Should Parents Eradicate Thanksgiving Altogether?
A few years ago, I stopped lying. I would no longer be complicit in the gross regurgitation of misinformation surrounding Thanksgiving. I started keeping it real with my daughter, as I keep it real in the world. This is so important now.
These kids are subjected to the mental warfare from all angles, not just around holidays like Thanksgiving. Whether you now it or not, parents need to know their kids are absorbing the times like I vaguely knew Ronald Reagan was no good for Black people. They are absorbing Tamir Rice, undocumented worker’s rights, mass incarceration, #BlackLivesMatter, presidents, and the all-too American scoundrel called racism.
So, how does this link to Thanksgiving?
It was North America’s first great sin – the eradication of the native people of this land. The ills overlooked in the pageantry of Thanksgiving are not abstract. There are specific massacres of native people that were celebrated after the European settlers arrived here. On top of that, there was no actual feast between the natives and the pilgrims. No, buddy. We have to own that this is stolen land in which genocide occurred.
I insist that my child be able to think critically about the world that she lives in. Now, if this means taking off the rose-colored glasses, then so be it. These times are quite dense. Thanksgiving is problematic, but it also represents how we see the world. We’ve been sold stories and these days – despite despotic moves against people of color – we continue to buy. The information is right there!
I don’t know about the rest of the parents out there, but I am my child’s first teacher. Not the schools. Not society. Not her friends. I am. Unlike those other sources, I have my child at the very, very top of my priorities. Being honest is paramount. Keeping is real is not optional. Our parents told us what they were sold. Be good. Don’t fight. Go to college. Get a good job. Marry somebody. Have kids. And you too can sleep comfortably inside of the American Dream.
These days, we say “#StayWoke” and sleeping is old school. This means opening kids eyes as soon as possible is the most important factor. It is not good enough to wait until somebody does them harm, or realize the farce when they are in college or the workforce. We have to arm children with knowledge and information now. It all won’t reach them (kids are hard-headed and programmed non-stop), but they can be better prepared than we were.
I know this is serious stuff right before the holiday. Even if you break bread, let those around you know – this holiday is a commercial product at best. At worst, it’s probably the second biggest lie we tell our children. Santa gets first place. Yet, Thanksgiving is special. It is a microcosm of the myth of apple pie, spangled flags and fireworks. Give the kids a home-cooked pie, tell them about the red/black/green flag, and lastly, let them know were were enslaved when the “Star Spangled Banner” was written.