Well it’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day. I spent the day up in Granite Bay (outside of Roseville) with my family at my sister’s house. There we were, all gathered around the table, saying what we were thankful for, and my brother pointed out that for many in the USA, Thanksgiving Day is actually a national day of mourning, not a day for giving thanks. He’s referring, of course, to many Native Americans who have a lot to grieve over, like the loss of an entire continent to Europeans. Some people may think that’s kind of an inappropriate remark to make as everyone is giving thanks around the table, and maybe it is, but there’s certainly a lot of truth in that. Because there’s often two sides two every story, and you won’t find a better example of that than the myth surrounding Thanksgiving in the USA. It didn’t go down like my kids are being taught in elementary school, that’s for sure. Those Europeans who broke bread with the “natives” that day in 1621 or whatever are called “pilgrims” – but really, they were religious refugees, fleeing persecution in Europe. That’s why they were crazy enough to get on these rickety-ass wooden boats and sail across the Atlantic ocean to set up life in an inhospitable wilderness where many of them died in short order. So you can imagine what the conditions were like where they were fleeing from! Of course, when they arrived in the USA, there were no immigrations and custom enforcement people to meet them, and had there been, they surely would have been turned right around and sent home. And that makes me think of the migrant caravan as it’s called making its way to the the U.S.-Mexico border right now. How are these people so different from the pilgrims that fled to America? I really can’t see much difference, fundamentally. They both want to breathe free, to live a life on their own terms. The Pilgrims and southern immigrants are both hardy folk, self-starters, hard-workers, undeterred by enormous obstacles. These are the kinds of people we want in the USA, do we not? Well, they’re the people I want in *my* USA anyway.
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