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9th Nov 2017, 6:52 PM #41
JTige

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@JTige: Well, if you look into the theology behind Easter, it makes a lot more sense. I can elaborate, if you'd like?


Nah, I already know about the Resurrection (8 years of Catholic schooling right here) as well as how Easter was originally a Pagan holiday, I was mostly just trying to make a joke to defuse some of the tension in this thread.
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9th Nov 2017, 6:53 PM #42
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@Elany: I'd put it more like "have sympathy for people elsewhere on the wide spectrum of human experience", but I think you've got the gist of it.

@Bold: No particular disagreement on that point.
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9th Nov 2017, 7:01 PM #43
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Jean_Q_Citizen:Meh, I'm just gonna have my toast, popcorn, and jellybeans .

You forgot the pretzel sticks. ;) LOVE the reference, though. Made my day. :)
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9th Nov 2017, 9:57 PM #44
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Mod Post regarding some of the dicussion here:

Yes, y'all are right. You are allowed to discuss and disagree with OP, and OP was being a bit overly defensive about it. Buuuut, you don't have to be dicks about it. Like you can disagree with someone without being a dick about it, you know what i'm saying? Some posts crossed over into just plain mocking OP as well. I won't name names but I will send PMs intended to guilt you into stopping. So everybody just cool it, alright?

And on a less modly note, thanksgiving totally undeniably has some racist crazy elements to it, c'mon. Obviously not literally every aspect of thanksgiving but I don't think anyone's saying that. Be cool and make an effort to understand each other. We can all have a good time
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10th Nov 2017, 4:20 PM #45
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So uh...looking through this entire thread

Yes, you're free to have your distaste for the holiday(personally I've just used it as an excuse to eat turkey legs), but the way the OP was structured seems a little heavy-handed to those who don't mind the holiday for reasons already discussed.

I mean, just because one side of your family is unbearable racist, and that you have a relatively common perception of the holiday, doesn't mean that the holiday itself is bad.

Also, let's be real here, if the origins of the holiday were as racist as you're implying, then considering how the developing Americas have treated Native Americans, why would Native Americans be put in a positive light to begin with?
10th Nov 2017, 6:04 PM #46
Dodom
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What it's putting in a positive light isn't the Natives, but an idealised version of Natives' relations with settlers. Colonisation did not happen in a happy, mutually beneficial way, and it's not paying anyone justice to pretend it did. You can have your turkey without the historical revisionism, just like atheists can still have Christmas.


Maybe I could try a lighter comparison for people who don't see how revisionism is racist?

Ok, so we both meet at Dunkin's. We introduce each others and decide we're chill. After ten minutes, I start kicking you in the crotch. Then I sort of settle down, and after a while we get on speaking terms again. Then I start telling everyone how well we got along at Dunkin's and act hurt if anybody points out that it was only true the first ten minutes. Would you think that's being nice to you? Denying your actual experience for what I'd prefer to think of myself is not respecting you, you'd be right to feel insulted.
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10th Nov 2017, 7:40 PM #47
MissElaney

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Dodom, I gotta say I take issue with how oversimplified your summary is because it takes away everybody's agencyy.

It's more like:

You and your otherwise peaceful Massachusetts community have been going about your lives, which includes some ongoing feuds, some of which have gotten to Hatfields and McCoys level. I and my anarcho-communist buddies, who have no real employable skills, have been hopping trains on our way to Massachusetts, getting all wild manner of hepatitis and syphilis and AIDS in my adventures rolling around in metaphorical and literal pig shit. One day, you witness me and my buddies dumpster-diving for food in the Dunkin's parking lot, looking like Bubbles from The Wire. You take pity on me, take me to the restaurant and buy me some food and teach me how to get a job there as a fry cook. We talk and hang out.

Unfortunately, two things go on in our interaction, one more devastating than the other, so we'll start with that: Specifically, you contract an ungodly disease presumably from my days rolling around in pig shit as a train-hopping hobo, and so when you go home to your town, you basically give your entire community Bubonic Superplague. This dismantles and fucks up your way of life as you know it, intensifying your local rivalries as times get nightmarish and freakishly impossible in the wake of a pandemic. In order to handle your rivalry in light of your new relationship with me and my train-hopping harbingers of disease, you point out that you've done us a solid of feeding us and teaching us how to do shit, and that we owe you and we should help you curbstomp those bitches over yonder that are making your life even more of a nightmare on top of the plague. So, we get into it, and this initiate a tit-for-tat clusterfuck of "I wouldn't've shot that guy if you hadn't stabbed my friend!" "Well I wouldn't've stabbed your friend if you hadn't stolen my fucking food!" "Stop yelling me for yelling at you for yelling at Cosmo for yelling at me!"

This tit-for-tat-clusterfuck snowballs, like they are wont to do. But this time, it's so one-sided it's unreal, thanks to the Bubonic Superplague giving your guys multiple problems to solve at once, like maintaining your society when nine out of ten of you are dead.

I can continue this metaphor, since some of its failings are focusing on one group rather than how this happened at multiple locations asynchronously, but if you're going to simplify it, it's critical to give the people you're talking about some agency.

Also, what is "it" that you're referring to, anyway? Is "it" a particular individual's idea of thanksgiing, the calendarized, commercialized idea of thanksgiving, your idea of thanksgiving?
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10th Nov 2017, 7:45 PM #48
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Can't really compare getting over a crotch kick with the unfair treatment of people who aren't even me. I can get over a crotch kick, and I know that the colonial times were frisky. Hell, some people don't even care about the colonial times most of the time. It's a free day off for many people and they just want to eat and relax. I don't care about history on Thanksgiving, in the same way I don't care about the Christ in Christmas. I care about hanging with my family. The people who are taught the colonial time stuff are kids who will eventually learn about the period sometime in their US History class. After that, it's now a matter of what they want to focus on with Thanksgiving. Family and a nice feast, or racism and prejudice? I can personally tell you which experience will be happier.
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10th Nov 2017, 8:10 PM #49
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I think the biggest problem is the issues are still ongoing. I'm from a native heavy area, and was sold the "noble savages who gave us corn" through about fifth grade, then started learning not just the history, but the ongoing present. Thanksgiving can be totally separate from that, but I can see the concern of that story still being told, when a lot of people never get further native education because native issues are huge, and a lot of people have no knowledge of the boarding school era, tribal sovereignty, local tribes, and other things I think are great to know.
That said, togetherness and gratefulness is a great thing to celebrate. As to your actual question, I am sorry you have to be in a bad family situation. There's a lot of general info online, but I hope you and your partner get to the place where you can spend the holiday with.... people you actually want to spend it with.
I am so grateful to be here, on this world, where there are dogs, and my love, and lemon pastries. I am so happy for how far I've come in accepting my life and understanding myself. With winter coming, I think the best way to survive cold days and awkward family discussions is to keep those things in mind.
If the ugly history gets to you, take time to learn about your local tribes. Most of the time, local tribes wish people knew a lot more about their names and cultures. More than that, donate to native charities, volunteer for native organizations, and petition for native legal issues. Canadian first people's also need a good deal of recognition at this time. Pain and loss and guilt will not bring back the culture that was lost, but hope and hard work can help celebrate and help preserve what survived, and that's something to be thankful for too.

Also, on a more fun note, I am dang thankful for Sherman Alexie and his amazing writing. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian is a fantastic book if you're looking for a funny, heartbreaking read by a native author.
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10th Nov 2017, 8:24 PM #50
MissElaney

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I really, really enjoyed reading Naufragios, Swamp. If you speak Spanish, then it's easy to find, but I'm sure there are translations. Naufragios is Cabeza de Vaca's recollection of the Americas pre-colonization, since he went off-course and ended up on the Texas gulf coast. There's so little written about that area, and even less of it is written in an empathetic point of view. Naufragios is basically a goldmine, talking about the peoples' feuds, daily lives, the wildlife.
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10th Nov 2017, 8:35 PM #51
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I will try and give it a look. I am pathetically mono-lingual, but might enjoy.
Personally, I am setting my daydreams on an urban fantasy set in a modern Cahokia or a similar city.
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10th Nov 2017, 8:43 PM #52
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The easy way to solve the racism at Thanksgiving is bring people of different colors to dinner. It worked for my family (eventually). A lot of the glib racist things that my relatives have said, are based on assumptions and generalities due to their lack of interaction with (in this case) Black people. Growing up, I was taught "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow black and white..." some of you may know the song. yet these same people would make jokes about hiding food stamps under workboots. So the first "guess who's coming to dinner" ended up in a total boycott and a lot of people upset for a lot of different reasons. But a year later, everybody got together and now its a mixed crowd with mixed grandkids, and everyone is great.


I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. It's almost 50% -ish African American. When I was 23, I moved out to Olympia Washington, and saw no Black people for like 2 years. So no surprise, I heard the most bizarre comments. like "Black people have an extra leg muscle, that's why they jump higher". This is the kind of stuff you end up with when people don't have actual contact with each other. It's why the internet is so harsh. you don't have that face to face, personal connection that inspires empathy for another real life flesh and blood human being.

All that said, My dad is a republican and it's very difficult to keep him and my wife from killing each other.
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10th Nov 2017, 9:04 PM #53
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JTige:I mean when you think about it Easter is celebrating the day a bunch of Romans nailed a dude to a plank of wood and killed him.

That's pretty fucked up.


Depends on what you classify as Easter, the single day or the collection. The cross part is Good Friday (Imagining "good" said in CD-i Zelda's voice) and Easter Sunday is when he came back as a zombie, complete with nail wounds.
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11th Nov 2017, 3:17 AM #54
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>insidious white people
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11th Nov 2017, 9:16 AM #55
Dodom
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MissElaney:Dodom, I gotta say I take issue with how oversimplified your summary is because it takes away everybody's agencyy.

It's more like:

[cut for length]


I disagree. My analogy aims to summarise the following:
An interaction happened, some good was involved but the bad greatly outweighted it, and wanting to rewrite it to make the good part define it is insulting to the victim. Overly complicating it would not improve it.

I don't see why it's so terrible to aknowledge historical revisionism. Thanksgiving isn't even the worst part of it, it just happens to be the part this thread is about. Elementary school tells us a clean, guilt-free version of history, a pretty picture where settlers and Natives both gained from each others and the bad things were either misunderstanding, or both sides' fault except ours. The classical American thanksgiving lore merely reflects that narrative, it wasn't invented just for it, which is why my opinion is that people who enjoy a familial feast holiday can do that without endorsing the baggage behind it.
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11th Nov 2017, 10:24 AM #56
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Your analogy would have been more apt if it had been 2 skeletons you dug up and you pointed to the one you know kicked the other one in the nuts and said "you're racist".
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11th Nov 2017, 10:28 AM #57
MissElaney

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Okay. Respectfully, what your analogy aims to convey is not what it, in fact, conveys. Your analogy presents both parties in a flat, one dimensional manner and flat, one dimensional presentation of a group of people is the basis of stereotyping in the first place. More importantly, presenting Europeans as flat, one dimensional villains is just as insulting to the European as it is to the Native because while it may not be your intent, you're reducing the gravity, complexity and seriousness of the problems that colonialism presented to us. You're minimizing what happened to us by simplifying it to a cookie cutter villain, than the pressure of being at war with multiple countries while weathering multiple famines and pandemics.


Your analogy also uses the exact same methods that biased revisionism of history employs: omitting that which is inconvenient to your narrative and emphasizing that which is conducive to your narrative. Your narrative comes off as "White people came and immediately started deliberately destroying poor helpless victim Natives for no reason." What are you omitting that's such a big deal? Native agency and pandemics that dismantled our societies and compounded our problems amid 300 years of warfare. I say us and our because while I may not have an enrollment card from the BIA because my ancestors are from the "wrong" side of the Rio Grande, Mexico took a toll the human mind cannot comprehend at the hands of Cortez, Pizzaro and the like. Let me tell you as a Mesoamerican: it's just as insulting to be denied agency as it is to be overlooked. You're doing both in your analogy. It's not helpful.

I am not saying that you need to record encyclopedic levels of detail. I am saying that in order to call for respect for the history of indigenous people and their descendants, you need to present us in a manner that sets an example. Otherwise, you come off as someone who is only interested in native history when Thanksgiving and Coachella roll around.
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11th Nov 2017, 2:51 PM #58
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It was never meant to be an analogy of history, it is an analogy of a single issue. A simple, unambiguous issue: that rewriting the past to think of yourself (or, in this case, of a group you're arbitrarily associated with) as having been nicer than you really were is insulting to the people you were not so nice with. Whether they've been angelic perfect victims or kicked back at some point doesn't matter, this isn't about what happened, this is about how what happened is being retold for your comfort rather than for truth.

The imaginary action used as an example was deliberately disconnected from the current case so there wouldn't be political or emotional baggage attached to it. I wrote the "bad guy" part in the first person so you wouldn't feel accused. I can't toe around your feelings more delicately than that. I can't simplify it further. This is the most basic, nonthreatening level I can get. If you need it further dumbed down, it'll have to be from someone else.
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11th Nov 2017, 5:16 PM #59
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Dodom:I don't see why it's so terrible to aknowledge historical revisionism.


That's not the issue. No one wants to spend their Thanksgiving saying, "Let's celebrate the positives of our country's history, but let's spend a minute to think about those who were lost in our history..." It's a family feast, not a funeral. We know that shit happened in history.

Elementary school tells us a clean, guilt-free version of history, a pretty picture where settlers and Natives both gained from each others and the bad things were either misunderstanding, or both sides' fault except ours.


And this is nullified in high school U.S. history where disease, Seven Years War, and enslavement are talked about. I don't understand the issue. If you want a more accurate telling of U.S. history in Elementary school, focus on that first instead of Thanksgiving. In fact, I don't even remember what I learned in Elementary school. You think these kids will either once they're in high school? The only part of history I remember growing up is Santa Anna and the Alamo because I learned it three times, and I don't even remember the details much.

Merged Doublepost:

Dodom:An interaction happened, some good was involved but the bad greatly outweighted it, and wanting to rewrite it to make the good part define it is insulting to the victim. Overly complicating it would not improve it.


It depends on what the bad is. Again, I can get over a kick to the crotch. If you want to focus on the bad, don't bring down the conversation with it. You just look like a whiner. Yes, you got kicked in the crotch, suck it up. I got hit in the balls plenty of times growing up. I've also been slapped, punched in the gut, given uncomfortable noogies, and insulted, all by the same person that I have a good relationship with now. If you're angry about it, don't take it out on others because it's not how you'd describe it.

Besides, you really cannot compare me getting hit in the balls to an incredible amount of injustice done to people who are all dead now. We're past the colonial era, so the only thing worth talking about is historical accuracy, and that can be done after the holidays. Preferably after Christmas, please.
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11th Nov 2017, 9:28 PM #60
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Bolderousness:That's not the issue. No one wants to spend their Thanksgiving saying, "Let's celebrate the positives of our country's history, but let's spend a minute to think about those who were lost in our history..." It's a family feast, not a funeral. We know that shit happened in history.

yeah but all you're really saying is "why not talk about another aspect of thanksgiving"

in a thread about racism and thanksgiving. bold. C'mon. Why not talk about this aspect? Like you're not arguing against dodom, you're arguing against arguing you know what I'm saying


alsoooo


And this is nullified in high school U.S. history where disease, Seven Years War, and enslavement are talked about. I don't understand the issue. If you want a more accurate telling of U.S. history in Elementary school, focus on that first instead of Thanksgiving. In fact, I don't even remember what I learned in Elementary school. You think these kids will either once they're in high school? The only part of history I remember growing up is Santa Anna and the Alamo because I learned it three times, and I don't even remember the details much.


yeah let's just teach the kids any old shit, who cares!! like think about the logical conclusion of what you're saying there. I do think it matters whether history is told accurately, and that y'know, we're not feeding lies or propaganda to kids. like it actually kind of matters a lot, I think

Like you can argue whether or not dodom's right, especially when you get into the nuances of it all, but that's not even the level you're arguing on, you seem to be arguing that it doesn't actually matter, which is weird to me. What gives? Or am I misunderstanding you here?

Also on a more modly note, y'all need to dial it back still. No need to get personal. Okay? (more specific instructions as always via PM)
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Forum > General discussion > Racist Turkey Day is coming up and dealing with relatives are a thing.
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