David Walsh at wsws.org this morning brings us:
Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation:
“We are especially reminded on Thanksgiving of how the virtue of gratitude enables us to recognize, even in adverse situations, the love of God in every person, every creature, and throughout nature. Let us be mindful of the reasons we are grateful for our lives, for those around us, and for our communities. We also commit to treating all with charity and mutual respect, spreading the spirit of Thanksgiving throughout our country and across the world.”
— “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! AMERICA FIRST! …
“There are a lot of CRIMINALS in the [immigrant] Caravan. We will stop them. Catch and Detain! Judicial Activism, by people who know nothing about security and the safety of our citizens, is putting our country in great danger. Not good!” (Donald J. Trump’s tweets, November 21)”
Walsh writes at length of the insane levels of current wealth inequality in Amerika, and features heart-rending stories from the poor and homeless on the ground in various locations. A Tale of Two Cities: ever-increasing needs, but empty food banks, while the Old Homestead restaurant in NYC is serving a Thanksgiving dinner priced at $150,000.
Friend of Café Babylon J of 9, homeless in Oly tells us the despicable things done to the homeless all over Washington, but most especially in Olympia, while noting that it’s all Capitalism 101.
From United American Indians of New England’s (unaine.org) National Day of Mourning:
“Since 1970, Native Americans and our supporters have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.” [snip]
“This year’s NDOM is dedicated to our thousands of relatives who are migrants and are being abused by ICE and other government agencies, including having their children stolen from them. We didn’t cross the border – The border crossed us! #NoJusticeOnStolenLand”
Stolen Lands – In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, “Songs for Leonard Peltier”
“Unthanksgiving Day, also known as the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony, is an annual event that takes place on Alcatraz Island on the fourth Thursday in November, coinciding with Thanksgiving. It is designed to honor Native Americans and promote their rights. On November 20, 1969, a group of Native Americans, mostly college students, occupied the island of Alcatraz. They claimed the island according to the Treaty of Fort Laramie, also known as the Sioux Treaty of 1868.The occupation lasted for nineteen months. During the occupation, many indigenous Americans joined the civil rights movement and spoke out for their rights. The occupation was forcefully ended by the United States government on June 11, 1971.The first Unthanksgiving Day was held on November 27, 1975. It was established to commemorate the survival of the indigenous peoples of the Americas following European colonization. The organizers chose the fourth Thursday of November with intent. While most people in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving, Native Americans want to remind about the losses Indians had to suffer because the arrival of Europeans.The ceremony is organized by the International Indian Treaty Council and American Indian Contemporary Arts. The celebration takes place before sunrise and is open to public.”
From Leonard Peltier, CP.org today:
“Well here it is, sorry to say, another year, and I’m still writing to you from a prison cell. I am still in pain from my illnesses with no knowledge of whether I will ever get treatments for them. But I’m alive and still breathing hoping, wishing, praying for not just my pains, but for all Native Nations and the People of the World who care and have positive feelings about what is happening to Mother Earth and against the evils committed by Wasi’chu in their greed for HER natural resources .
“It doesn’t seem as if any changes for the good or safety of Mother Earth will happen soon. But the good-hearted People are fighting back, and some good People are winning in the struggles to beat back some of this evil and to make THE Changes, the safety networks, we need for our grandchildren and great grandchildren so that they will be able to live happy successful lives, at least decent lives, that most of the poor underprivileged in my generation never got to experience or enjoy in our short lives.
So, I sit back and look at the world, and I wonder if I will ever get to see the outside world again, free from this prison cell? At 74 it is not looking too good for that to happen. But I keep my hopes alive and pray as hard as I can that it will happen. If not, when they bury me I want to be laid to rest face down and with a note pinned to my ass with the words in large bold letters, ‘KISS MY ASS!!’… just in case someone wants to study my bones years from now :)!!” [snip]
“My thoughts are also with the youth such as the Water Protectors and all people young and old who are working to protect Mother Earth. I hope someday in the near future to be with you and part of this march and join you in the feast prepared by Native People and wonderful supporters who have joined together today to honor our Ancestors.
~In The Spirit of Crazy Horse.”
John Trudell (February 15, 1946 – December 8, 2015) was a Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and political activist. He was the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes’ takeover of Alcatraz beginning in 1969, broadcasting as Radio Free Alcatraz. During most of the 1970s, he served as the chairman of the American Indian Movement, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
From sott.net, Nov. 2016:
“The people who have created this system, and who perpetuate this system, they are out of balance. They have made us out of balance. They have come into our minds and they have come into our hearts and they’ve programmed us. Because we live in this society, and it has put us out of balance. And because we are out of balance we no longer have the power to deal with them…
We are a natural part of the creation, we were put here on the sacred mother Earth to serve a purpose. And somewhere in the history of people we’re forgetting what the purpose is. The purpose is to honor the earth, to protect the earth, to live in balance with the Earth. And we will never free ourselves until we address the issue of how we live in balance with the Earth. Because I don’t care who it is, any child who turns on their mother is living in a terrible, terrible confusion. The Earth is our mother, we must take care of the Earth.”
~ John Trudell, 1980
The following are excerpts from John Trudell’s Thanksgiving Day Address, made in 1980… (it’s long and revolutionarily inspirational; he’d opened with):
“I’d like to thank all of you for coming here tonight and sharing this evening with us. And tonight I’d like to talk in honor of the water and the earth and our brother Leonard Peltier.
We’re faced with a very serious situation in this generation. There are insane people who wish to rule the world. They wish to continue to rule the world on violence and repression, and we are all the victims of that violence and repression.
We as the indigenous people of the western hemisphere have been resisting this oppression for 500 years. We know that the black people have been resisting it for at least that long. And we know that the white people have had to endure it thousands of years. And now it’s come full swing to this generation that we live in..
You see, this cannot be. We cannot allow this to go on. We cannot do it. We cannot expect that the pro-nuclear oppressor, that other side, we cannot expect that they’re going to change for us.”
They are going to become more brutal. They are going to become more repressive because it’s a matter of dollars and their illusionary concepts of power.
We have to re-establish our identity. We have to understand who we are and where we fit in the natural order of the world, because our oppressor deals in illusions.
They tell us that it is power, but it is not power. They may have all the guns, and they may have all the racist laws and judges, and they may control all the money, but that is not power.”
As an immigrant, Thanksgiving Day has always been my favorite US holiday. It doesn’t represent any of those bleak things to me, and I’m sad to see it co-opted by commercial entities the day after – which has now happened also in New Zealand. They don’t have a Thanksgiving Day there, and oh how I missed it the times I was back there!
But I am one who thinks giving thanks is important. And I’m sorry, Mr. Trump – “gratitude” and “charity” are very cold words compared to “giving thanks” and “love”. But perhaps you knew that.
My first experience of Thanksgiving was when our next door Irish landlady included me and my family in hers, when we were recently arrived in this country, her table laden with a Norman Rockwellian feast. Another, when I was in college, up in upper New England, I rode a little horse out into the woods and saw a magnificently antlered deer, then back to a whole small community for the feast. Good memories we all need in these dark times.
I would, however, feel very good if all the above listed here important issues devote themselves to debunking what this Friday is called. That is the ongoing travesty we all are subjected to. And we ought not submit.
To me, the entire weekend is Thanksgiving. And love. Best wishes, this holiday, to all.
none of the indigenous are advocating ‘not giving thanks’, but just not on this day of the beginnings of native american genocide. can we try a thought experiment?
say that when the british first colonized new zealand (aotearoa) and the maori taught them how to crow crops to survive, and so on, then within a milwaukee minute slaughtered hundreds of them, then committed rampant genocide across aoteroa, wiping up perhaps 80% of them nationwide as across what would become the USA as per ‘the doctrine of discovery?…, would you expect them to join the festivities dictates by the crown as: thanksgiving day?
but speaking of thanks, here’s an example mr wd saw at the guardian this a.m.:
“At 4.30am on Thanksgiving morning, the sun had yet to rise over Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. Yet more than 5,000 people were gathered in a hushed circle around a burning pyre, as Native American dancers moved and swayed in the flickering light.
Welcome to the Indigenous People’s Thanksgiving Day, formerly known as Unthanksgiving Day [dunno if that’s so…as peer the OP]. While most Americans are still asleep, this annual tradition commemorates the 19-month occupation of Alcatraz – famed for its now disused prison – by Native American activists from 1969-1971.
The ceremony began before dawn in the prison’s main courtyard. “We give thanks everyday and today. We have ceremonies to the sun to give thanks for our lives, for the beatings of our heart,” said Andrea Carmen, the director of the International Indian Treaty Council, who joined fellow Native Americans, other indigenous tribes and “citizen allies”.
Dancing, prayers and speeches celebrated the occupation’s history alongside modern political battles: Standing Rock, family separation at the US-Mexico border, and the need to protect the Earth from climate change.
“It’s not so easy to get up early in the morning,” said Carmen. “But I hope people can take that commitment and see there’s energy to make a change. Everyone can do something.”
and oh, my; the photos warm the cockles of one’s heart….the pheaasnt feather azteca quetzalcoatl headdresses, the hoops, the dance circles… but with the history of the Original Occupation of Alcatraz, the occupiers named ‘the doctrine of discovery’ as proof of their ownership; i really liked that.
and of course there’s a hashtag for that:
but of course the maori were first granted equal rights, then they were taken away again, their land er…’redistrubuted’?.
I didn’t speak against any of the worthy activists you support, wendye. But this day was not what you say it was, it was the day of a goodhearted coming together of families, tribal and settler, who were simply that. To say it marks genocide is as bad as having Black Friday come right after. It is a genuine celebration, however badly misconstrued by commercial interests, just as Christmas is.
The maori do have equal rights. I’m not sure what mean by ‘taken away’ – when were they taken away? New Zealand’s equivalent day to Independence Day is Waitangi Day, when that treaty was signed. Most certainly there are imperfections. For one thing, we don’t have a parallel celebration to the Thanksgiving Day one. Waitangi Day was a peacemaking between warring parties – perhaps there’s an element of thanksgiving in that.
I think the maori did almost get wiped out, if not in the wars among the different tribes, and with the British military, then by means of European diseases they weren’t equipped by antibodies to resist. And I’m not saying things were perfect at the time of the celebration which Thanksgiving represents. It is my understanding that it represents a generosity of one group of people towards another group, and that is what is celebrated. So I can’t understand why that generosity isn’t a good thing to remember no matter what comes after.
it’s already Spinal Tap’s “Christmas w/the devil” w/this g.d. seasonally extra-awful, santa-themed variation on the shopping music piped continually into all the retail shopping spaces in the world. As Bart Simpson said, “Christmas is the of year when all the religions of the world get together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.” by shopping. such an exercise of mass control. Black days in Roman times were days when one was not supposed to shop. everything’s backwards.
Thanksgiving was my favorite extended family time holiday growing up, but yeah…hi-falutin’ fancy talk while the natives get some dollar store beads. followed by bullets. see the Declaration of Independence.
did you hear the one about the natives who recently killed that missionary who came to that isolated island of theirs? does anyone blame them?
spending a lot of time w/the Jesus Fries these days and I can’t help but note that they are as unconcerned as everyone else is in our society about the diabetes and such among the sheep they are tending, as observed from the food they serve. Take an already awful “food” system, then take the worst of it, and dump it on the homeless. the worst of it, the hostess ding dongs & shit, cuz there’s so much of that crap. try finding a jerb on that shit. (“this resume powered by fd&c yellow #5 and that creamed “sugar” crap in twinkies.” America strong, indeed.)
I read somewhere in one of the “historical” markers around here (now even more dedicated to the falsification of memory) that one of local tribes, a bit more inland, lived on a staple of acorns & trade with tribes on the coast. They lived this way for 12,000 years. Lewis & Clark was about 200 years ago. It’s taken that long, and much of it really since WW2, to destroy it.
acorns. you’d think these Bible thumpers would have gleaned something about food (“Jesus is the real turkey.” no wait, he’s lamb. blasphemy!) I was thinking about this while trying to pass some of the slaughtered fowl & pork I’ve engorged on in the last 24 hours, meditating on my lack of movement in a graffiti-filled stall in the downtown warming center. “Daniel & his friends refused to eat the king’s meat” book of Daniel, ch 1. these churches round here don’t give one thought to how their diet is supposed to be different from “the world” b/c there is no discontinuity, no sense of “exile, pilgrimage, etc.”, in relation to the world around them. they are adjuncts & adjutants to the system (cf. the “financial management” courses the poor need. yep, the poor are poor b/c they haven’t imbibed Diamand’s and Blankenfeld’s & Trump’s and every not-poor person’s knowledge of “handling their finances.” worship Mammon much?)
and as I was thinking about this & surveying the “handwriting on the wall” (you know, graffiti, also Daniel) I noted a comment, written above the toilet paper dispenser: “The 22 plants of the Kabbalah.” lol. plants and mystical movement.
“seek the ancient paths.” acorns anyone?
double grin. thanks j, and i’ll get back to you tomorrow; it’s closing time for me. i’d stuck in a prayer from rev billy talen of the ‘stop shopping choir’ fame.
most of the music was of course, john trudell, but tonight’s un-lullaby is from larry long. from the blurb below the video:
2018 marks the 156th anniversary of the largest mass hanging in United States history by President Abraham Lincoln’s decree.
“(English Translation) Grandfather, I come to you this day in my humble way to offer my prayers for the thirty-eight Dakota who perished in Mankato in the year of 1862. To the West, I pray to the Horse Nation, and to the North, I pray to the Elk People. To the East, I pray to the Buffalo Nation, and to the South, the Spirit People. To the Heavens, I pray to the Great Spirit and to the Spotted Eagle. And Below, I pray to Mother Earth to help us in this time of reconciliation. Grandfather, I offer these prayers in my humble way. To all my relations Amos Owen (Wiyohpeyata Hoksina)
and thirty-eight eagles flew…. g’night.
i guess the rules™ must be: secular xmas music only? mr. wd said that waldo world put out the xmas stuff as they shut down the garden center in early sept. but for a few weeks now, at least at one store, prolly grocery, they’ve been pipin’ in stuff he can boogies to up and down the aisles. ;-)
haycorn trading, though. how cool is that? maybe the nisqually? chehalis?
great kaballah graffiti, poor j’s guts. haycorns might not pass easily either, eeyore. which reminds me that a. cockburn has up this overly long diary at CP noting the sickitude of hitler having been a vegetarian.
otoh, it’s ‘charitable giving’, so maybe they’re given out-of-date stuff to use on the homeless and hungry. reminding me a bit of drew franlkin’s (formerly of orchestrated pulse) ‘it’s like candy corn. no one can stand the stuff, so…it works again the following year’. i’ve forgotten what th simile was in aid of.
‘managing non-existent finances’: now there’s a meme for the new gilded era.
on later edit:
i’m slightly exaggerating the magnitude of the abyss of the awfulness, but i’m plugged into a few resources. still, you’d think if “civil society” was gonna teach people something it’d teach ’em how to $&#^@ eat. (oh, wait. there’s the food pentagon, I mean pyramid). but that’d cut directly across the operations of the state. and Monsanto might not donate so much cheap bread if people were told not to eat Monsanto (now IG Farben, now Bayer; is that done yet?). and shit, once you say to people your food is all screwed up, who knows what kind of hair they might get up their butt? or rather, tapeworms & parasites & heavy metals they might evacuate, huh huh. can’t have that happening.
I know, crazy talk. yeah, like our society doesn’t manufacture tons of money tossing people into prison, does it? that’s all in my mind, too. and just look at the awful things the Taliban are up to! aren’t we done saving those Afghani widows & orphans yet???? haven’t we curtailed the opium production in the slightest???? of course, any mention of Iran-Contra, etc., etc. to aid understanding why the mullahs of Qom are not paranoid but quite rational in their fears is some Islamo-pinkist refusal to let bygones be bygones.
anyway, been thinking about this McDonald’s xmas music thing…is it that farfetched to theorize that Mickey D’s has slaves somewhere in a bunker that they are doing experiments on? Homan Square maybe? Like, how much does a restaurant’s profit margins increase proportional to the number of times “Jingle Bells” is piped into the restaurant lobby? they use Metallica at Gitmo so why not? It also is possible that they pipe insipid cotton candy through the earholes in order to drive people out of the lobby. Sure looks like the big bucks are coming thru the drive-thru, not the lobby. oh wait, they get the some bazooka joe bubble gum in the drive thru. But really retail stores pick music to encourage shopping. it’s all shopping music, whether it’s Trader Joe’s playing some CCR or Arby’s playing “I Just Called to Say I Wuv U” by Stevie Wonder. (I recall one time hearing one of those mega gas stations also pumping Bach at the pumps. Why? I presume in some effort to keep the kids, skaters, away. fucking assholes.)
Music has always been escapism but today we must also always drown out the sound of the machine, esp the car. The awfulness of the noise around us is masked by the high fructose muzak assaulting our every pore. just like the awfulness (there’s that word again) of empire is masked by the fiberglass glitzy silliness of the NFL, our modern gladiatorial game, as bloodless as our warfare. the music of empire is the half-time show.
all right, time to go throw up. sugar in my sports, sugar in my food, sugar in my music. let’s not forget the dump truck of sugar for our “spirituality”! and our military, passing out blankets around the world, powered by sugar.
meant to include this. it’s a gaggle of gags. not the funny kind, but, you know, gagging, gag-worthy, stifle your gag reflex. those awful, awful Taliban. one does wonder where someone gets 3k living in squalor in tents. there’s lots of inequality everywhere, not that it crosses this “journalist’s” mind why some guy has 3k living in a tent right next to a family with nothing. sounds just like America, right? nothing unusual there, move along.
ah, i couldn’t finish it. but the little girl’s mum’s will take his grandson? no comprendé…. he doesn’t eat?
but my stars, that’s a drought. the global drought monitor in real time. the wind just picked up; weather underground predicted 40 mph north wind, possible snow later for us today.
lord luv a duck, j; you’ve gone no-holds-barred, totally round the twist! is from all the sugar, gmo’s, and puerco in ya? yeah..i’m pretty sure mcdogfood ain’t doin’ experiments on their wage slaves. but at the rate they disappear, no one in your state of mind would fail to wonder.
clearly the mission of amerikan soldiers in afghanistan is to guard the poppy fields…mercenaries (XI, acadamei) are there to kill enough to keep the occupation going.
Sorry, folk. I guess you will understand if I don’t post much here, but my point was simply don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
you’re permitted to celebrate thanksgiving in any fashion you care to, juliania, as are others. but to dismiss the ways in which the indigenous feel about it, and the reasons for it seems unlike you to be so dismissive is all. baby/bathwater, etc.
your adopted country just happens to have been built upon the twin evils of genocide and slavery is all. perhaps that’s one reason for your convictions?
anyway, sleep well, and thanks for making your position known in any event.
regarding your ‘don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater’ admonishment, i’ve realized that i’d forgotten to add that the indigenous (not a monolithic term, of course) who choose to observe ‘thanksgivng day’ in their own ways,
are not asking others to do so.
but many of the current generations have been steeped in the traditions of genocide, from wounded knee, the sand creek massacre, the navajo/dineh long walk, the trail of tears moving forcing the SW tribes into the ‘indian territories reservations’ following the indian removal act under andrew jackson, then forced to leave again once gold was discovered. over and over.
now columbus day, i grant you, many have successfully fomented against and replaced, resulting in ‘indigenous peoples day’ and other iterations. mainly in cities the celebration was rebranded, but it’s quite a list.
but as far as giving thanks, i’d have to say that mr. wd taught me years ago that the best prayers are those of thanks. so most nights i do give thanks for what i’m able as i ‘lay me down to sleep’. some nights the best i can manage is: ‘whew, one more day crossed off; thank you! ka-ching’ ;-) as per some of the indigenous, they give thanks everyday that they still remain, and against all odds.
as for my use of wikipedia on the maori an the crown in NZ, maybe the entry was incorrect.
w/ historic photos of the massacre at wounded knee, the 1973 AIM occupation of wounded knee, photos of john burning an amerikan flag on the steps of the hoover fbi building in DC; photos of his family burned alive hours later in an unexplained house fire, etc.