Lisowski: You shouldn’t feel bad about Thanksgiving


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Thanksgiving has always been controversial, but that doesn’t mean you should feel guilty about celebrating the day.

Maximillian Lisowski, Opinion Editor

We often think of potatoes, turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie when we approach the end of November, and as our society has become more critical about what, how and why we celebrate holidays, it only seems right to justify Thanksgiving in America.  

I recognize that to the Native American population, this holiday is more than a sore subject. The exploitation and killing of Native Americans centuries ago is a harsh reality that we as a nation must not turn away from. 

Thanksgiving used to be a celebration of conquering Native American villages

But I believe that Thanksgiving is no longer a holiday that stems from malice. You shouldn’t feel bad or guilty about celebrating this holiday. 

Thanksgiving is a day filled with love and hope. Millions of Americans trek home for several days to celebrate this holiday with their loved ones, and while everyone may not celebrate it, it is a time for families to gather and rekindle relationships that may have been strained due to the busyness of life.  

The holiday today is by no means a day to remember the Pilgrims in favor of Native Americans’ pasts, but rather an opportunity for people to take a step back from work, school or life to spend time where it matters most — with family. It is my favorite holiday simply because it brings my family and me together when we usually can’t be. 

You should not feel bad about celebrating Thanksgiving with your family. However, I urge you to do more research on its history and what Native Americans had to endure for the benefit of creating the United States of America. Dozens, if not hundreds, of organizations fight for the sake of Native Americans and the land that was taken from them long ago. 

Nothing can be done to change our past; the only thing we can do is look toward a bright future. One where we can hope for forgiveness and earn the respect of Native American people. 

So, this Thanksgiving day, when you’re filling up on ‘tatoes and eating more than you probably should, take some time to acknowledge whose land you’re on. Consider supporting Native initiatives and read up on the true history of the Native American people. 

You can enjoy Thanksgiving, but always remember to be respectful of those who have their qualms about its celebration.