Giving Thanks to the Muskogee (Creek)Tribe

Educate yourself: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Creek-people

The Muskogee Tribe lost the land that accounts for the state of Alabama and most of Georgia in The Creek Battle against the US in the 19th century. The people in that tribe, as well as other smaller tribes in the Southeast, were sent away in the The Trail of Tears to “Indian Territory” which we now call Oklahoma, and they lived happily ever after. Just kidding. As you probably know many of the Indigenous People in our country were forced into horrific conditions, had their land and their liberties taken from them, and then were forgotten about, murdered, exploited. If you don’t know that, stop what you are doing now and write your eight grade history teacher. Thank them for teaching you what they were told to, then ask them to kindly petition our American government to do more for Indigenous People who for too long have been marginalized and vilified by our government. Or, Google how you can help. Whatever makes you feel more productive today.

Perhaps you want to follow tags and groups and people like:

  • #DecolonizeMyself or @DecolonizeMyself
  • #DecolonizeYourBookshelf
  • @NativeAmericanArt
  • @NativeMovement
  • @ChiefLadyBird
  • @ShariceForCongress
  • @IndigenousRising
  • @RepDebHaaland
  • @AvisCharley
  • #LandBack
  • @IndeginiousClimateAction
  • @SeedingSovereignty

These are examples of artists, coalitions, politicians, and movements on Instagram (and other social media platforms) that can help educate you on the history, strength, and tenacity of the Indigenous People in our country, and what better day to do that than today, the day we give thanks for our great nation. The one we stole from these people and their ancestors.

As we celebrate as a family today, we will be celebrating with the Muskogee Tribe in mind, as well as the Plains People because we are partial to the Great Plains of Kansas as well. We will be discussing their history, the food they eat, ways we can help them now. We will be teaching Jackson the real history of these people, which is our history, our country’s history, and like the rest of our history there are some horrific things to discuss, but there is also so much to be thankful for, starting with the people who lived here before us.

We hope you have a good day of thanks and we hope you remember and honor the people who made it possible.

Oh, and wear a fucking mask. But don’t wear feathers, and I don’t believe I have to say this in this day and age, but I have seen it with my own eyes so I do have to say it: DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT DRESS YOUR CHILD UP LIKE A NATIVE AMERICAN.

That is all, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

M.

Fuck the Pilgrims

We wanted to enjoy a nice “Fuck the Pilgrims” Thanksgiving this year, then our family decided they wanted to come here for the holiday, so we scrapped that idea and went all in with a regular old Thanksgiving. Then we decided that Covid has no chill and it was not a good idea to have a house full of guests this holiday, and probably any holiday until this shit is under control, so now we are back to a “Fuck the Pilgrims” Thanksgiving.

We aren’t really sure what a “Fuck the Pilgrims” Thanksgiving looks like, maybe we get pilgrim statues and hang them from their necks over the fireplace? Too gruesome? Or maybe we make a list of all the lands the pilgrims stole from the Indigenous People, and we donate five dollars for each land we come up with? Too expensive? Okay, maybe we just learn about the lands near us that were stolen from the Indigenous People, read about small box blankets and what not, and give thanks that the Native Americans are as resilient as they are? Perfect.

The point is Thanksgiving, like Christmas, is just an excuse for us to be with family, enjoy each other’s company, and eat a ton of good food. We don’t prescribe to the whole “Thank you” toward those first settlers who were monsters, and no, we aren’t grateful for them. I mean, I could be living in London right now, speaking with a British accent and going on about my business and not being led by one Donald Trump, so ehh.

Sure, I’m happy to be in America (sometimes) but I don’t really care either way because the truth of the matter is, you make the most of wherever you are, and that’s that. So yeah, fuck the pilgrims and their blooding and plundering, they didn’t do me any bloody favors.

Happy Fuck the Pilgrims Week, y’all.

M.

Dam Yam Hypothesis

We cancelled our Thanksgiving plans this year, more on that at a later time, but instead of having a houseful, it will just be the three of us (five of us if we count the dogs, some days I do, some days when I think I might kill one of them, I don’t). Still, even though there will only be three, maybe five, of us eating yams we bought the biggest can that Sam’s Club has. Why? They are yams, damn it.

The point of this is that the can of Bruce’s Yams is now sitting on our kitchen counter, because where does one fit a nine-pound can of yams? And Jackson has taken a liking to showing whomever he Facetimes with, his grandfather, his friends, his school study group, the can of yams sitting on our counter, while saying, “Look how crazy my parents are!”

Yesterday another sixth-grader yelled, “Oh my goodness, my parents have a six-pound can of strawberries on our counter!” And much to my hilarity I was sufficiently absolved of my yam guilt as Jackson said to his father, “Daddy, you and mommy are not the only crazy parents! Andrew’s parents have a six-pound can of strawberries!”

And just like that the world righted itself.

But by this time the question of how many yams are in the can had presented itself, leaving Jackson with a long division problem that he didn’t want to do, but one that Jerimiah made him do. Turns out, there are approximately 11 yams in the can. At least according to the “Dam Yam Hypothesis.”

Stay strong parents! And get those yams!

M.

Turkey Day

Like most holidays around the Goodnight house, today is just a day to fill ourselves full of turkey and pie with family and friends, and as of late, think about and discuss the people who came before us. Because while we’ve come a long way from where we were twenty years ago, I still noticed like today, in this year, in 2019, that kids are still dressed up like “Pilgrims” and “Indians” and made to put on little, fictitious performances at school, public school, to represent this day. Dude, I’m rolling my eyes so far back in my head right now that they might actually stay that way, which would make my mom right. Again.

Because listen, for the past 50 years, the fourth Thursday in November has been considered the National Day of Mourning to many in the Native American community. Rightfully so. In fact, there’s a plaque in Plymouth explaining the day. Explaining how it was created to remember the genocide that happened on our lands many years ago. To their people. The Native Americans.

So sure, yes. White people like me have a lot to be thankful for today. We have a lot to be grateful for every day. (Side note: so glad that “grateful November” Facebook bs didn’t take this year. Did y’all know you can be grateful without talking about it on social media?!) Okay, whew. I’m being snarky. I’m sorry. I haven’t had my turkey yet.

The point is, many of you probably didn’t know about the National Day of Mourning. Some of you may not even think for one second about the Native Americans on this day, too consumed with football, and not burning the rolls, and whether your kids are dressed better than you sister’s. But that really isn’t what today is about. Of course, what it is really about is way fucking worse. The taking of land that didn’t belong to us. Genocide. And now a racism so steeped in our culture we actually don’t even realize it’s bad. So you know what, scratch what I was saying, go watch football, and eat turkey, and lie to your sister about how cute her kids look. Make today however you want it to be, but remember, somewhere, in our country, a group of people are mourning the loss of not just their land, but of their heritage. The same heritage that you’re poking fun at with feathers stuck in your hair.

But remember, today of all days, that just because something has been done a certain way since you were a kid, doesn’t mean it should stay that way. Doesn’t mean it is the right way. Some things, like the case of the fourth Thursday in November, just make us too uncomfortable to address it. But just because a topic makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak about it. That’s not how this world works. We learn and we grow. We become better. And we should always be striving to do better. To learn and grow, so that we can be better than our ancestors. Better than our parents and grandparents, and better people than we were the year, the month, or the day before. We deserve that. Our kids deserve that.

So, from my house to yours, Happy Eat Turkey Day. Sure, we’ll be watching football, and saying thing we are grateful for, but we will also be learning about the particular Natives who inhabited the state we live in today. Because, duh. Fucking, duh.

Do better. Be better. Gobble, gobble.

M.