More than two hundred years ago, the Puritan New Englanders settled at Plymouth in the present day state of Massachusetts. They had it hard in this time, having not had the knowhow to plant and tend crops. So the Natives helped them learn to plant the corn and showed them how to take care of the land. Sadly, diseases might have killed off two thirds of all the past generations of Native Nations. So many of the first nations died in post-Columbian American colonial times. These Puritans, or later Quakers, Shakers, and a variety of others, were the first batch of refugees.
I wrote last year that refugees made this country. Syrians currently face, in present-day America, war and bombs over different places and their chance of death is too high to say their country is safe. Syrian refugees need new homes, must adapt to a new country and new culture, must be able to face the vetting process.
I don’t suggest that we register Muslims, but that is what the Trump administration will probably want to do. He says one day he’ll do one thing, then turn around and do another thing the next. Thankfully, we must be gracious that we have opinions. I’m grateful that my hair can hang lose, not be in an approved hairstyle, and that I can take a vacation anywhere in the world I want, provided I have a passport. However, the Trump administration could turn this reality to fantasy. THis Thanksgiving, I personally feel that as a disabled woman, someone who should have probably been born to better family, I should have the right to express my opinions in any way I want. The refugees of the first Thanksgiving had to bow down to the King of England and practice his religion. Most of England practices the famous Anglican faith, founded by Henry VIII after he wanted a divorce, a lawful annulment, from Catherine of Aragon. Of course, she was his first wife, and he didn’t want to kill her as it was stated in the old Papal times of like the 1300s.
However, Present-Day America is nothing like that. We bow down to no king, we have no one religion. Except for the grandnephew of Liliuokilani, Queen of Hawaii, we almost have no monarchs in our country. Hawaii is a different story, but still, we have each other, and our land.
The first refugees did not have their own opinions, and most of New England practiced a Puritan faith that went by the Bible, and thought that such was infallible. Well, the Bible is not infallible in some ways. The Puritans didn’t have premade or processed cheeses, foods, and other things we have today. Ready made clothing was also a luxury, and most of the beer was homemade. A good wife was supposed to make the beer, cheese, and sausages and other things the Puritan refugees had to eat.
When the official Thanksgiving holiday was proclaimed by then president Abraham Lincoln, we had a problem with slavery. He emancipated slaves, yes, but Lincoln was one man who would not let this country stop thanking the Pilgrims or the Puritans whatever they were called for founding and making this country great. Today, we face an uncertain future, so uncertain that white nationals are trying to stand up and take power again. We can’t let this happen, and we must be vigilant yet we must still be thanking God for our homes, our land, our food, and most of all, the rich history that we’re attempting to delete in public schools.
What are the children learning in school about the Pilgrims/Puritan refugees? Not much. They are learning very little about the Mayflower compact, Bay Psalm Book and many other colonial relics. This is making it dangerous for us to just pass over the history. It was so many years ago that the First Nations would tell their children, in the oral method, of a nature spirit or goddess that ruled the world and if they did their duty, they would get many things. It is so long ago that we told stories around a campfire to our children so they’d behave themselves, where has that gone! Instead, we are allowing our children to play with technological toys such as tablets, computers, and several million other things we’ve fashioned. I’m not saying kids should never play with these things, but we must be mindful of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and where we came from. We’re humans, and oral traditions should be important to us. This Thanksgiving, don’t forget to tell stories of your immigration, your country’s history, or if you’re native, your Indian/First Nation and the spirits, the gods, the legends that made your nation a reality. Remember that girls and boys should be equal.