My family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, it isn’t because we aren’t grateful for all that we have, quite the opposite is true. The biggest reason we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving can be seen by paying attention to what is happening at Standing Rock in North Dakota. We don’t celebrate a holiday that celebrates the murder of Native Americans. Even today, some 200 years after “America” was formed the indigenous peoples are still fighting for the same rights that everyone else has. Rights that were taken when the Anglo-Saxon people invaded this country and began to systematically murder millions of Native Americans.
Between illnesses brought over by pilgrims and the attacks that the white settlers perpetrated on the Native Americans it is estimated that nearly 90% of their population was killed; ninety percent of some 100 million people. During the Holocaust over 6 million people lost their lives to genocide at the hands of the Nazi party in German; however, today people still refuse to call the massacre of Native Americans a genocide. This is because even in modern society, our Native brothers and sisters are still treated like they are subhuman entities.
Native Americans and the people standing in solidarity with them at Standing Rock are consistently having their human rights violated. Once again “Americans” are trying to kill, mutilate or otherwise disable the indigenous people of this land, and why? These people are peacefully protesting a pipeline that would endanger the drinking water of millions of people. They are exercising their right to a peaceful assembly, and they are being assaulted for it. There is even one young woman who could quite possibly lose her arm. She was hit by a grenade that the police threw into a crowd of unarmed water protectors.
Our President is too much of a coward to step in and put an end to this behavior. Behavior that was until recently called abhorrent by the Black Lives Matters movement. However, they now remain silent when the police brutality is towards a minority of American citizens other than themselves. The mainstream media has been silent on the subject of Standing Rock as well, and it seems that the only politician speaking out against this inhumane treatment of our fellow citizens is Senator Bernie Sanders. If we allow this behavior to continue, who knows what rights will be taken from us next?
This behavior, what Thanksgiving really meant, that is why my family won’t celebrate it. I don’t celebrate murder.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemöller