate for the federal government's endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. opposed when the U.N. General Assembly adopted it in 2007; and

    * directed "the appropriate representatives of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies" to ask Queen Elizabeth II in her role as the head of the Church of England to do the same.

    For anyone who complains that this is a lot of pointless guilt-mongering by and for those who had nothing to do with it, I strongly disagree.

    When the original resolution was passed here in Maine, it came as news to many that there even was such a thing as the Doctrine of Discovery, let alone how the early European settlers had used it to justify any number of horrors.  

    It came as a particular shock to learn how Episcopalians themselves had actively taken part in and benefitted by it:

    Diocese of South Dakota Bishop Creighton Robertson told ENS in April 2008 that just after the Civil War, the U.S. government offered various Christian denominations land in exchange for their complicity in its effort to force Indians to assimilate into the white settlers' culture -- "so that they would be farmers instead of hunters and gatherers, or warriors," Robertson said. The Episcopal Church helped to carry out that plan mainly east of the Missouri River.

    "We did that. That's the church's sin," said Robertson, who is an enrolled member on the Sisseton Reservation in South Dakota. "We have to confess that."

    John Chaffee, resolution sponsor and a history professor at the State University of New York at Binghamton, said:

    ... "history continues to be relevant in terms of justice issues today."

    "One of the things that the church needs to do is stand up for issues of justice and I think this is a very clear case of that," said Chaffee, lay deputy from the Diocese of Central New York. The Doctrine of Discovery, he said, "really has had a profound role in the subjugating of native peoples, particularly in the legal sense."

    He suggested that the resolution would in part help Episcopalians understand the "historical underpinnings of our relationship to native Americans."

    I don't see how we can move forward in a positive way without reconciliation through truth-telling.  This resolution is helping us do that in Maine, and I hope it can educate and inspire the rest of the country.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Fri Nov 20, 2009 at 09:43:35 AM PST

  •  I am conflicted, I must say. (0+ / 0-)

    I came to this late, but the only question that comes to mind is what cultures didn't subjugate and enslave other cultures over the course of history?

    I can't think of many, or any.  It seems to be the way of the world, and yet Native Americans may yet have the last laugh on us all, as their way of life was gentler to the earth and more sustainable than the European ways.

    I don't know that the world, or knowledge, would have changed all that much when you look at human nature.  We still subjugate and enslave minorities and women, we are fighting the same fights over and over.

    Who's fight is more important than anothers?  How do we pick and choose?

    *this space available for lease if you have something appropriately witty for me to share*

    by xysea on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 12:09:33 PM PST

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