Friday, November 25, 2016

A Bad Day After

Like a lot of other people, I spent all day yesterday consumed with consuming. With my best friend visiting from Utah making it all that much more fun, we woke early and baked two pies, then started preparing all the other things for a feast later in the day: Stuffing, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, vegetables, and of course whipped cream for those pies. Everything would later be chewed, swallowed and digested by the assorted clan members gathered to profess thankfulness for one thing or another. The whole thing pays homage to early settlers called Pilgrims who, long ago, kicked the Native Americans to the curb and claimed, "This land is our land."

I'm ashamed to admit that I give no thought, ever, to the Native Americans. Once on a trip out west I went into a convenience store on an Indian reservation. We had stopped for gas and I wanted some gum and cigarettes -- it was that long ago since I have not used either for more than a decade. I remember being totally ignored by the clerk who sat behind the counter watching TV, even after I spoke out several times. I finally left without making a purchase, wondering what the heck was going on. I didn't have a good feeling about the whole lot of them after that. (Hey, calm down -- I already said I'm ashamed.)

Then this morning I saw the mini-firestorm that had erupted on Facebook after Dan Snyder, the owner of Washington's beloved football team, tweeted "Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from the Redskins." His well-meaning wish got lots of people irate in a hurry, and I do mean lots and and I do mean irate, outraged by the fact that although the team has had that name for 82 years, it is more of a racial slur today than it was back when it originated. The bottom line: The Redskins are yet another example of that unfeeling, uncaring, insensitive, widespread racist and hateful demon, White Privilege.

Now I am filled with remorse about yesterday. Not only am I white, but I stuffed myself silly without a thought of the Native Americans. And my jeans, which fit beautifully 36 hours ago, can hardly zip up today. Don't even get me started on all the dead turkeys.


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