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Liberal columnists call for Americans to ‘decolonize Thanksgiving’, promote ‘Truthsgiving’

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Several online publications and social media users are urging Americans to reconsider the Thanksgiving holiday while alleging the holiday is a symbol of “colonization” and “racism.”

“Let’s drop the lie of Thanksgiving and begin a Truthsgiving,” a social media post from The Nation read this week that linked to an article with the headline: “Should America Keep Celebrating Thanksgiving?”

In the article, author Sean Sherman, argues that Americans should “decolonize Thanksgiving.”

“For many Americans, the image of Thanksgiving is one of supposed unity: the gathering of ‘Pilgrims and Indians’ in a harmonious feast,” Sherman, a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, explains. “But this version obscures the harsh truth, one steeped in colonialism, violence, and misrepresentation. By exploring the Indigenous perspective on Thanksgiving, we can not only discern some of the nuances of decolonization but gain a deeper understanding of American history.”

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man holding plate

Happy man receiving a slice of Thanksgiving turkey during family’s dinner in dining room. (iStock)

Sherman writes that Americans, in order to avoid the “tremendous distress to those of us who are still reeling from the trauma” of the Pilgrims landing in America, by promoting the “nutritional and culinary diversity” of Native American foods and “centering the Indigenous perspective and challenging the colonial narratives around the holiday.”

The Nation’s social media post drew strong pushback on social media from users rejecting that Thanksgiving is a symbol of colonization. 

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thanksgiving turkey on table

Thanksgiving turkey (iStock)

“It’s starting to sound like ‘decolonization’ just means ruining any and every tradition and fun time, to be replaced by the narcissistic, jargon-filled rantings of 20-somethings whose infallible knowledge of the world is informed by TikTok,” writer and podcaster Meghan Murphy responded on X.

Other outlets have run similar headlines, including Delish.com, which posted an article in late October titled: “The Dark Truth Behind The Origins Of Thanksgiving.”

In the story, the author outlines how the holiday is “not what you learned in school” and provides ways for Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving differently.

“For example: Seek out Native American authors, activists, artists, and chefs, and support in their work,” the author writes. “Listen to and uplift their perspectives and make sure your support goes beyond Thanksgiving and holidays like Indigenous Peoples Day.”

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US President Joe Biden, right, speaks after pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Liberty, during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023.  (Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

This week, an article by Jason Nichols with the headline “Decolonize Thanksgiving” was published in Newsweek that argued Thanksgiving is an important holiday that should not be lost but “truth should triumph over nationalistic narratives.”

“And the truth about Thanksgiving should be learned by all Americans, as it is a part of our complicated history of savage betrayal and removal of indigenous people and the colonization of their land,” Nichols, a full-time lecturer in the African American Studies department at the University of Maryland, College Park, wrote.

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, but we owe it to our indigenous forefathers to know its history,” Nichols wrote while  pointing out, “even if the initial feast was dedicated to peace, the settlers decimated the Wampanoag and other New England indigenous groups soon after through war and disease.”

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Abraham Lincoln, in a stirring call to spiritual unity amid the carnage of the Civil War, issued an emotionally powerful Thanksgiving proclamation on Oct. 3, 1863. 

The president invited Americans at home and abroad “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” 

The tradition of Thanksgiving in America dates back to the first Pilgrim and Wampanoag feast of 1621. President George Washington proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving exactly 74 years before Lincoln’s decree on Oct. 3, 1789. 

Fox News Digital’s Kerry J. Byrne contributed to this report


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