Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Message

Hello my friends.
Here in America it's Thanksgiving. It's a time for families to gather, be grateful for their fortune, however large or small it may be, and feast. We should enjoy our family and celebrate our personal triumphs and tragedies.
It should also be a time to reflect upon what has happened between today and when people from Europe first set foot upon this great land. If you are of European descent, it's not YOUR fault that our ancestors raped, pillaged, stole and committed genocide against the native population, but it is your responsibility to recognize and be aware of what transpired before we came to be here. In that awareness, perhaps we can recognize the ongoing oppression perpetrated by those who find themselves in positions of authority and rule. We can recognize and speak out against the third world conditions to which many Native American people have been relegated.
Sometimes, it only takes one person to speak up and voice concern when injustice occurs. A single voice raised with or against another single voice can sometimes make a difference. If we are grateful for what we have, and humbly accept our good fortune, we can also be a voice for reason and justice.
So be happy on this day of thanks and celebrate family, friends and good fortune, but never ever forget the past, for those who do, are doomed to repeat it with all its horrors.

Bedagi (Big Thunder) late 19th century.
Wabanaki Algonquin writer

Give us hearts to understand;
Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give;
never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed;

Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty;
never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion;
that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;
that as we care for her she will care for us.

We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.

Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst,
Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.

Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,
help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Great Spirit, whose creatures are being destroyed, help us to find a way to replenish them.

Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,
help us to find the way to restore our humanity.

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to the world,
hear me; I need your strength and wisdom. May I walk in Beauty.


Herbert Weaver said...

It's a radical's cliché that America was built by stolen labor on stolen land. But true nonetheless.

It ain't our fault as descendants of those settlers who raped, pillaged and murdered their way across the continent. But it is our fault that we perpetuate the evil if we choose to cover up and deny it.

It makes me mad as hell that our 6-year-old son came home from school telling his part-Indian mom that 'the cowboys' started Texas and that the Pilgrims "helped" the Indians. It's not like all the players in the game are now gone. This country is full of black people, Hispanics and Indians who are all alive and well - and insulted every day by our self-serving rewriting of history, by our brainwashing kids at school.

Sure, I'd like to tell my son's teacher, we "helped" those Indians by giving them blankets infected with smallpox... we "helped" them on that first winter by digging up their dead and eating them because we were too fucking stupid to eat the crabs walking around on the beach that they'd told us we could eat (oh no, Leviticus says shellfish is a no-no. But no word on cannibalism... chow down!) I'd love to remind that teacher how Texas was already populated by several tribes of plains Indians, hundreds of freed and escaped slaves and thousands of Mexicans by the time John fucking Wayne showed up... But still they push the white supremacist mythology.

Not only are those who ignore history doomed to repeat it, those who rewrite history are doomed to be just as complicit.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Herb, I always gave my kids a big ear full of real history which they often took back to school with them. It wasn't just history. Their science lessons also were sometime lacking in reality. No wonder they often had trouble with teachers.