Reckoning with Thanksgiving’s origins


This 1925 painting by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe shows a traditional portrayal of the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Thanksgiving is losing popularity over the years.

Social Media Influence

As the 7th most celebrated holiday in the world, you’d think it would get more love. With social media apps like Tiktok gaining control over the world, many traditions with racist or problematic origin have been “canceled”.

Thanksgiving has been the subject of many tiktokers who’s content focuses on history.  It has been said that Thanksgiving started off in 1620, with 102 people escaping religious persecution from their homeland of Plymouth, England on a 66 day journey, finally landing near Cape Cod and began to start a new village near Massachusetts.

After a dreadful first winter, a settler brought back a Native American named Squanto to help the remaining colonists. Squanto taught them how to fish and farm, and with the first successful harvest, the colonists threw a 3 day celebratory harvest.

This is the story told in the mainstream, based on an account by Pilgrim Edward Winslow. But nobody wants to get into the gorey details, the mass genocides, the mistreatment of Native Americans. These tiktokers have uncovered the truth and opened people’s eyes to the racist origin of the holiday.

The Hidden Racist Past

Nobody talks about how after the feast, the colonists massacred many of the Native Americans, they ravaged their villages and exposed their population to many dangerous European diseases.

When Christopher Columbus first arrived on American soil in 1492, that marked the beginning of the genocide of the Native Americans, many of them dying from the European diseases or their villages being put into reservations to have even more taken away from them.

The colonizers constantly took advantage of their kindness and generosity. But schools refuse to talk about it. The world refuses to educate people on its hateful origins because people don’t want to open up to it due to their ignorance.

While Thanksgiving will never fully be erased, it should be celebrated without ignoring the lives lost because of the sheer hate that the colonizers had for the Native Americans. The past of the holiday should not be ignored because we are currently raising a generation of children that are oblivious to their culture and history. It’s morally wrong but predictable that history is told from the side of the oppressors, but we cannot forget the struggles that the native peoples faced at the hands of the Pilgrims.