Here’s my take on Thanksgiving. (I KNOW you were anxiously awaiting my opinions on the topic.) Many people are convinced that Thanksgiving is a sham, a bit of Colonial Propaganda meant to justify or even celebrate the displacement and massacre of indigenous peoples. I think those who have done even a cursory study of history have every right to be horrified by the effects of “Manifest Destiny,” and the traditional Thanksgiving Celebration helped to perpetuate the myth of benevolent cooperation between the colonizers and the colonized. It’s what I was taught in school, and it’s how most media representations still spin the holiday today…
BUT! (There’s always a big butt in there somewhere—usually mine…)
Let’s try this shit out. (It’s called detournement: taking the official meaning or intention of something and turning it on its ear.) Let’s take this horrible, offensive, propagandistic holiday, which has traditionally been used to mask atrocities, and turn it into a POSITIVE event. Let’s make sure everyone KNOWS that indigenous peoples were murdered and displaced, but then consciously (instead of ignorantly) use the day to ACTUALLY CELEBRATE EACH OTHER. Positivity. Getting together with friends and family, being decent fucking humans for a change.
The idea that racist bullshit can be so blatantly out in the open today sickens me, and it’s the dehumanizing effects of racism that ALLOW horrors and atrocities like those that traditional Thanksgiving conceits are covering up to happen—therefore, as conscious, caring people, let’s fuck with the powers that be by actually being nice to each other today. Hang out, have a few drinks, eat your tofurkey (or whatever) and smile and laugh and make a few connections. Personally, I’m a Dutch apple pie with cinnamon crumble kind of guy. (It doesn’t take too much to make me happy, but WOE TO YOU if you forget the cinnamon crumble on my apple pie!!!) It really upsets the shitheads in charge when people are decent to each other. Let’s show them how it’s done!
Have a delightful POSITIVE HUMAN INTERACTION DAY!
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)