Thursday, November 23, 2017

Quote of the Day

We can see the eye roll coming before we explain the reason why the [Thanksgiving] holiday is complicated for us [as Indigenous people]. We’ve explained before to the same eyes that only want to look away, not have to get political. To those of us who suffer from history’s consequences and don’t benefit from them, talking about our beliefs, even just telling our stories, is automatically political.

We – you and I and everyone – are still trying to absolve ourselves of history. But we don’t want to do it by talking about it. We don’t want the taste of it in our mouths. We’re devoted to keeping it under our place mats. Blackout Wednesday. Gorge Thursday. Get deals Friday. We hide the lie under the darkness of digestion.

One thing is: We don’t have to buy turkey. We don’t have to buy into any of it. Sure, it’s a tradition. So is the Confederate flag.

. . . Celebrate the holiday, or don’t. Believe in American mercy, or don’t. But look where tradition has gotten us so far. Look where we are now.

– Tommy Orange
Excerpted from "Thanksgiving Is a Tradition. It's Also a Lie"
Los Angeles Times
November 23, 2017

Related Off-site Links:
Thanksgiving for Native Americans – Four Voices on a Complicated Holiday: Sherman Alexie, Winona LaDuke, Jacqueline Keeler, and Simon Moya-Smith – Julie Turkewitz (The New York Times, November 23, 2017).
What Do We Owe Indigenous America? – Chelsey Luger (TruthDig, November 22, 2017).
Thanksgiving's Complexities Are an Opportunity for Personal and Social Reconciliation – Moises Echeverria (Tulsa World, November 23, 2017).
Thanksgiving, a Day of Mourning for Native Americans – Alli Joseph (Salon, November 23, 2016).
Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz on Thanksgiving: “It Has Never Been About Honoring Native Americans”Democracy Now! (November 23, 2016).
The Future Is Indigenous: Decolonizing Thanksgiving – Maile Arvin (TruthOut, November 24, 2016).
Our Thanksgiving Responsibility: Native Americans, Honest History and the Simple Power of Remembrance – Billy J. Stratton (Salon, November 29, 2014).
How the U.S. Media Would Cover Thanksgiving if It Were in Another Country – Joshua Keating (Slate, November 27, 2013).
The Wampanoag Side of the First Thanksgiving Story – Michelle Tirado (Indian Country Today, November 23, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Something to Think About – November 23, 2016
Michael Greyeyes on Temperance as a Philosophy for Surviving
Something to Think About – November 24, 2011
Come, Spirit!
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Singing It and Praying It; Living It and Saying It
Standing Together
Standing in Prayer and Solidarity with the Water Protectors of Standing Rock
Something to Think About – February 23, 2017

Image 1: A still from Terrence Malick's 2005 film The New World.
Image 2: Veterans for Standing Rock/Go Fund Me.


Unknown said...

Thanks for your beautiful blogs, and especially for citing our work in this area. So many just use direct quote without referencing the books. Randy P. Conner and David Hatfield Sparks.

Unknown said...

Forgot to say lthat we're 3/4 of the way through an expansion/update/revision of the Queer Encyclopedia, now possibly named the LGBTQ Companion to Symbol, Myth, Folklore, and Spirituality. I'm on Facebook updating progress monthly, but thinking about a blog as a better way to reach interested readers/researcher. Thanks again, DH Sparks

Michael J. Bayly said...

You're so welcome, David! . . . And I look forward to the expanded edition of the Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit.

For those interested, excerpts from the current edition can be found at The Wild Reed here and here. There's also an excerpt here at The Leveret.