The Mother Country is not Mine?

Ryan   Sunday, October 05, 2003, 03:44 GMT
Yeah, we definitely have a counter-culture as well. If we have a counter-culture, then there must be a main culture that it opposes. :-)

Jay   Sunday, October 05, 2003, 06:20 GMT
If Ray Romano is of entirely Italian background, then no, the "pilgrims" weren't his forefathers. Forefathers is a stupid word, anyway.

I dislike Thanksgiving. Celebrating it as a day of eating and friends/family is fine, but really, the colonial/imperial feeling of it (and the genocide of the original Americans) is sort of a gross thing to celebrate. Though maybe that just sounds humourless.
Clark   Sunday, October 05, 2003, 06:35 GMT
Thanksgiving is more than just celebrating the coming together of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans; it is about giving thanks. It started out as one thing, and the traditional meaning still holds to most peple, but I think that Thanksgiving means we should be thankful for what we have in our lives.

Jay, what do you think about the symbolics of Ray Romano calling the Pilgrims his forefathers? Does this make him a "true" American by saying this?
Ryan   Sunday, October 05, 2003, 07:44 GMT
You guys should give this a rest. Obviously he just means forefathers as the people who set up the institutions of this country. I think he realizes he's not a blood relative of them. I don't have a problem with people using the word "forefathers" in a sense that doesn't strictly mean "blood relation." I'm probably not related to them either.

Clark   Sunday, October 05, 2003, 08:54 GMT
Give what a rest? We are discussing something!
Clark   Sunday, October 05, 2003, 12:05 GMT
I was just thinking; I have ancestors who were here in America in the 1640s. But I am no less or no more American than someone like Ray Romano.
Jay the killjoy   Sunday, October 05, 2003, 14:36 GMT

what I meant was, yeah, of course Ray Romano is just as American as someone who can trace their ancestory to the Mayflower. 3/4 of my ancestors weren't here before 1890, but that has nothing to do with how "American" I am. While I like learning about my ancestors, I also don't think their lives have much to do with mine.

About Thanksgiving...we Americans have been really dishonourable in our treatment of the original Americans. Now, I'm not just talking about the stuff we today couldn't control, like smallpox blankets and the like. But even in the 23 years I've been alive, stuff has happened. We still don't honour treaties. We still don't honour Native Americans' rights to have distinct nations. We still haven't formally apologized, not just for 400 years of genocide, but for never honouring a treaty, for giving them the crappiest land, for the Trail of Tears, for trying to kill their languages with Indian schools, and the like. Really, the honourable and just thing to do would be reparations, perhaps in the form of community building and college scholarships. The best, but totally impossible, thing would be to give them the continent back.

Sure, we could and do gloss over this history in our thinking about Thanksgiving. But, like slavery, even though we current Americans had nothing to do with it, if we want our warm fuzzy traditions, we should remember our dishonourable past as well.
And think about it. We celebrate the helpfulness and kindness of the Native Americans who saved the pilgrims' butts. Think how we repaid them.