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Thanks-Taking Day










by Chris Stevenson

White people love white people, and black people love white people. Where does this leave the Native Americans? Exactly where white colonialists intended them to be left. This brings us to the holiday more whitewashed than any other in this nation’s history; you know it as Thanksgiving Day and are thankful for that. Little attention is paid to what should be it’s real name; Thankstaking Day. The Pilgrims gave nothing to the Native American Indians, not that they were really capable of being thankful. But they were happy. Thanksgiving as we know it began as a celebration of a successful harvest season in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621. There were earlier Thanksgivings with various colonies, but on this particular year in the northeast the Pilgrims were taught to catch eel, fish, hunt, grow corn, in what amounted to an intense 1-year training program by the Wampanoag tribe.They also benefited greatly from the donations from the Wampanoag’s food storage during times the English didn’t send food to them. Ah yes, the self-sufficient whites.

These Pilgrims in particular were plain and simple a group of religious deserters and malcontents from England who opposed state interference in matters regarding the Church of England. They would eventually separate during the 1500s and given funding by the English to establish a colony in America in 1620. During this “discovery” of America the Wampanoag would experience a decline in population due to exposure to diseases like the 7-day fever and smallpox during the years 1633, 1635, 1654, 1661, and 1667. The biggest of all diseases for them was Christianity. Like the literal ailments the English and French brought over with them, they seemed immune to their religious teachings, and best acted as carriers. They practiced little of what they preached. European Christianity would in time divide the Wampanoag and de-culturalize them.

John Eliot would lead some Puritan missionaries (more hostile to the Indians than the Pilgrims) to help establish “praying towns” for the tribe to be resettled in. Essentially internment-like camp where they would be prohibited from their normal practices the white colonialists would notice them doing; pre-marital sexual experimentation (Wampanoag society would permit sex between a perspective couple to help them determine if they were compatible), polygamy, matriarchal-run households, and migratory farming as a way to “civilize” them into English ways of life. Part of this semi-detainment began years beforehand beginning with a fear the Pilgrims developed shortly after their first successful harvest and Thanksgiving, a fear that may have been based on them hearing news about their fellow colonialists in Virginia being slaughtered in what is now known today as; the Indian Massacre of 1622. The mass-killing of all men, women, and children was a response to John Smith’s ordering spontaneous raids upon Native Americans.

Prior to the 1621 Thanksgiving, some Wampanoag were captured as slaves by Captain Thomas Hunt by enticing them to board his ship. This was in 1614. He would transport them to Spain to be sold as slaves. This capturing of Native Americans was not unusual and was a few years before the first Africans were imported to American colonies in 1619-1620. The Pilgrims had another Thanksgiving in 1623 (July 30). This observance wasn’t communal as the 1621 one pretended to be, it was a celebration of privatized farming. What they learned from the Wampanoag was enhanced by a 14-day rain, resulting in an even larger harvest.

This is just a short history of the beginning of Native American/Euro-Colonial relations that spread from the south and northeast and spread throughout the country; lies, broken treaties, massacres and genocide. It’s very possible to learn from this as we stuff ourselves and watch NFL football. Many of the offspring of Pilgrims, Puritans, and colonialists are still as fearful today as their ancestors were, only their prime targets has gone from red to black. That we’re living in the era of an African American President also proves over the last 4 years that; many whites fear black moral supervision.

Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentatorPolitical Affairs Magazine, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice and The Network for clbTV. Respond to him on the link below.

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1 Comment on "Thanks-Taking Day"

  1. Chris is one of the most educated black men I have the honor of knowing and his research on the Pilgrims and Indians is very correct as I have also researched the American Indians.
    I am former law enforcement and have a different back ground than most, but I still do consultant work and analyze situations and the American Indians were “screwed” over by the Great White Father/President of the United States and forced off THEIR lands until finally they were mostly killed off and forced to live on “reservations” so the U.S. Military could keep a watch over them and control them.
    Literally Families of young men, women and children were “slaughtered” by U.S. Calvary like General Custer and others.
    If it weren’t for Cochise and Geronimo and others, the American Indians would have been totally wiped out as a Culture her in our own country which originally belonged to the Indians.
    Our Native American Indians should be revered as Living National Monuments like the Japanese do with some of their own.
    Slave traders(muslims and the like thru the Dutch) also took Chiefs and their royal families from African countries to be sold in the U.S. Also during the same time frames during and after the Native Indians were being killed off. What a barbaric country we had then.
    How far have WE grown as a Nation or advanced since the Indian battles of Geronimo in the 1800’s to all of the Peace Treaties that have ALL been violated by American Presidents since Washington???
    Geronimo was NEVER killed in battle but his bones are
    buried at Fort Sill Oklahoma(my home state) and respected as one of the Greatest American Indian Chief’s. June 1829 – February 17, 1909.
    Interestingly enough one of OUR Famous American Indian athletes by the name of Jim Thorpe (May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953)also came from Oklahoma not far from where I was born and he was NOT give citizenship until ALL other American Indians in 1924. Thorpe represented the United States in the World Olympics in 1917 and was THE Gold Medal Decathlon winner.
    How much longer did Blacks get their Citizenship or Free status since the American Revolution in 1776??? Fighting in the Army was just one of many ways to get Citizenship.
    Also worth mentioning was that famous American Founding Fathers also owned or cohabited with “slaves” and later had children with them like my favorite Thomas Jefferson.
    I guess the bottom line is to learn from history and make changes from the “mistakes” others have made, so WE don’t repeat those previous mistakes.
    We need to love and respect others no matter who they are, as long as we can be respected back. Otherwise, we will be taken over by another invading “group” that will kill us all off because of our inability to “stick together” as Americans.
    I think about other great leaders like MLK and Malcolm X and how they were cut down early.
    I was in the U.S. Secret Service when I was only 21 but very competent and highly trained with all kinds of college and educational training. I have met famous black leaders like Jesse Jackson(1976/77) at the White House and many others including the Champ Muhammad Ali and I got to know a lot of others too.
    We have some serious problems in the White House now and WE have been LIED to again.(P.S. I Love you Chris! Keep up the great work!!) Only WE the People can fix things.

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