Yesterday in the United States, we celebrated the annual tradition of Thanksgiving. It’s a day to express your thankfulness for all that you have, whether it be health, wealth, or something else. This tradition goes back to the colonial times. The story is that a group of indigenous North American people broke bread with European settlers and generously gave the settlers food and supplies needed to survive the coming winter, which the settlers were not equipped to handle. The settlers celebrated the first “Thanksgiving” with the native people, the story goes. Each year, we remember the generosity of those indigenous people by stuffing our gullets with turkey, ham, sweet potatoes and more while watching the traditional American football game on the tube. Though historically inaccurate, it is a heartwarming story ingrained into the minds of American children at a very young age.

First Thanksgiving

After that Winter, white European settlers repaid the indigenous North American people in typical form for them, the decimation of the population with advanced weapons and even biological warfare… the removal of the people from and the theft of their lands… and the systematic removal of their culture. After all, nothing says gratitude as much as genocide, right?

The Catholic Conquistadores of Spain commonly used what can only be called biological warfare on the indigenous Americans by purposely sending natives blankets infected with smallpox. Later, in 1763, the British employed this strategy when tribes of native Americans attacked Fort Pitt.

George Washington, hero of the American Revolution and first President of the United States, commonly used the tactic of kidnapping native women and holding them as ransom in order to extract more land from tribes. His face was then etched into the Six Grandfathers Mountain in the Black Hills, holy land of the Lakota.

And let’s not even get started with Andrew Jackson and his atrocities against indigenous North American people, including the Trail of Tears.

So today, I am proposing that we turn the meaning of Black Friday into something that means something. Let’s push aside the pitiful corporate greed of the day and turn it into a day of remembrance and reflection. Let’s remember the atrocities done to the indigenous American people at the hands of white European settlers and later the government of the United States. Let’s give Black Friday a true meaning and create a #NewBlackFriday!

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