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Thanksgiving is… Contested

The autocomplete feature of Google describes the most common searches containing a phrase. The most common searches about Thanksgiving Day, being thankful, being grateful (and their negations) give us a bit of a glimpse into the cultural concerns we give about Thanksgiving.  Here are the Google autocomplete results about Thanksgiving Day that appeared on Thanksgiving Day 2014:

Thanksgiving search engine autocomplete results on Thanksgiving Day 2014

Home and family are associated with Thanksgiving in an uncontroversial way, while the idea of commerce, shopping and stores is seen as anathema to Thanksgiving and a threat to it.  As for the relationship between religion and Thanksgiving, there’s some serious disagreement: while some connect thankfulness to God, others point out that Thanksgiving is neither religious in general or Christian in particular.  Which side wins by sheer volume?  A search for “Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday” returns 127,000 web pages.  A search for “Thanksgiving is not a Christian holiday” returns just 12,400.

One thought on “Thanksgiving is… Contested”

  1. Tom says:

    Whatever it is, it’s wrong-headed, delusional, and unsustainable.

    “The Thanksgiving story is an absolution of the Pilgrims, whose brutal quest for absolute power in the New World is made to seem both religiously motivated and eminently human…. The Mayflower’s cultural heirs are programmed to find glory in their own depravity, and savagery in their most helpless victims, who can only redeem themselves by accepting the inherent goodness of white Americans.”

    This article was originally published on November 27, 2003, when Glen Ford was co-publisher of The Black Commentator.

    “It is the most loathsome, humanity-insulting day of the year – a pure glorification of racist barbarity.”

    Nobody but Americans celebrates Thanksgiving. (Canadians have a holiday by the same name, but an entirely different history and political import.) It is reserved by history and the intent of “the founders” as the supremely white American holiday, the most ghoulish event on the national calendar. No Halloween of the imagination can rival the exterminationist reality that was the genesis, and remains the legacy, of the American Thanksgiving. It is the most loathsome, humanity-insulting day of the year – a pure glorification of racist barbarity. [there’s more]

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