Happy Native American Heritage month - Day 16!
Lies Your Teacher Told You
This is an early post. I intended to post it closer to Thanksgiving, but since I keep getting asked what my plans are for the day I thought it couldn’t hurt to be early.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you live in the U.S. you know exactly what this days means. You get to stuff your face full of food and be “thankful” of everything you have. You pay homage to the Indians and Pilgrims; to Squanto and his grace for helping the Pilgrims. You have been taught lies, and this tradition of ignoring facts and history will continue in this country. I won’t sugarcoat history, and I won’t lie. Here is the real story of Thanksgiving:
Myth #1: Squanto
Squanto was a young Patuxet Indian man who noticed the Pilgrims near Plymouth rock. He began to learn English so that he could help the Pilgrims because he knew that they would not survive without his help. After showing them how to hunt, harvest, and survive the oncoming winter the Pilgrims invited Squanto to a feast of Thanksgiving.
Squanto was a Patuxet Indian who was kidnapped by Thomas Hunt and taken to England. After managing to find a way back home to Massachusetts, Squanto was captured by a slave trader and sold into slavery in Spain. Finally he escaped slavery, journeyed back to England where he found a way home. When he arrived at his village he saw that it was completely decimated; everyone had died from disease or war. The Pilgrims found Squanto near Massachusetts Bay where he taught them how to fish and grow corn. At the end of the year the Pilgrims held a feast in honor of Squanto.
Myth #2: Thanksgiving
In honor of their new, helpful friend, Squanto, the Pilgrims held a Thanksgiving feast where Indians and Pilgrims sat together.
There is no written document of the Pilgrims calling the feast a “Thanksgiving”. The only document where “Thanksgiving” is recorded and continually celebrated is in 1637 as stated by Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop.
The success of the Pilgrims spread throughout Europe and encouraged the Puritans to see for themselves. When they arrived they seized the land and took Native slaves. The Pequot Nation began to get angry by the land seizing and fought back beginning the Pequot War. After finding a dead man in a colonist’s boat armed settlers burned a Pequot village to the ground and demanded the Natives to give up the people who killed the man. When the Natives did not obey the demands the colonists the Pequot Massacre began.
An estimated 700 Pequot men, women, and children were murdered, any survivors were searched for and killed. A day after John Winthrop stated, “A day of Thanksgiving”, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children, and was declared that “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots”.
The slaughtering continued by the approval of the colonists. Villages were attacked, men slaughtered, women and children sold into slavery, and for the first time bounties for scalps were issued. During one massacre a Wampanoag chief was beheaded, and his head “impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts - where it remained on display for 24 years”.
Due to the frenzy and chaos and recurring feasts after each massacre George Washington advised the days be reserved to once a year, while Abraham Lincoln became the one to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth Thursday in November.
People may not be celebrating the deaths of innocent Natives any more, but Americans are still being lied to. Our history is being ignored, romanticized, and distorted. Take it upon yourself to become educated. You are not honoring Indians when you dress up in paper bag vests and colored paper feathers. You are not celebrating a joyous time in history where Pilgrims and Indians ate a feast of “Thanksgiving”. You are being told lies and taught racism. We will not celebrate your deceitful holidays, we are still here, and we shall forever remain.
Credit: Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute