If Columbus Day Is Abolished, Shouldn't Thanksgiving Be Abolished Too?

In recent years, Native American groups and allies have rallied around abolishing the Columbus Day holiday. The holieday was made a national holiday in 1937 and since then American history books have been running with that bullshit of the 1492 date of mass murder and slavery. We know the real story by now (if you don't, check out this video by The Young Turks). Genocide, rape, murder, pillaging, pretty much the way the western society we know today was established. Plus, the fool never even touched the present day United States. In response to Native Americans' protests against the holiday, the states Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and South Dakota have abolished Columbus Day, some replacing it with Indigenous People's Day, and other states and cities are working to do the same. On Coliebus Day, many people take to social media to post quotes, memes, statuses, and videos about the lies our educational system taught us in the name of destroying the national commemoration of a devil who never even set foot on present day United States. Pretty much this is a pointless, wicked holiday across the board.

However, once November rolls around and Thanksgiving gets closer, I can't help but to notice the hypocrisy in some of us (yes, I've been there too and I can admit it). All of a sudden, many of us have forgotten about the genocidal beginnings of Thanksgiving similar, if not exact, to the beginnings of Columbus Day. Thanksgiving has been celebrated in the U.S. since 1789, proclaimed by George Washington (another racist White supremacist who owned slaves like Columbus) and the holiday was officially established in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.

Wiyot Indian Family
Photo: popularresistance.org

Many people state that Thanksgiving is a holiday for family. Some even claim that they aren't celebrating the "real meaning" of it. I totally understand this concept. First of all, any sane human wouldn't feast and fete in the name of mass murder. Secondly, unfortunately due to the capitialistic, "rat race" structure of this nation, many families are only able to get together a few of times a year, usually on national holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, indirectly celebrating a holiday that was established out of genocide is still celebrating it. Practicing the traditions of said holiday is still celebrating it.

That's like racist White supremacists stating that flying the Confederate flag isn't racist and it's about "Southern pride" although the history is drenched in racism, Black slavery, terrorism, and massacre. Thanksgiving, like Columbus Day is still a genocidal holiday in its roots no matter how much it is remixed in the modern era. It's one thing to have a funky day off from work or school because of Columbus Day, but having an entire dinner celebration, parades, decorations, television specials, and school plays for Thanksgiving is on another level. Even while I was still celebrating Thanksgiving, I'd always recognize how hard people would go in on Columbus Day in comparison to Thanksgiving which has been normalized and romanticized. I'd feel like if you're going to go all out for Thanksgiving, hell you might as well celebrate Columbus Day too.

It was because of Columbus Day and Thanksgiving that the Transatlantic Slave Trade, colonialism, and global White supremacy was able to happen, as it set the stage for continued systemic racism and terrorism against Black people and other POC globally. These holidays may be one day only, but they mirror hundreds of years of death, destruction, theft, misogyny and deviltry that continues within modern day police brutality, housing discrimination, the prison industrial complex, and many other offsets of systemic racism.

Photo: worldfuturefund.org

This isn't "hotep" or "fake woke" this is history and facts. This isn't the "pro-Black cousin who spoils everyone's holiday", this is history and facts which continue to effect our society in the present day. As many citizens in the nation shifts consciousness in the name of fighting terrorism, racism and White supremacy (especially under the Trump regime, although it's always been present), creating spaces for POC, speaking out about cultural appropriation, etc. we should really ponder and analyze what we celebrate and give our energy to, especially a holiday that uplifts all that we state we're against. While those of us are on this battle against racism, should we really be celebrating holidays that were established in observance of this system that we know of today? This post isn't created to make people feel guilty, it's about challenging and analyzing what we've been conditioned to accept and associate with.

So what should we do? Folks love family dinners, especially during the autumn harvest season, I know it's something that I've always enjoyed and looked forward to. I personally stopped celebrating Thanksgiving and other holidays like Christmas and July 4th, and my mother recently joined me on the journey. When I have my own family, I plan on having harvest feasts (I'm starting this year actually). I think Americans who aren't with the Thanksgiving shits should consider that alternative as a whole or separately amongst their own friends and families. Planning a year ahead so family members can possibly schedule time off from work and get their traveling and money in order. I can imagine that this alternative may be less stressful while shopping for food as well, hence the hectic lines and traffic during the Thanksgiving season.

In all honesty, I don't see Thanksgiving going anywhere anytime soon although it should be abolished with Columbus Day. It's a huge money making day for corporations unlike Columbus Day where companies have sales, but not as major as Thanksgiving followed by Black Friday, marking the official holiday shopping season. The feel good psychology behind the comfort of the harvest season, good food, being thankful, and being surrounded by family has been embedded in the psyches of many Americans that has been crafted by the U.S. media (propaganda machine). On the flip side, it also reflects the depravity, sociopathic nature, and thousand year old blood thirst of Western civilization that we continue to witness terroristic actions such as the Charlottesville, Virginia attacks, the recent Las Vegas shooting, and even terrorism overseas like the U.S. bombings in Syria and the U.S.'s constant back and forth with North Korea. Why wouldn't this nation celebrate Columbus Day and Thanksgiving when the pre history, history and current events are soaked in devilment?

*cues "Neurotic Society" by Lauryn Hill*

As individuals, we're not obligated to celebrate the day and we have the power and creativity to create our own holidays separate from those established in ethnic cleansing, evil, and racism regardless about how anyone feels about it, including your family. There are some activities we can't help but to partake in while living in this society that were established off of racism and global oppression, but we don't have to participate in high holidays like Thanksgiving and July 4th regardless of the feel good emotions behind them. Let's do our own thing, and if Columbus Day is being abolished, it's only right Thanksgiving and the traditions that came from it be abolished as well.

Should Thanksgiving be abolished with Columbus Day? What are some alternatives to celebrating Thanksgiving?

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  1. Anonymous11/05/2017

    Columbus shouldn't have his own day for causing the slave trade and genocide, but he has actually been to America, Central America that is. He made 4 different voyages to the New World and one of them did go to the mainland, so he has touched America. Days of Thanksgiving have been a thing for longer than this article makes it out to be. A dedicated day to giving thanks has existed in most cultures longer than recorded history. The concept of giving thanks, and in most cases giving thanks for a successful harvest, is something that should be celebrated. Our nation has definitely had a blood soaked history filled with issues like racism and sexism, but if we aren't going to celebrate any holiday because it has something to do with our history, we shouldn't be celebrating Christmas, our independence from an oppressive monarch, or even celebrate our veterans. If anything, in these times of strife we should be finding something good in the world and giving some thanks to it. That is the sort of optimistic attitude that can really contribute to the world instead of adding more pessimism. Also holiday is not spelled "holieday" and Columbus Day is not spelled "Coliebus Day"

    1. Modern American Thanksgiving was created out of genocide and you will deal. Yes it had been a thing before hand but AMERICAN THANKSGIVING was created out of genocide made by the colonists and you know that. Like stop playing games. I don't have a problem with not celebrating any of those holidays because I stopped celebrating ALL of them years ago LOL. So trying to justify celebrating Thanksgiving by comparing it with Independence Day and Christmas ain't gonna cut it with me. Try it with someone else. If you read the article and got out your feelings, I stated I don't celebrate those holidays and I suggested celebrating ALTERNATIVE holidays. Also, holiday and Columbus Day is spelled anyway I please to spell it. CoLIEbus Day. HoLIEday. See? :) Your little jabs are weak and don't work. Absolutely NOTHING you stated in this comment made sense nor did it refute any of my statements So if you want to celebrate CoLIEbus Day or the Thanksgiving hoLIEday, do it and stop trying, and failing MISERABLY, to police me, fake correct my spelling I did on purpose, and guilt me into calling out the hypocrisy of calling out Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. If that is "adding more pessimism", I'll take it proudly. Baby you'll NEVER win in these parts. NEVAH! Take this "L", season it, cook it, and sit it next to your struggle turkey and cranberry sauce you'll be feasting on for the Thanksgiving hoLIEday.