Daily Archives: November 26, 2015

How Americans in Europe are celebrating Thanksgiving


How Americans in Europe are celebrating Thanksgiving

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade: New York puts on a show


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade: New York puts on a show

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Millions attend Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York – as it happened


Millions attend Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York – as it happened

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The story of a radicalisation: ‘I was not thinking my thoughts. I was not myself’


The story of a radicalisation: ‘I was not thinking my thoughts. I was not myself’

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This holiday season, 34 long reads to explore


This holiday season, 34 long reads to explore

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Hunger costs US extra $160bn a year to treat chronic illnesses – study


Hunger costs US extra $160bn a year to treat chronic illnesses – study

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This pressed for clarification: Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving|Via CounterPoint


Telling Facts and Naming Names
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Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving once again: that day, every year, when we are all gluttonous to celebrate the fact that ‘Pilgrims and Indians’ had a harmonious meal — at least that is how it has been framed historically.
Let’s be honest. On the last Thursday of November, every year, we celebrate the beginning of an European invasion that ends with the death or relocation of millions of native people. While many have tried to redefine the meaning of Thanksgiving into a time wherein we cultivate a sense of gratitude, the undeniable truth is that the blood of native people stains the genesis of the holiday. The colonial origins of Thanksgiving – or what many natives often refer to as Thankskilling or Thankstaking – is not something to celebrate. While we cannot pinpoint one specific or original “Thanksgiving” celebration, President Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday in 1863 and conceived it as a national day of thanksgiving. “Pilgrims and Indians” weren’t included in the tradition until 1890. The national mythos surrounding this holiday does not take into consideration the long and violent history of contact between European settlers (in this case English pilgrims – puritans) and indigenous populations that already inhabited the land. It is in these forgotten histories that we see the history of this holiday for what it truly is: English pilgrims, unprepared to survive on the land and unfamiliar with the vegetation, waterways, and others food sources, stranded on Turtle Island who survive those early winters and ultimately engage in a brutal campaign of colonialism and genocidal activity. It is important that we think clearly and honestly about how the beatified pilgrims saw the natives. Five time Plymouth County Governor William Bradford said the natives were “savage people, who are cruel, barbarous, and most treacherous.” Clearly not the people you would like to feast with, yet our national narrative surrounding this holiday celebrates the first Thanksgiving as a moment of harmonious bridge building. This is clearly not the case. Especially when we learn about the Pequot Massacre of 1637. This is just one in a multitude of genocidal tactics employed against the indigenous peoples of this land since white Europeans arrived in 1492. Of this event, Governor Bradford said, Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them. The occupiers celebrated the genocide — and thanked God for the victory. Immediately following the Pequot Massacre of 1637, the occupiers worked diligently to whitewash history. The name of the tribe was erased from the map. The Pequot River became the Thames, and the geographic space the Pequot inhabited became known as New London. It is as if they never existed. The whitewashing and erasure of indigenous histories is not unique to this holiday, but it is, perhaps, one of the most ironic instances of indigenous mass murder in service of white European colonial expansion. The idea that we celebrate the notion that indigenous peoples and the white European occupiers who literally sought their extinction were able to put their differences to the side long enough to sit down and feast upon food, in relative peace and harmony, is deeply problematic. Even more so is the idea that it was the white European occupiers who had to teach and demonstrate “civility” to these “barbarous savages.” With the Pequot massacre in mind, it is clear which group in the Thanksgiving picture were the real “barbarous savages” and who were the ones practicing civility.

The language and the rhetoric surrounding the holiday erase the true history of settler-colonialism. The Pequot Massacre is just one mere instance in the long history of evil acts that began with the white European occupation of Turtle Island. This is also not the first time we have seen the descendants of the occupiers attempt to create a new civic identity by whitewashing history and silencing indigenous voices while erasing indigenous bodies. We see this unfolding in Oklahoma (Okla-humma, Choctaw for “Red People”), where non-native occupiers see no shame in calling themselves “Sooners” (those who stole land prior to the Oklahoma Land Runs — a territory that was, by treaty, set aside specifically and solely for tribal communities “so long as the rivers run and the sun shines…”).

However, indigenous peoples and our co-conspirators cannot stand idly by as those who continue to employ colonial and, ultimately, genocidal tactics against our communities, rewrite, and revise history to justify both their actions and the actions of their ancestors. We must thoughtfully and intentionally intervene because while “Boomer Sooner,” “R*dsk*ns,” and “Thanksgiving” may seem inconsequential to some, the historical context that gave rise to these terms and celebrations contribute to real life consequences that still impact native people in this country.

Native women are the group most likely to be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, with low estimates suggesting 1-in-3 in her lifetime. Upwards of 80% or more of these cases are perpetrated by non-native males. There are 2,000 reports of missing and murdered Indigenous Women from Turtle Island, and suicide in native communities far surpasses the national average for every age group. Natives have the shortest lifespan of any group living in the United States, and this rate is even lower for those living on reservations. Historical or intergenerational trauma is literally embedded in native DNA, and many of our parents and grandparents were stolen from their families and forced into boarding schools that had the expressed mission to “civilize the savage” and “kill the Indian but save the man.”

Physical torture, sexual assault, murder, public shaming, and stealing the culture of native children accomplished this. Psychological studies have demonstrated that native mascots negatively affect the psyche and wellbeing of native youth and many of these children have a difficult time making it through K-12, never mind college. Further, native people are virtually helpless when a non-native perpetrates a crime on native land. The victims have no jurisdiction over non-natives and the only way they could ever achieve justice is if the already overloaded federal government decides the case is worth pursuing. The silencing of native voices not only happened historically, but also continues today.

Whitewashing history, revising history, and developing rhetoric that celebrates the creation of a new civic identity for European occupiers—these all contribute to the oppression of indigenous peoples and tribal communities. The stories like those told about the Indians and Pilgrims at Thanksgiving ingrain a false sense of truth into the mind of the general public. These stories tell the populace that “everything is okay,” and, in fact, the “Indians owe a lot to the Pilgrims.” A closer examination and orientation with actual history, however, will negate these ideas and will enable the public to see how and, more importantly, why these stories – Columbus, Thanksgiving, Boomer Sooner – are told the way they are. These stories are extensions of colonialism and are in fact genocidal tactics. By erasing and replacing the true stories with those of “Thanksgiving,” the occupier continues to remain complicit in genocide.

So enjoy that turkey…but remember that you are doing so in a land that was stolen. Honor the dead by remembering their stories and their sacrifice.

Ashley Nicole McCray is a member of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe (Li-Si-Wi-Nwi) and the Oglala Lakota Nation (Oceti Sakowin). She is a Ph.D student/Graduate Assistant in the History of Science, Technology, & Medicine at the University of Oklahoma. She is a 2015 White House WHO Champion of Change: Young Women Empowering their Communities, a 2015 Norman Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Award Recipient, and a CoreAlign Speaking Race to Power Fellow. Lawrence Ware is an Oklahoma State University Division of Institutional Diversity Fellow. He teaches in OSU’s philosophy department and is the Diversity Coordinator for its Ethics Center. A frequent contributor to the publication The Democratic Left and contributing editor of the progressive publication RS: The Religious Left, he has also been a commentator on race and politics for the Huffington Post Live, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and PRI’s Flashpoint. He can be reached at law.writes@gmail.com

Source: Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving|Via CounterPoint

Happy Thanksgiving: IRON BUTTERFLY – IN A GADDA DA VIDA – 1968 (ORIGINAL FULL VERSION) CD SOUND & 3D VIDEO


IRON BUTTERFLY – IN A GADDA DA VIDA – 1968 (ORIGINAL FULL VERSION) CD SOUND & 3D VIDEO

Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant lyrics: HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!


Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant lyrics

great compositions/performances: Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21 by Masur, LGO (1997)


Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture Op.21 by Masur, LGO (1997)

great compositions/performances: Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev · Vienna Philharmonic · Salzburg Festival 2005


Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev · Vienna Philharmonic · Salzburg Festival 2005

historic musical bits: Debussy – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski


Debussy – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Take Five Piano Quintet – ENRIQUE GRANADOS Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 49 (1894)


Take Five Piano Quintet – ENRIQUE GRANADOS Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 49 (1894)

Historic musical bits: Georg Friedrich Händel: Water Music Suite No. 1 in F major, (HWV 348), Neville Marriner: Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields


Georg Friedrich Händel: Water Music Suite No. 1 in F major, (HWV 348)

Make music part of your life series: Brahms – 16 Waltzes Op. 39, Karin Lechner, Piano


Brahms – 16 Waltzes Op. 39, Karin Lechner, Piano

historic musical bits: Schumann – Symphony No 4 in D minor, Op 120 – Bernstein


Schumann – Symphony No 4 in D minor, Op 120 – Bernstein

great compositions/performances: MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH -Haydn-Cello Concerto No.2 in D MAJOR / ASMF/ IONA BROWN


MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH -Haydn-Cello Concerto No.2 in D MAJOR / Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields / IONA BROWN

Syria air strikes ‘will make us safer’


Syria air strikes ‘will make us safer’

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Russia ‘plans sanctions against Turkey’


Russia ‘plans sanctions against Turkey’

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34933608

great compositions/performances: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Symphony No.1 in C minor Op.11, Claudio Abbado


Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Symphony No.1 in C minor Op.11, Claudio Abbado

Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat major, Op. 26 ‘Funeral March’ Klassik Verzaubert Klassik Verzaubert


Published on Feb 6, 2013

Andras Schiff: The Lectures
Beethoven Sonatas
Wigmore Hall from 2004–6

Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26th, 2015: St. John Berchmans


Image of St. John Berchmans

St. John Berchmans

Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He early wanted to be a priest, and when thirteen became a servant in the household of one of the Cathedral canons at Malines, John … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s holiday: Pilgrim Thanksgiving Day


Pilgrim Thanksgiving Day

Thousands of visitors flock to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day to watch the annual procession from Plymouth Rock to the First Parish Church. Each marcher represents one of the men, women, and children who survived the 1620 trip from England aboard the Mayflower to form the settlement known as Plimoth Plantation. The modern-day Plimoth Plantation is a living-history village that recreates Pilgrim life in 1627. Each November, Plimoth offers a variety of programs as well as period dining that features original Thanksgiving Day foods. More… Discuss

quotation: Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. John F. Kennedy Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. John F. Kennedy


Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Discuss

today’s birthday: Charles M. Schulz (1922)


Charles M. Schulz (1922)

Schulz was the creator of the enormously popular syndicated comic strip Peanuts, which ran continuously from 1950 until 2000, when Schulz announced its end shortly before his death. The strip’s principal characters are Charlie Brown, a gentle, puzzled boy, usually failing, yet always persevering; Lucy, his bossy, know-it-all friend; Linus, a philosophical tyke with a security blanket; and Snoopy, a romantic, self-deluded beagle. Before Peanuts, Schulz worked for what magazine? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Public Streetcar Service Begins in New York City (1832)


Public Streetcar Service Begins in New York City (1832)

The first streetcars, which were drawn by horses, were introduced in New York City. The first electric streetcar system for urban passenger service in the US was introduced about 50 years later in Cleveland. The use of streetcars expanded in the US until World War I. Since then, most have been replaced by buses, although many still remain in use, and new streetcar systems have been introduced in some cities. What is the difference between a streetcar and a trolley? More… Discuss

Bookbinding


Bookbinding

The craft of bookbinding began simply, with the use of boards to protect parchment manuscripts. By the 2nd century, sheets of parchment were being folded and sewn together. During the Middle Ages, the practice of making fine bindings for these sewn volumes rose to great heights; books were rare and precious articles, and many were treated with exquisite gilded and jeweled bindings. What is the uncommon practice of binding books in human skin, a technique dating back to the 17th century, called? More… Discuss

word: phloem


phloem

Definition: (noun) The food-conducting tissue of vascular plants, consisting of sieve tubes, fibers, parenchyma, and sclereids.
Synonyms: bast
Usage: “Girdling” a tree, or cutting through its phloem tubes, results in the starvation of the roots and, ultimately, the death of the tree. Discuss.

Pope celebrates huge Mass in Kenya


Pope celebrates huge Mass in Kenya

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