Have we really come that far?

standingstrongThis week we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday enacted by Abraham Lincoln (who freed the slaves), as a political move to bring families together and elicit pride and thankfulness for our country.   ~Political strategy~

Our history books tell a story about a man who sailed the ocean blue in 1492.  This man who the history books praise and credit as the discoverer of America contributed to systematic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans and enslaved thousands more.  All of this done, because as he wrote in his journal, they were a peaceful, but uncivilized people that could be used and manipulated.  ~Greed~

At this very moment the federal government is shooting rubber bullets, tear gassing and water hosing Native Americans on the little sacred ground they have left for an oil pipeline in South Dakota.  ~Greed~

As we sit down this week to give thanks for all that we have and all the sacrifices the men and woman before us made, lets take a moment to think about how and at what moral cost it took for us to get here.  Should we be thankful that the Native Americans were so hospitable and weren’t as technologically advanced to have guns?  Or should we be thankful that Christopher Columbus and others were brave enough to make such a treacherous voyage?  Our history books tell us its the latter.  Does the real history tarnish us as a nation?  Or can the real history teach us and our children lessons on how we should act not as Americans, but as human beings. Maybe, just maybe if that lesson was implanted in our education 200 years ago we wouldn’t have tanks in South Dakota for an oil pipeline through the remaining land we’ve “allowed” the Native Americans to have.

Our country was founded on freedom from oppression and religious persecution, but lost in that is the millions of humans left in the wake of our “progress’.  We have come so far as a nation with civil rights, woman’s rights, LGBT rights, but for some reason, when it comes to our insatiable need for more, the Native American still remains in our cross hairs.

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