Thanksgiving: An Ugly Truth

Thanksgiving Day was started by a group of early settlers in the United States. This group of immigrants, also called the Puritans, advocated for the partial reform of the Church of England. To escape political and religious persecution, they split from the Church, moved to the Netherlands, and finally decided to settle on the other side of the Atlantic. It was a desolate land, but they hoped to be able to live freely and according to their wished.

When they first arrived in America, they had nothing. The Native Americans of the island took pity on them, sending them men to teach them how to hunt, fish, and grow corn and pumpkins. Finally, the settlers had a good harvest. In accordance with religious tradition, they set a day of Thanksgiving and invited the Native Americans to spend the festival with them, to thank them.

However… As any child who has ever studied history knows, the arrival of the settlers brought disastrous destruction to the Indians throughout the Americas. They brought diseases that did not exist on the American continent — smallpox, measles, typhus, yellow fever — and these
diseases killed the Indians at a rate that did not exist on the American continent. In addition, the settlers brought ambitious European invaders who conquered the americas with their advanced military technology and brought destruction to the entire Indian race. For this reason, Native Americans call Thanksgiving National Day of ethnic cleansing, national genocide day, or National Day of silence. For me, this is not a story of gratitude, but of sadness. So, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

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