Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Thank You

Do I want to honor the many colonizers of the past and present who play that concur and divide shit with black and brown folks? NO THANK YOU.

my thanksgiving is Filipino soul food and has nothing to do with honoring pilgrims, in less than a week we will be basting the turkeys, cooking up some food thats good for the soul in large amounts so the whole fam can come together and give thanks. I love giving thanks but what are we giving thanks for. I know I am NOT giving thanks to all the colonizers in History who tried to make Native People from Puerto Rico to San Francisco extinct.

So I know its already been spoke on many times but its something that I always want to point out because Native issues are not something of the past, the Government still has some messed up policies, and if you think there aren't any Native folks left, I suggest you either go to your local reservation, or show up to my school in March for Pow Wow and see how we do. Heres my school Newspapers take on Thanksgiving (thanks Anna):

In his Oct. 3, 1863 “Proclamation of Thanksgiving,” Lincoln wrote, “To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come … that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”When Lincoln wrote this spiritual decree, he likely didn’t perceive that Native American religion would be outlawed within the same generation and would remain banned for more than 50 years.

If he had portended the future, he might have had second thoughts about sanctioning a day to give thanks for the civil rights violations perpetrated on indigenous peoples. Perhaps, instead, he would have chastised the country for wanting to celebrate more than 500 years of land theft, racial oppression and genocides. Our idealism leads us to hope so, anyway.

While the ban on the Sun Dance was eventually lifted, Native Americans still struggle for full, unimpeded access to their spiritualities. We don’t have space to go into the intricacies of how American Indian spirituality continues to be suppressed. There are vast informational resources on Native American perceptions of Thanksgiving on the Internet, which we encourage everybody to search.

One example of ongoing oppression was recently underreported in New Orleans. Last week, a five-year-old Seminole boy was granted permission to keep his braided hair at his elementary school, a long-standing spiritual custom of his nation, according to the Times-Picayune.

Curtis Hario had originally been told that he would have to either cut his hair, wear his braid in a bun or be expelled.

Hario was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Native American Rights Fund in his fight for his civil rights on religious and ethnic grounds. Our country is in shame for making a child fight for his spiritual rights.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving however your traditions dictate, we encourage that you become historically informed and sensitized at its greater ramifications for people of the First Nations.And possibly, the day after, you will pause to respect this Friday as the long overdue first Native American Heritage Day.

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