WALSH: Thanksgiving Must Be Abolished


Around this time every year we are treated to multiple news articles explaining how we ought to deal with our racist conservative relatives at Thanksgiving. These articles, in my opinion, miss the point entirely. We shouldn’t be dealing with our racist conservative relatives at Thanksgiving dinner at all because we shouldn’t be having a Thanksgiving dinner in the first place.

Thanksgiving is a patriarchal ritual in which white men and their subjugated marital slaves commemorate the mass execution of Indigenous People by consuming the living flesh of innocent animals. It is frankly shocking that any decent person still celebrates this “holiday” in 2018, but I suppose that’s to be expected. Most people today have a cartoonish idea of history. If they had a more mature and nuanced perspective they would realize that the pilgrims were a bunch of thieving, genocidal, disease-ridden, smallpox-toting demons who accomplished nothing of value whatsoever. You might say they established and built a civilization, which, hey, is kind of neat. But so what? What has this civilization ever done for me besides give me everything?

Thanksgiving is violence. It is an act of aggression against Native Americans, obviously, but let’s not forget about the turkeys. These beautiful animals have families and dreams and goals of their own. Something tells me their dreams do not include being murdered and consumed by a rabid pack of carnivorous white people. Thanksgiving also perpetuates the myth of the “family dinner,” which itself has kept women enslaved for centuries.

Just consider how the average Thanksgiving dinner unfolds, according to what I read in my gender studies textbook: A group of barefoot women are locked in the kitchen for days, forced to prepare a sumptuous feast for their domineering husbands. The men all drink scotch and smoke cigars in the living room while laughing about the underpaid employees they fired right before the holidays. Finally the food is brought to the table and the men scarf it down while shouting homophobic and ethnocentric slurs. Then they retreat to the basement to tell racist jokes while the women clean the dishes and slink meekly off to bed. Studies show that most Thanksgiving observances happen exactly like this. It is essentially The Handmaid’s Tale but with gravy.

As a tolerant and appropriately guilt-ridden white man, I have long since withdrawn from these kinds of “celebrations.” Instead, I invite 20 of my closest minority friends to come to my house and insult me for three hours. It gives marginalized people a chance to express their frustrations, and it reminds me that I am scum and my ancestors were a blight on the Earth. We finish the evening by sharing a communal bowl of vegan yogurt. It is a lovely tradition and I simply can’t understand why it hasn’t caught on across the country.

Well, I suppose the average white person isn’t nearly as enlightened as yours truly. That’s why the government should force the issue. Thanksgiving must be abolished. It is time for us to move past these primitive customs.

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