Food, football and fighting” What Thanksgiving is all about

Staff Editorial

Mason Schweizer, Opinion Editor

It’s no secret that Thanksgiving has evolved into a holiday that celebrates all that is terrible to be an American—we eat more in a day than many around the world can scrounge up in a week before sitting down to watch modern-day gladiators slowly kill themselves on a 100-yard gridiron for our entertainment and gambling habits, all before really celebrating what we have to be thankful for by fist-fighting our neighbors for the last $200 4K TV at the Black Friday Early Bird Sale (has Thanksgiving just become Black Friday Eve?).

Sure, it is a great time for families to come together, but what does it say about us as a nation if our coming together consists of these things?

This isn’t some “young liberal hot take” on the sham that is Thanksgiving, and we here at the Stater are all guilty of practicing these Thanksgiving habits (save for Black Friday madness—we’re all sane individuals up here).

But all these modern Thanksgiving shenanigans have drawn attention away from the original “celebration” of Turkey Day—the genocide of Native Americans and the theft of their land.

And ironically, over the long Thanksgiving weekend, tensions continued to rise at the Standing Rock protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline, where again, the safety and well-being of the Native American population is being compromised to the benefit of the American government.

The oil pipeline is scheduled to run right through sacred land and greatly threatens the water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

A professor here at the college compared the land disruption to ruining cemeteries for our fallen troops and service members, while also posing a great danger to tarnishing our water plants.

If that were to happen, would the people of our nation allow it? Of course not. But it’s not, and therefore many people have no care, regard, or even more than a basic understanding that America is opening a new oil pipeline.

That’s not to say people don’t care—thousands of protestors have gone to Standing Rock to do what they can to make a difference, and scores of thousands more have done things similar to this editorial and tried raising awareness on the situation.

While that’s all well and good, the fact remains that a majority of our population either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about what’s happening. They spend more time holiday shopping and apparently reading fake news stories on Facebook. In a nation of over 300 million, the amount of people who give a damn is but a child’s handful.

And for the even smaller handful who have gone and protested, they have been met with resistance and violence from police and authorities. Rather than stop and listen to the issues the people have, authority figures—those with the guns and badges to protect our people—are using force to eliminate the people, their voices and concerns drowned out by tear gas and rubber bullets.

The same law enforcement system that shoots first and asks questions later when it comes to young black men is using force first and not asking questions later in this instance.

That brings us to the question—what can we do to make a change? Protests have yet to yield success, and neither has raising awareness.

Change doesn’t come overnight, save for support for presidential candidates, apparently. Those who fight for what they believe in must continue to do so.

While we have a ways to go in terms of complete social equality, look how far we’ve come the past 50 years.

Hopefully in the next 50, we can continue to fight the good fight.

Mason Schweizer for The Wayne Stater