Media, Schools Continue to Demonize Thanksgiving

In recent years, several left-wing institutions, including the mainstream media and public education, have ramped up their attacks against the beloved holiday of Thanksgiving, often falsely accusing the holiday of remembering racism and violence that never occurred.

Thanksgiving is remembered as the special feast held by the Pilgrims after they first arrived to America aboard the Mayflower in 1620, and was historically significant as an occasion where the Pilgrims and the Native Americans were able to come together peacefully and enjoy the abundance of natural resources that the New World had to offer. In the following centuries, it is observed as a holiday where Americans express thanks and gratitude for family, friends, and other blessings in their lives.

However, as reported by Fox News, far-left activists and pundits have used the mainstream media to viciously bash the concept of Thanksgiving. On MSNBC last year, one such activist named Gyasi Ross, falsely claimed that “instead of bringing stuffing and biscuits, those settlers brought genocide and violence.” Back in 2020, “Morning Joy” guest Jason Johnson claimed that several people he knew call it “Colonizer Christmas, because they don’t really like the idea of what Thanksgiving represents.”

In 2019, the New Yorker magazine published a story that falsely connected Thanksgiving to Jim Crow and the segregation era, even though these occurred hundreds of years after Thanksgiving and had nothing to do with the holiday. “Glorifying the endurance of white Pilgrim founders diverted attention from the brutality of Jim Crow and racial violence, and downplayed the foundational role of African slavery,” the article declared.

Even the fictional television show “Grey’s Anatomy” took shots at Thanksgiving last year, when a character went on a diatribe against the holiday by saying that “Thanksgiving isn’t really a holiday we should celebrate. There’s no actual evidence Native Americans were even invited to a feast. I think they cared more about being colonized and having their land stolen than mashed potatoes.” This is also false, as there is in fact documented evidence of a mass peaceful gathering between the Pilgrims and the Natives.

When asked to explain the bizarre and undying hatred towards the holiday, Geoffrey Dickens, Director of Media Analysis for the Media Research Center, explained that the vitriol may be the result of anti-Christian sentiment from the Left.

“There is also a religious aspect to the holiday,” Dickens explained, “expressing gratitude for blessings of faith, family and living in a free country — that sadly many in the secular press are not comfortable discussing.”

Melanie Kirkpatrick, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, also pointed to outright lies about Thanksgiving being taught in public schools. She emphasized that “elementary schools are doing a better job of teaching the First Thanksgiving,” since “Native Americans are correctly presented as vital participants in the 1621 feast without whose help, the Pilgrims might not have survived.”

“That’s not true in high schools,” she continued. “If Thanksgiving is studied at all, it’s often misrepresented. A student at a prestigious New York public high school once told me that the roots of the holiday are found in English settlers’ custom of holding Thanksgivings when they killed Indians. That’s a gross misrepresentation.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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