The War on Christeastgivingdayoween

lo-thanksgiving_humor_eat_ham_turkey-810472.jpg
Clearly a Godless liberal.

While conservatives are declaring war on the Muslim world, liberals are apparently launching an assault on the holidays.* This time it’s Thanksgiving. Michelle Malkin is in a tizzy because the Seattle School District sent out a letter to its staff letting them know that Thanksgiving may be a difficult time of year for Native students, who for some crazy reason don’t just associate Thanksgiving with turkey and pumpkin pie. Now, the school district didn’t tell teachers not to discuss Thanksgiving; it didn’t even give them rules or guidelines for what to say. It just asked them to recognize that this may come up — in other words, district leaders did their jobs by preparing teachers and staff for potential issues.

But that doesn’t fly with Michelle. Here’s how she thinks Thanksgiving should be taught:

Chuck Narcho, a member of the Maricopa and Tohono O’odham tribes who works as a substitute teacher in Los Angeles, said younger children should not be burdened with all the gory details of American history.

“If you are going to teach, you need to keep it positive,” he said. “They can learn about the truths when they grow up. Caring, sharing and giving — that is what was originally intended.”

I may be crazy, but last I checked, a whole lot of Seattle School District students are not “younger children.” Further, school is for teaching, not cultural indoctrination. We can pretend that settlers and Native populations got along just dandy, and we can also teach students that slavery was a real hoot for African Americans, that Japanese internment was kinda like camping, and European Jews didn’t mind being relocated to their own special neighborhoods — that doesn’t make it so.

Malkin and other conservatives routinely accuse “left-wing academics” of twisting the truth to suit their ideological aims. So here’s the introductory paragraph to the letter that the Seattle School District sent out to its staff; I’m sure you can just taste the liberal brain-washing:

We recognize the amount of work that educators and staff have to do in order to fulfill our mission to successfully educate all students. It’s never as simple as preparing and delivering a lesson. Students bring with them a host of complexities including cultural, linguistic and social economic diversity. In addition they can also bring challenges related to their social, emotional and physical well being. One of our departments’ goals is to support you by suggesting ways to assist you in removing barriers to learning by promoting respect and honoring the diversity of our students, staff and families.

Respecting and honoring diversity? Recognizing that people come from diverse backgrounds? Sounds like Communism to me.

Reading Malkin’s comment section is always a trip, because I’ve never seen so many people with such victim complexes all in one place. One dude bemoans his oppressed status and says, literally, “Is there a special interest minority group for white heterosexual males?” Others proudly declare that, in my house, we WILL celebrate Thanksgiving!

It would be sad if it weren’t so funny (or perhaps the other way around?). Soldier on, staunch defenders of Thanksgiving. Soldier on.

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*Probably because we’re big pussies who don’t know how to fight with real guns keyboards in the face of deadly carpal tunnel syndrome.


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32 comments for “The War on Christeastgivingdayoween

  1. micheyd
    November 13, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Hmm, seems like the conservatives at my college were years ahead on this one – they used to do a Columbus Day “rally” to celebrate how Columbus came over and civilized America, and if you say a peep about how the Native Americans were dealt with during this process, by George, you’re a traitor!! And no, I’m not exaggerating.

  2. rootlesscosmo
    November 13, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    “If you are going to teach, you need to keep it positive,” he said. “They can learn about the truths when they grow up.

    So school is where you learn comforting lies, and you can pick up the truth in, you know, back alleys and locker rooms? We don’t need no thought control!

  3. November 13, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    My War on Thanksgiving:

    1) If you talk politics at the table, you admit you’re picking a fight.

    2) You don’t get to make a plate to take home unless you brought something for other people to eat.

    3) You cannot take home my Tupperware.

    4) I will not cook dinner and then clean the dishes while you watch the game because I’m a woman and cookin’ and cleanin’ is what I’m made for.

    Others may feel free to join my battle against the holidays.

  4. Joshua
    November 13, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Somewhat OT, I think there IS a war on Thanksgiving. The last time I went into the Fred Meyer, it looked as though Santa had annexed the place and left a battalion of elves and reindeer cavalry behind to keep the peace during the turbulent transition period from Halloween.

    Seriously, though, I love the collective persecution complex that rears its ugly head this time of year. The best defense is a good offense!!

  5. preying mantis
    November 13, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    “Others proudly declare that, in my house, we WILL celebrate Thanksgiving!”

    Hear, hear! And when everybody’s too bloated with pie and too doped up on tryptophan to move, surely we will have shown someone somewhere something about…stuff. Take that, somebody.

  6. November 13, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    We better not do away with Thanksgiving – I mean, how many days per year do Americans have to stuff their faces with unhealthy food and get together with relatives that they dislike? Besides, it’s the one day per year where Americans choose to be thankful for displacing native people so they could create global warming – how can you not celebrate that?

  7. williamx
    November 14, 2007 at 1:51 am

    What is school for, if not cultural indoctrination.Good or bad, what is it that school is really for? We want to develop well rounded individuals capable of functioning in the world at large, and does that not entail some cultural indoctrination?
    Still and all, The crass commercialism of the last three months of every year is enough to drive one to Godless Communism. Praise Allah that it may one day be so . . .

  8. Natasha Yar-Routh
    November 14, 2007 at 2:04 am

    Since Lyne, my significant other, is Irish Comanche Thanksgiving has never been that big in our household. June 25, however, being Custer’s Last Stand is always a time of celebration and merriment.

    Soon it will time to start preparing for Yule and the solstice a time for fires and celebration. So a early Merry Yule and Happy Solstice to you all.

  9. Schmorgluck
    November 14, 2007 at 2:28 am
  10. Morningstar
    November 14, 2007 at 2:30 am

    apparently ron paul believed that there was a war on christmas as well:

    [T]he once commonplace refrain of ‘Merry Christmas’ has been replaced by the vague, ubiquitous ‘Happy Holidays.’ But what holiday? Is Christmas some kind of secret, a word that cannot be uttered in public? Why have we allowed the secularists to intimidate us into downplaying our most cherished and meaningful Christian celebration?”

    http://blogreport.salon.com//

  11. Laurie
    November 14, 2007 at 2:41 am

    So school is where you learn comforting lies, and you can pick up the truth in, you know, back alleys and locker rooms? We don’t need no thought control!

    Pink Floyd ref for the win!!! *grin*

    A thought about Thanksgiving — it IS a good thing to set aside a day to look at and acknowledge the blessings you have. And to celebrate harvest time, especially if you can bring some of YOUR own personal harvest to the table. (Not this year, but I’m working on it! My yard layout is not that vegetable friendly with regards to sun exposure…)

    I think that a day set aside for those kinds of reflections is a good thing. Stuffing yourself silly — not so much. The whole Pilgrims/Indians myth?* Not so much. The truth is always better than a polite fiction, even if it has too many sides to count. I’m just glad that some folks, somewhere, are acknowledging that the Native American perspective on the whole Thanksgiving myth is different from what has been taught for so many years.

    *Is it still regarded as a truth that the Native Americans in the New England/Plymouth area helped the Puritan settlers survive their first winter? or at least showed them what foods were native and would grow well? It’s been a LOOOONG time since I studied American history, and viewpoints have changed since then. It wouldn’t surprise me if that bit was true, but it also wouldn’t surprise me to find out it had been made up. :(

  12. exholt
    November 14, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Glad my junior high school classmates and French teacher were far more understanding and open-minded considering the art project I exhibited and turned in during the late 1980’s.

    If the turkey depicted in the post’s display picture is indicative of a “Godless liberal”, I wonder how they would react to a 7th grade French class art project depicting a platoon of musket toting turkeys launching a revolution to liberate their brethren from being turned into Thanksgiving dinner.

    Disclaimer: The art project was motivated more by adolescent amusement, the French Revolution theme, and the fact Thanksgiving was around the corner….the concept of animal rights activism was the furthest thing from my mind.

  13. Em
    November 14, 2007 at 8:40 am

    We can pretend that settlers and Native populations got along just dandy,

    They tell kids the truth now? I’m not that far out of childhood, and my history books gave me the song and dance.

  14. alsojill
    November 14, 2007 at 9:19 am

    And God forbid that in a place like Seattle, which has an actual Native American population (gasp!! they’re not all dead!!), the schools actually try to be aware of and sympathetic to differing reactions to Thanksgiving.

    However, that said, I am fully in support of everyone indulging in a day of gluttonous eating, whether in celebration of your blessings or in preparation for the gluttony of Christmas day. (It’s good practice, you see.)

  15. Thealogian
    November 14, 2007 at 9:29 am

    It is soooo important to start teaching children history through a critical lense–so many people stopped paying attention after they learned about Washington and the cherry tree (and the deification of our founders/the party line that the Puritans were all good and godly/etc).

    I will say, though that presenting things in an age appropriate manner is important (and here I’m not defending Malkin). What I mean is that introduce the difficult issues early–don’t feed kids the false history most people born before 1980 got–but keep it in the presentation style age appropriate. What I mean really relates to something that specifically happened in my liberal education in the San Francisco Bay Area as a kid. We went to the Missions in early elementary school–now what happened in the Missions, the torture, disease, rape, and riping families apart–it was absolutely appalling. In the 3rd grade, my class was put in one of the torture chambers and told to imagine the horrors (captive) in explicit detail–and I felt trapped, I couldn’t get away; I felt violated and scared. This was not the best way to teach young children.

    Now, I support tactile learning and I think that experiences like the Holocaust Museum can be life altering in your perspectives, but I wouldn’t take a 3rd grader through the Holocaust Museum–classroom discussion, yes, but I’d save the experience until 7th or 8th grade. Now the Freedom Museum that details the Slave Experience in Cincinnati is excellent and has many elements of the Holocaust Museum, but it also has age specific areas where you take the kids 5-10 here and older kids here and adults everywhere. None of it is sugar-coated, but its all cognizant that we have different capacities to engage the horrors and difficult truths of our collective histories in this nation.

    Peace

  16. CBrachyrhynchos
    November 14, 2007 at 9:44 am

    What’s even worse, the Pilgrims who brought us Thanksgiving actually banned Christmas. Among many of the radical Christian wignuts who created the United States was a feeling that Christmas was too “papist” for a proper Christian life.

  17. alsojill
    November 14, 2007 at 11:02 am

    None of it is sugar-coated, but its all cognizant that we have different capacities to engage the horrors and difficult truths of our collective histories in this nation.

    Amen to that. When I was in second or third grade, my teacher divided us into random groups by things like blue eyes or just what side of the room we were sitting on, and then allowed certain groups (people without blue eyes, people sitting on the left) to have a drink of water and/or a piece of candy, while the rest of us had to sit quietly. She was teaching us about discrimination and Jim Crow.

    It was terrifically effective. We learned about discrimination, but no one traumatized us by putting us in a freaking torture chamber. That is horrifying. I’m all about teaching the truth of history, but if someone had done that to me as a third grader, my parents probably would’ve had to sue the school just to pay my medical bills. (I wish I were kidding.)

  18. November 14, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I can’t wait for the last Friday in April so that us treehuggers can accurately bitch about the wingnuts’ War on Arbor Day.

  19. SunlessNick
    November 14, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Among many of the radical Christian wignuts who created the United States was a feeling that Christmas was too “papist” for a proper Christian life.

    There still are, though now they tie in the pagan origin (sometimes true, sometimes not) of a lot of Christmas iconography.

  20. November 14, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I think the single most irritating thing I ever saw written about Thanksgiving was by Garrison Keillor. It’s the perfect holiday, because “you just sit down to it.”

    Clearly, this was written by a man who’d never mashed a turnip in his life.

  21. November 14, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Here it is.

    Okay, reading it again, it seems to be a childhood memory, so it’s unlikely he *would* have been enlisted to cook, but surely an adult man can understand that dinner does not just magically appear on the table, and the table doesn’t just magically get cleared.

  22. meggygurl
    November 14, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Okay, reading it again, it seems to be a childhood memory, so it’s unlikely he *would* have been enlisted to cook, but surely an adult man can understand that dinner does not just magically appear on the table, and the table doesn’t just magically get cleared.

    Wait wait wait. You mean real life isn’t like Harry Potter, where the dinner just shows up?

    Oh wait, even that was reveled to be not true, seeing as there were eleves slaving to get it cooked and ready. See, food can never just appear and then clear itself up magically. Even in the magical world.

  23. preying mantis
    November 14, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    “Okay, reading it again, it seems to be a childhood memory, so it’s unlikely he *would* have been enlisted to cook, but surely an adult man can understand that dinner does not just magically appear on the table, and the table doesn’t just magically get cleared.”

    Still, I’m having trouble thinking of a holiday for which a child would be enlisted to do much of anything except show up, with the exception of Christmas (you have to open stuff) and Easter (those eggs won’t find themselves).

  24. preying mantis
    November 14, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Hell, right there in the piece he gives the lie to the idea of just sitting down to it. There’s the women in the kitchen, taking care of all the cooking, then the presiding Aunt hovering, serving, refilling, making sure everybody’s happy. The “you” is dudes.

  25. November 14, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    the native american me detests thanksgiving…the pagan me embraces the opportunity to share a harvest meal w/ friends and family and to reflect on our blessings…we make a huge meal for all of our friends stationed where we are and who can’t go home for leave. we take plates to watchstanders who have to work. it’s a lot of fun!

  26. November 14, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    ugh…i hate it when i disrail my thought train…

    so, if school is for comforting lies, and we can teach kids the truth when they grow up, how do we undo the damage done by ignorance? by not teaching tolerance and respect, we leave the doors wide open for hate. or, did i miss something? is hate a family value served w/ mashed potatoes now?

  27. exholt
    November 14, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Further, school is for teaching, not cultural indoctrination. We can pretend that settlers and Native populations got along just dandy, and we can also teach students that slavery was a real hoot for African Americans, that Japanese internment was kinda like camping, and European Jews didn’t mind being relocated to their own special neighborhoods — that doesn’t make it so.

    But…but…but…the poor little darlings’ cannot take the truth!!! Can’t we all just pretend all is dandy for the sake of our darling children?!! Our fragile babies’ psyches are such that we need to micromanage everything they do and learn right into the college/university years and beyond!!!

    /snk

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  29. Laurie
    November 15, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    brandann:

    the native american me detests thanksgiving…the pagan me embraces the opportunity to share a harvest meal w/ friends and family and to reflect on our blessings…we make a huge meal for all of our friends stationed where we are and who can’t go home for leave. we take plates to watchstanders who have to work. it’s a lot of fun!

    That is so awesome — sharing the harvest AND taking care of the important people in your lives, especially the ones who can’t be with their own families. You go! :) (And you summed up the ideas behind my above incoherent rambling much better than I did. ::worships:: :)

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