Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday in 1863 in an attempt to point out the cultural unity of the nation. It’s date was fixed as the third Thursday in November in 1941 by FDR. The holiday fit neatly into the idea of the Four Freedoms campaign against the forces of fascism. The horrific news coming from Standing Rock sobers us on the national day of unity, but remember the spirit of the holiday was officially memorialized in the wake of the Gettysburg address, which promised that government of, by, and for the people “shall not perish from the Earth,” and in the wake of FDR’s promise that the spirit of American freedom, no matter how un-inclusive it was in 1941, eternally meant an oasis from fear and want and freedom of speech and religion. The origins of the holiday are relevant because irony is strong and our country is in the hands of the enemies of the likes of Lincoln and FDR, but let us try to remember who we can be this Thanksgiving.
In 2016, Thanksgiving is a holiday of dissent from fascism, slavery, and the police state. Lincoln declared in the Gettysburg Address that all American freedoms were one, and the 14th Amendment attempted to bring that into being. FDR waved it in the faces of the Nazis. Try to remember that Thanksgiving message.
Native Americans saved the lives of the first European settlers in New England. Euro-Americans should return the favor this holiday. Donate: http://standingrock.org/news/standing-rock-sioux-tribe–dakota-access-pipeline-donation-fund/