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OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham The Politics of Thansgiving 10 pm ET

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The Politics of Thanksgiving: What We Tell Ourselves and Our Children



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A number of our holidays remain steeped in political controversy. Columbus Day is a case on point. Some argue that we should not celebrate Columbus because he was not the first to reach the Western Hemisphere; Native Americans had been here for thousands of years. It is further noted that he failed in his goal to find a western route to Asia. And, most tragically, he enacted terrible cruelties to friendly natives – allowing them to be raped, robbed, killed, and subjugated of their freedom which led to the genocide of millions.
Also, consider Martin Luther King Day, based on legislation that took many heated years to enact, and July 4th (Frederick Douglass: “What to the American slave, is the 4th of July?”). Even Christmas invites its share of controversy over such issues as excessive commercialism and constitutional questions about the appropriate display of Christian symbols on public property.
The upcoming Thanksgiving Day is no stranger to controversy, as well. Its celebration has been steeped in deep political controversy since the first feast held in August 1621. For generations, American school children were taught that the feast was held to give thanks to the Native Americans who helped Pilgrims survive their first year on American soil.
OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham Saturday ~ 10pm ET

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