This week, millions of Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, eating a great meal and watching the football. But a rampant vilification of the popular holiday has spread through the media and schools, claiming that Thanksgiving is about “genocide” and “imperialism”.
The Saturday before Thanksgiving in 2021, MSNBC featured Native American activist Gyasi Ross to criticize the holiday.
“Instead of bringing stuffing and cookies, these settlers brought genocide and violence,” he said.
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The previous year, on the Nov. 21, 2020, edition of “AM Joy,” MSNBC regular Jason Johnson echoed a similar note.
“I know several people who call it ‘Colonizer Christmas,’ because they don’t really like the idea of what Thanksgiving represents,” Johnson said.
This mindset has also taken hold on university campuses. In 2013, Barnard College sent an email to all students telling them as they headed for break: “Happy Turkey Week. Thanksgiving is complicated. We urge you to remember that this holiday commemorates genocide and American imperialism.”
In 2019, The New Yorker linked the very existence of Thanksgiving to historic evils in American history: “Glorifying the endurance of the White Pilgrim founders distracted from the brutality of Jim Crow and the racial violence, and downplayed the fundamental role of African slavery.”
A character from the long-running drama “Grey’s Anatomy” insisted in a 2021 episode that “Thanksgiving isn’t really a holiday we should be celebrating. There’s no real evidence that Native Americans were even invited to a feast. I think they cared more about being colonized and having their land stolen than mashed potatoes.”
In an interview with FoxNews.com digital, Media Research Center Director of Media Analytics Geoffrey Dickens explained why journalists and Hollywood reject the vacation.
“A lot of it stems from the Marxist, anti-American ideology that is carried through academia and that many journalism school graduates have been subjected to,” he said.
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Dickens, who wrote about the media’s distaste for Thanksgiving, added: “There is also a religious aspect to the holiday – expressing gratitude for the blessings of faith, family and living in a free country – that unfortunately many in the secular press are not comfortable discussing.”
Fox News digital also spoke to Melanie Kirkpatrick. She is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of the 2016 book, Thanksgiving: The Holidays at the Heart of the American Experience. With regard to education and Thanksgiving, “elementary schools teach the first Thanksgiving best. Native Americans are correctly portrayed as essential participants in the 1621 feast without whose help Pilgrims might not have not be survived.”
But, she warned, “That’s not true in high schools. If Thanksgiving is studied at all, it’s often misrepresented. A student at a prestigious public high school in New York once told me that The roots of the holiday lay in the custom of English settlers to hold Thanksgiving when they killed Indians.This is a gross misrepresentation.
In his book, Kirkpatrick wrote about the message high school students receive. The day is dedicated to “cultural imperialism and the displacement and murder of Native Americans by European settlers.” She noted, “The Zinn Educational Project Online, which provides lesson plans and supplemental materials to accompany Howard Zinn’s left-wing bestseller, ‘A People’s History of the United States,’ offers an example of the type of material that some young people learn.”
This material, she concluded, is full of “inaccuracies and bizarre interpretations”.
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According to Kirkpatrick, the conflicts that have engulfed our country on a daily basis distract from the larger meaning of Thanksgiving.
“Amidst all the political and cultural turmoil we live in today, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the many blessings of our country. Thanksgiving Day is a good time to reflect on the words of Benjamin Franklin, who called Thanksgiving a ‘public bliss.’ in which Americans give thanks, above all, for our ‘full enjoyment of liberty, civil and religious.’ That was in 1785. Franklin’s words apply just as much today,” she said.
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She also noted that the Wall Street Journal has published the same Thanksgiving editorial every year since 1961, acknowledging that the United States remains “the oldest society of free men governing themselves without the benefit of kings or dictators.”
“It is indeed a reason to give thanks, every day of the year,” Kirkpatrick said.