The War on Thanksgiving
I hate when people begin to celebrate the Christmas holidays before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday unto itself. In some ways it is more Christian than Christmas. Thanksgiving is a time when we gather to have good food and breathe an air of appreciation of all the people in your life. You celebrate all the accomplishments of the last year. You even celebrate that you were given one more year to enjoy this world. It does not need to be impeded with the glitz of Christmas. Which is a total other kind of holiday. Christmas in part is when we like to show our love through giving or regifting. And we want to be there to see their reaction or fake reaction as may be the case. We want to experience our reward of giving a thoughtful gift instead of like Thanksgiving when the focus is to celebrate being together (and yes we want to gorge on the food also).
This year Thanksgiving is coming in the year of the Covid-19. If we are wise are celebrations will be smaller. Sometimes giving thanks is by showing what you are willing to give up for others. This kind of thanks is not the easiest to do. We can be selfish about how we want to celebrate our holidays. We can be selfish with who we want to celebrate. To have to disrupt our traditions and gatherings is hard. But there is a cliché’ that fits here ‘If you love something set it free if it returns it was and always will be yours if it does not then it was never yours to begin with ,’ Maybe for this one year we may have to give Thanksgiving as we have known it away. The problem is we are not a letting go people. We hold onto junk, grudges, leftovers forever.
So when conservatives decide that they will move up their War on Christmas to include a War on Thanksgiving it pisses me off. Conservatives ever sensitive to science and their imaginary conspiracies have decided that the liberal cabal is trying to take away Thanksgiving. We cannot have large groups in small spaces unmasked gathering from all sorts of different places they hear. That is all they apparently needed to set them off fighting a War on Thanksgiving.
They will now defiantly gather from all over unmasked in their homes to show how loyal they are to Thanksgiving but not necessarily to the people they will celebrate. The people will take a back seat to their new-found war. Instead of thankfulness being the center defiance will be the order of the day. Now of course not everyone who chooses to gather will become infected with Covid-19. This will of course in their minds justify their actions.
Thanksgiving is being robbed as a holiday as a time to rejoice in the good things of life such as friends, family, health, and other blessings. Thanksgiving is if the conservative right has their way to be a weaponize political tool to promote their philosophy. We have the right as individuals to do what we want. I thought Thanksgiving was about celebrating our togetherness not ourselves. I mean the idealistic first Thanksgiving was Native Americans and the Pilgrims who had many differences coming together to hopefully creating a union of friendship (of course we know what eventually happened to the Native Americans). They did the same thing to Christmas. You must declare Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays because we rule you drool.
My optimistic side says oh the war will be over after the vaccines come and we can all celebrate without guilt any way we want to. But my realistic side knows America likes perpetual wars so this war will not be going anywhere soon. So what are we to do? Be thankful in whatever way we want. Life is good and my friends and family probably could use a break from me. And maybe next Thanksgiving we will be surprised at how many people will return.
Some white Americans did a good thing. They turned away from a xenophobic and racist president like none we have seen in our modern politics. Now that our country has defeated this horror with the force of minorities and the left wing of the democratic party, White America is wanting to reclaim their importance and power in the struggles of this great nation. Although, I have great hopes for Joe Biden’s presidency let us be clear we have elected a 78 year-old white male career politician and want to be congratulated on our wokeness?
Joe Scarborough and many others are saying these groups who saved white America from itself must now look to seek compromise with white America. While I of course agree, the need to compromise is inevitable. But we live in the reality of the Art of the Deal. I contend we have never been in an era of compromise in America but always in the art of the deal. A transactional deal in which white Americans wield the power and give only as much power away as they can get away with. The proposition we offer other groups is always predicated with what they will take and what we feel comfortable giving in return. Our goal is to keep as much of our fortune as we can and to grow that fortune even more. Our concessions are always about being sure to create deeper pockets for ourselves.
But things are different; white America needs to realize the compromises to be made are not for the minorities and left to move toward whites; but the white population must move toward the minorities and left. For the first time in our lives the ‘minorities’ (a term that will soon be obsolete) with a little help from their friends have assumed control.
Those asserting otherwise are attempting to usurp the newly found power of our minority brothers and sisters, reclaim their ascendancy, and reestablish an order that works in their favor. Yes, the voice of white America must be heard but they do not set the table of compromise, they join it! White America has acted as the host, inviter, table-setter, conversation starter, and convener in the American dream but now they need to sit at the table (hopefully round) and take their place but not set the menu. This will be hard because in America the conversation has always centered around what the white community will allow and not necessarily what the minorities want or need.
It is a hard time to be white in America. White privilege and power are disappearing. This election clearly shows that. Yes the white population will continue to have inordinate amount of both privilege and power in financial institutions, legal houses, and personal wealth but the election shows that America is becoming an inclusive land if not by choice but by the force of the electorate.
Jesus once said, “What does it profit one if they gain the whole world but lose their soul.” I would add to that my own words ‘we can gain a world if we listen and assume our place’. The decision is ours.