27 November 2020 - Covid Thanksgiving highlights divides in America
At Thanksgiving, an America of obscene contrasts
Jill Filipovic (CNN, 25/11/2020)
At my family's Thanksgiving table, we begin the meal by saying what we're thankful for, and every year we list the same themes: We are grateful for our health. For the food on the table. We are grateful that we have one another.
This year, many American families will find gratitude harder to summon heading into the holidays. Unemployment, widespread hunger and unchecked sickness and death are weighing heavily.The President doesn't seem too worried -- and neither does Wall Street. The Dow went above 30,000 on Tuesday, and then Trump popped out before the cameras to crow about the market's success. It was brief -- just one minute -- but obscene.
Educators And Native Leaders Recommend Bringing Anti-Racism To The Thanksgiving Table
Piper McDaniel (NPR, 25/11/2020)
For Walter Fleming, an enrolled member of the Kickapoo tribe in Kansas, Thanksgiving will be difficult this year because so many Native Americans have died from COVID-19.
"Particularly because it's been among our elders, the grieving is gonna be that much more," Fleming said. "These are the cultural guardians."
Fleming is a professor of Native American studies at Montana State University, who observes the holiday. He says it's a chance for people to come together, feast and celebrate.
"It's not because they've been colonized or because they might support any myths around Thanksgiving," Fleming said. "It is that we've grown up with the custom of celebrating Thanksgiving. It's just been a feast day."
Thanksgiving Is a Celebration of Freedom
Judge Glock (The New York Times, 26/11/2020)
As with so much in our lives, Thanksgiving has become a cultural battleground. Politicians and pundits debate whether we should use the day to memorialize the tragedy of the Indians or to celebrate the new liberties of the Pilgrims in America.
Yet the true origins of Thanksgiving have little to do with the Pilgrims and the Indians, and everything to do with the American triumph against slavery. Far from being divisive and outmoded, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday for our modern era, demonstrating how we can both uphold and renew our traditions. Most important, Thanksgiving reminds us of how America took its earlier promise of freedom and used it to end the stain of slavery.
In early America, colonies set aside special days of thanks to “Providence” or “Almighty God.” Such days of thanksgiving were usually for good harvests or military successes, like the one proclaimed by the Continental Congress in December 1777 after Gen. George Washington’s victory at the Battle of Saratoga.
But the idea of a regular and national Thanksgiving Day was the work of one woman. Sarah Josepha Hale had already ensured her everlasting fame by composing the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” when she decided to make a campaign for a thanksgiving holiday.
2020's Covid Thanksgiving is the perfect time to relax the holiday gender binary
Emily Contois (NBC News, 26/11/2020)
Thanksgiving amid the coronavirus has necessarily changed a lot of things about the holiday. For one thing, dinners and gatherings are going to be smaller, hopefully. This more chill Nov. 26 may provide the perfect moment to break down the gender binary of the holiday table. Relaxing the patriarchy can give all of us — women, men, everybody — something to be grateful for.
Even at holiday meals, the patriarchy places men atop a gender hierarchy that subordinates women. But it creates expectations that are bad for men, too. Gender norms demand that men be competitive, especially at Thanksgiving. One of my college students told me that her parents engage in a friendly turkey competition every year. Her mom has perfected a traditional oven-roasted turkey with a salt brine, while her father tries new methods like smoking and grilling, often winning the day with his confident experiments. If culinary competition brings you a genuine rush, go for it. But you can also take your foot off the gas.