We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Thanksgiving Hypocrisy

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 at 1:09 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman

On November 25, 2009, a New York Times editorial headlined, "A Thanksgiving Toast," saying:

"Sitting down with friends and family today, there will be thanks for the steady currents, flowing out of the past, that have brought us to this table....And there will be prayerful thanks for the future."

Fact check

At a time when federal, state and local authorities increasingly turn a blind eye to growing poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger and despair, Times editors gave thanks for their blessings others lack.

They also ignored multiple imperial wars slaughtering millions, and draining trillions of dollars needed for vital homeland needs.

What else to expect from America's leading establishment broadsheet, serving wealth and power, not popular interests.

Its current Thanksgiving topics include:

• holiday football matchups;

• "Thanksgiving Thrift: The Holiday as a Model for Sustainable Cooking;"

• "Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Tipsy Vegan Recipes;"

• "A Radical Rethinking of Thanksgiving Leftovers;"

• "Thanksgiving and Wine in the Willamette Valley;" and

• other food and dining out topics.

Nothing substantive was discussed, including holiday myths, traditions, duress most people face, corporate crime, government culpability, and America's out-of-control militarism and imperial wars.

Last Thanksgiving, a Washington Post editorial also fell short headlined, "Thanksgiving's unchanging appeal," saying:

"In a rough and challenging time, inhabitants of this land - including different peoples not always trusting of one another - come together to give thanks and perhaps to replenish their hopes of better, safer times to come."

How can they when those in power and America's media don't care? A year later, things are worse, not better, and the worst is yet to come with planned austerity cuts hurting millions needing help.

Indifferent WP editors instead said we're "fortunate to be alive and fed and sheltered, and the proper response to our good fortune is not self-satisfaction but gratitude."

It's hard comprehending such dismissive thinking given deepening social distress. At the same time, last Thanksgiving, corporations reported record third quarter profits because payrolls were cut, part-time and temp jobs replaced higher paying/good benefit full-time ones, and current staff had to work harder for less. They still do.

Rich folks never had it better. Millions of poor ones are lucky to have a roof over their heads and enough food for family members. Many don't. Growing numbers are one paycheck from unemployment, impoverishment, and perhaps homelessness - without essential safety net protections unavailable to many across America in need.

Major media scoundrels don't notice or care. No wonder federal, state and local authorities get away with crimes against humanity.

In America, Thanksgiving is celebrated on November's fourth Thursday to give thanks for the year's blessings and bounty. At least that's how it began. It's not current practice.

Most people defile its spirit in how they spend it, including overindulgent eating, parades, "can't miss" football, and start of Christmas shopping.

It begins Thanksgiving Friday, reflecting an orgy of consumerism, continuing through Christmas eve, ebbing for a day, then building for a celebratory new year's welcome with more overindulgent eating, drinking, partying, and binge-shopping for nonessentials.

Thanksgiving, like other holidays, is replete with myths and misconceptions. Children are told Pilgrims invited Native Americans to share their bounty in brotherhood and friendship.

In fact, Pilgrims had nothing to do with traditional Thanksgiving. Native Indians originated it, observing fall harvest celebrations centuries before settlers arrived.

While George Washington had days for national thanksgiving, modern holiday celebrations date from 1863 when Abraham Lincoln tried boosting Union Army morale and patriotic fervor.

As a result, he proclaimed a national Thanksgiving holiday for the first time. Pilgrims had nothing to do with it. The term Pilgrim originated in the 1870s. So much for tradition that's pure myth.

Government officials also use Thanksgiving to promote the illusion of US exceptionalism, moral and cultural superiority, and belief that God made Americans special like Zionist ideologues calls Jews "the chosen people."

It's a short leap from these views to judging others inferior, especially those ranked low in the racial, religious, ethnic or cultural pecking order. Blacks and Latinos are always marginalized. Today, America uses fear to wage war on Islam as public enemy number one.

Thanksgiving also has religious significance when Judeo/Christian traditions are dominant at a time separating church and state is weak, and endangered if Christian fascists gain power.

America was founded as a secular state. The Constitution's First Amendment affirms religious freedom. In 1802, Jefferson called for a  "wall of separation" between church and state. Earlier Supreme Courts agreed.

They ruled separation essential to prevent institutionalizing state religion and government embracing its trappings or expressions. That's threatened if right wing ideologues gain power.

They were dominant under Reagan and GW Bush. They never went away and lurk menacingly. They tried but didn't pass the 2004 and 2005 Constitution Restitution Act to have America governed theocratically.

Dominionists and their followers want church and state separation ended, Christian dogma enforced, and nonbelievers branded heretics.

Extremist ideologues like Pat Robertson, James Dobson and John Hagee embrace racial hatred, white Christian supremacy, blind adoration of leaders, male gender dominance, fanatical support for Israel, LGBT hatred, disdain for non-believers and intellectual inquiry, opposition to abortion but support for capital punishment, ending government involvement in all social services, predatory capitalism, and militarism, war and apocalyptic violence.

Under them, Thanksgiving might mandate observing Christian rituals, even for non-Christians. As now celebrated, it's already shameful. A combination of overindulgence, partying and consumerism dismiss major world and national problems too grave to ignore.

Political Washington deserves much of the blame, ravaging the world and playing fast and loose at home. Countries are being destroyed, occupied and plundered. Constitutional rights are being lost. Police state repression's increasing, including a total surveillance society and cops beating up on peaceful protesters.

At a time of growing poverty, unemployment and despair, millions now rage nationwide with good reason. They'll give thanks when:

• social injustice ends;

• corporate crooks are punished;

• too-big-to-fail banks are shuttered;

• money power returns to public hands where it belongs;

• real elections end duopoly power;

• law principles apply to everyone;

• equity and justice replace capital's divine right;

• wealth and opportunities are equally distributed; and

• direct democracy replaces today's fake kind, giving "we the people" real meaning.

Until then, use Thanksgiving for reflection, atonement and activism for change. Street protests should replace feasting, football, and other fun and games.

Family gatherings should commit to work together and enlist others for social justice, peace, environmental sanity, and government of, by and for everyone.

America's now a dirty word. Illusion obscures reality. War and grand theft reflect state policy. No one's safe anywhere at home or abroad. Humanity itself is threatened.

Hold giving thanks and get active to give it real meaning with enough commitment to make it happen.

There's no other choice! The alternative's too dire to accept! Believe it!

A Final Comment

Edward Herman sent the link below on "(o)ne of the finest cartoons ever published in the United States - Ron Cobb's Thanksgiving in America (Los Angeles Free Press, 1968)."

He recommended circulating it every year during the holiday season as a reminder of today's reality:

http://acardott.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/cobbthanksgiving.jpg
 
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.                                  
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
sooooo boring i mean really Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 at 8:48 PM
Lendman, not Landmen PrionPartyy Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 at 9:25 PM
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy