From a historical context, it has nothing to do with the path of conquest and expansion European immigrants would ave across North America. At the time the first Thanksgiving took place, the Pigrims were on the verge of dying off. When the Wampanoag approached them, the Pilgrims were dying off on their own. They could’ve just sat back and watched the settlers die off but they chose not to. They chose to act. They chose to save Plymouth.
Many New England Native Americans and other groups against the national holiday on the grounds of what happened to the Indigenous Tribes of North America over the next 250 years have no historical basis for their objection to the holiday. If anything, America owes the Wampanoag tribe its thanks as without them, there would have been no Thanksgiving, no Boston Tea Party and no American Revolution. It’s true that after a war, what happened is initially written by the winners but in time, the full truth will be made known.
If I were a different person I would chose this moment to point out the fact what happened to Africans stolen from their homes and sold into slavery over the course of 400 years on almost every continent is a whole lot worse. I will say that the irony with many hate groups is thanks to modern technology and geneology records, we now know very few people who came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower ever left New England. Most of them died off during that first winter, after all.
Due to superstitions and relgious beliefs it is also unlikely the Pilgrims married and had families with the Wampanoag and vice versa. They learned from each other and helped each other. The Wampanoag knew the land and knew how to farm on what is still considered today one of the most difficult places to grow crops on. The Pilgrims shared their technology with the Wampanoag as well as English with the help of Squanto, a Native American who lived among Europeans in his younger days.
What happened after that period cannot be blamed on that first contact between the two factions. The blame should be placed on misunderstandings and assumptions made by both sides over the years. The Windtalkers are the epitome of what happens when both sides work together for a common cause. For those who don’t know, the Windtalkers were Native Americans who fought in World War II and transmitted coded messages from the battlefield to field commanders in the Pacific Theater in their native tongue. A source of pride for the Windtalkers is they still stand as the only people whose radio messages were never decoded by the enemy in American history during war. There is a very good reason for this. Until about 70 years earlier, few Native American tribes had a written language. It was only oral and is still mainly learned this way today.
So in closing, Thanksgivinng is a time of understanding. While yes I believe everyone should know about what happened to the Native Americans, on the other hand not everyone views Thanksgiving as a national holiday. The American Public and Native Americans have a shared history that isn’t exactly pretty. Just like it doesn’t make any sense for African Americans today to demand an apology from their white counterparts for things that happened over the last 400 years, it’s wholly unrealistic to expect the every0ne to do the same for Native Americans. Even if I wasn’t a black man I’d still say that.
To those who will forgo this holiday objectively, I reccommend you use this time as an opportunity to educate someone on what Thanksgiving means to you and explain why what happened should never be forgotten. As the saying goes, those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.
So I got a logbook yesterday:
The small green notebook will contain the names and dates of instances in which someone says one of the following phrases: “I owe you” (or similar variation), “I’ll make it up to you” (Or similar variation) or “I’m in your debt” (or similar variation). To clarify, I’m not talking about money (though it can be, lol) but favors. Small tasks, oddjobs, stuff like that.
Lately I’ve been collecting ALOT of IOUs from a few folks both at work and elsewhere. I don’t want to forget the who and when so that when I decide to start “cashing in” those IOUs they’ll know to be ready to “pay up”. By the way I don’t loan money since I rarely carry cash.
The reverse also holds true and those I’ve had a personal, non-financial debt with knows when I return the favor I do it with interest every time. It’s what I do.
To go into a bit more detail, the IOU only gets logged if it’s mutually agreed upon. I’m talking about IOUs I get from folks. I will log it the name of the person I got the IOU from as well as the date so I don’t forget.
As I mentioned above the reverse also holds true and when certain specific conditions are met, my IOU with someone can be transferred to someone else. I say that because this happened earlier this week with an old and new friend of mine. No, I won’t get into any further detail nor will I tell you what the conditions were. in that particular case. It’s a secret!
I think it’s needless to say the art of cashing in an IOU on someone is a like work of art. Having said that, it’s courteous to let the person you’re going to cash in on know in advance so they can do accomodate your needs. I make it easy for folks who cash in on me: I give ’em Coupons.
Here’s a few types of coupons I give:
- 1 Free Hug, Handshake and/or High Five
- Up to two hours (120 minutes) chat time (in 15 minute blocks. Can use all 120 minutes at once or up to 8 times)
- “I lift things up and put them down.” (Speak to me for details, open to your own interpretation)
- 1 Home Made Meal (Speak to me if there are dietary restrictions)
- Up to 60 Minutes of Computer Assistance (in 15 minute blocks. Can use all 60 minutes at once or up to 4 times)
- 15-45 minute emergency work-related coverage (Advance notice required)
That’s just what I’m willing to make public. As for the ones that can be reused there is no experation date. None of my coupons expire, actually.
I recorded this the day before the election:
I couldn’t find a video clip of the song they did for the Mayor-Elect but the chorus is Marty Walsh for Boston. When it makes its way to You Tube I will edit it in here.
Going back to the second video, turns out the majority of Boston agreed. Getting serenaded by the Dropkick Murphys certainly can’t hurt. either!
Me pictured with the Boston Red Sox 2007 World Series Trophy.
6 months ago I wrote this blog about the Boston Marathon Bombing the day after it happened. In the days immediately after the events of that day people and organizations from all over the world sent their love. From a Red Sox fan’s perspective, this tops ’em all. You see, I feel the need to explain something for those who either do not hail from a sports town/city or a Baseball town/city. The mutual love and respect between the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and their respective fans has the power to unite an entire city in ways not even our elected officials have been able to figure out.
This video is the epitome of that:
Yes, everyone in attendance at Fenway Park joined in to sing the Star Spangled Banner. As David Ortiz said that day, this is our <Bleep> City (He changed the swear word when he spoke after last night’s game to “BIG”. It’s interesting to note MLB and the FCC looked the other way when he swore on national tv!).
We are Boston and we are Strong. We are Boston Strong.
For the locals, here’s the parade route:
The 24 boat rally begins near Fenway Park at the intersection of Boylston and Ipswich. From there it travels down Boylston, takes a left on Tremont, a left on Cambridge, a right on Blossom and will finish in the Charles River.
Before the series started I predicted the Red Sox would close it out in Boston. Turns out I got my wish. The best part is since it’s happening on tne weekend, you don’t have to worry about folks skipping school or work to go to the parade 😄