The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

22 November 2007

Talkers Tackle Thanksgiving Misinformation


Libs Despise T-Day More Than Any Other Holiday

Forget the War on Christmas or Easter, what really sends the unhinged left into a tizzy is the notion of celebrating Thanksgiving.

What to the rest of America is a time for giving thanks and overeating means pure misery for our "progressive" friends. They wrongly see Thanksgiving as symbolic of brutal European colonizers and victimized Native Americans, without regard for the real truth.

One might recommend Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower, which provides a more fair and balanced view of Plymouth's earliest settlers, native inhabitants of the region and their many competing interests. Philbrick makes it clear there were no saints in seventeenth century New England.

But the left isn't interested in the truth, instead, they believe the unbalanced version of events taught to Seattle's unfortunate schoolchildren. That has radio talk hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Medved fighting back.

From Rush

RUSH: Now, the real story of Thanksgiving: "On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible," and this is what's not taught. This is what's left out. "The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford's own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure.

"When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well." They were collectivists! Now, "Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

"He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. ... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson," every kid gets. "If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future." Here's what he wrote: "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.

And from FOX News:

Seattle public schools want a side of political correctness served on your Thanksgiving table.

Washington state's largest school district sent letters to teachers and other employees suggesting Thanksgiving should be "a time of mourning" for its Native American students.

The memo, from Caprice Hollins, the district's director of Equity, Race & Learning Support, included an attachment to a paper titled "Deconstructing the Myths of 'The First Thanksgiving.'"

It includes 11 "myths" disputing everything from what was served at the first Thanksgiving (no mashed potatoes or cranberries) and who provided the food to the nature of the Pilgrims themselves: Myth No. 3 calls the colonists "rigid fundamentalists" who came to the New World "fully intending to take the land away from its native inhabitants."

But what got the Internet abuzz was Myth No. 11: "Thanksgiving is a happy time." It was followed by "Fact: For many Indian people, 'Thanksgiving' is a time of mourning ... a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship."

Hollins would not defend her letter, but David Tucker, a spokesman for the district, said it was an effort to be sensitive to minorities in Seattle schools.

"One of the core elements in education is not just understanding your own life history but also those of others," he said.

But one Seattle-area tribe says Thanksgiving is not somber on the reservation but a time to see friends and family, as it is for other Americans.

Native Americans in the Northwest celebrate the holiday with turkey and salmon, said Daryl Williams of the Tulalip Tribes. Before the period of bitter and violent relationships between natives and their culturally European counterparts, they worked together to survive, he said.

"The spirit of Thanksgiving, of people working together to help each other, is the spirit I think that needs to grow in this country, because this country has gotten very divisive," he said.

Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved was more blunt.

"The notion that now you have a major school system sending out a message that, no, rather than expressing thanks we should emphasize guilt on this holiday — that is sick, it is destructive and it is anti-American."

Medved has just defined Seattle liberalism to its very core.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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  • I happen to love Thanksgiving.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 22 November, 2007 10:33  

  • Brian,
    Is there ever a point where you give the "us versus them" thing a rest? So a couple of overzealous people make a bad decision (or at least a questionable one) and you use it to negatively brand half the country. It is not only intellectually juvenille, but it is corrosive.

    The idea that liberals hate Thanksgiving is as silly as saying that conservatives hate labor day, because the organized labor movement has been historically Democratic. Or that liverals hate puppies or conservatives hate sunny days.

    How depressing it must be to live in your world, where every cultural disagreement is automatically branded a battle or war. Both "sides" are a lot more similar than you give them credit for.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 25 November, 2007 14:47  

  • Justin,

    It paraphrase that line in the Terminator movie,

    That was Brian does.
    That's all he DOES.

    Fear and Division is all modern Republicanism (they aren't conservatives) has to offer America. Unfortunately, way to many Americans fall for it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 28 November, 2007 11:09  

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