Have Americans Become Shameful instead of Grateful? by Courtenay Turner

I have seen a pervasive trend in education, media and pop-culture employing guilt and shame as tools to manipulate people into betraying their own values. The conversion of the triumphant tale of American capitalism giving birth to Thanksgiving, into the misconstrued victim story of the Native American Indians is yet another example of this.

Thanksgiving is often thought of as a joyous celebration for many Americans to feast amongst friends, family and loved ones. While we all have reasons to be grateful that are personal to us, we also have much to celebrate as a nation. The earth and soil this country inhabits is bountiful in beauty and resources, but I think what makes the United States unique and exceptional are the people and the ideas upon which it was founded! In many ways the origins of Thanksgiving gave birth to these ideas and way of life.

In my exuberance for the holiday I have been asking people about their plans, and to my consternation many relayed their disdain for the holiday lamenting how poorly “the evil white man treated the poor Indians”. I was appalled to hear so many intelligent, erudite, individuals some of whom have graduate degrees and work in academia, perpetuate this biased myth about the glorious holiday! How is it that on the day Americans should be feeling most grateful many are feeling guilty and shameful?


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