Thanksgiving is objectively the worst holiday among holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and even Labor Day. From the current Thanksgiving traditions to the foundation of its existence, the holiday is lousy.
The history behind Thanksgiving is quite horrific. While we were fed a wonderful story about the Pilgrims and Natives coming together for a bountiful feast, that is only a story. The reality is far grimmer than the narrative we were told.
Atrocities were committed during the period of the “First Thanksgiving.” The positivity surrounding Thanksgiving is solely based on a myth. In reality, the time period was full of genocide. Instead of acknowledging the atrocities, by still celebrating Thanksgiving we are allowing the slaughter, relocation, cultural assimilation, and injustice that has been forced upon Indigenous people, to be swept under the rug. Approximately 4,700,000 Indigenous people were killed from European arrival until the 19th century.
The mistreatment of Indigenous people in the United States has not ended in the modern era. Indigenous women go missing at an alarming rate, unlike any other group in the nation. The statistics behind the disappearances and murders of Indigenous people can only be defined as horrifying. In 2020 alone, 5,295 Indigenous women and girls were reported missing.
In 2022, the number of missing and murder cases of Indigenous women was 5,487. Out of the 5,487 missing Indigenous females, 4,089 of them were from the ages of 0 to 17. By the end of 2022, the number of cases still open was 658.
More than 4 out of 5 Indigenous women have experienced violence. 56.1% of Indigenous have experienced sexual violence. Murder is the 3rd leading cause of death for Indigenous women, and they are 10 times more likely to be murdered compared to other ethnicities. Compared to Caucasian women, Indigenous women are 2 times more likely to be raped, 3 times more likely to be murdered, and 1.7 times more likely to experience violence.
There are many reasons behind the disproportionate rate of violence against Indigenous people, specifically Indigenous women. The shadow of colonization and genocide still looms over our country. As a result, Indigenous people continue to be dehumanized, sexualized, and brutalized. The sexual objectification of Indigenous women began during the period of the “First Thanksgiving,” and has continued into the modern age.
As well, Indigenous people experience increased levels of poverty and homelessness. The justice system has failed Indigenous communities time and time again, allowing those perpetuating violence against Indigenous people to get away without imprisonment.
Thanksgiving in short is based on a Utopian ideal. The First Thanksgiving story is a fabrication that aims to help cover up the reality of the time period, and the genocide of tens of millions of Indigenous people. While the modern Thanksgiving has lost most of its original meaning and story, and has become more about family and food, it is important to understand the false story we have been fed. Violence against Indigenous people continues in large quantities to this day, and it is not something we should ignore for the sake of having a “fun” family holiday.