Home » Editorial » Thanksgiving: lies, retail profits and victimizing the poor

MellaneoussquareIt never seems to get better, this society, this political, economic, social system we live in. This society, run by a hand full of very rich White men and their lackeys. It really is their world and we are left as proverbial squirrels trying to get nuts.

While celebrating Thanksgiving I couldn’t help but think about the lies that come with this time of the year, the biggest of which is the so-called sanctity of the family. Folks in the U.S. are always talking about the glories of humanity and the family but it seems every chance they get they undermine it or destroy it.

Of course the first lie of the holiday season is the lie of Thanksgiving; the Indians have a different version of that so-called first Thanksgiving.  According to the Indians’ version they weren’t even invited. And speaking of humanity, the backdrop of the story is not very humane. There weren’t many integrated gatherings after this; most of the remainder of their interactions consisted of the Europeans slaughter of the Indians and subsequent violent acquisition of the rest of North America. We should pay homage to our Indian forebears by at least honoring their legacy this time of year.

Then there is all this talk about the family while all of the major stores opened on Thanksgiving. It seemed that Black Friday was bad enough, causing parents to have to leave their kids a little sooner than they would have wanted because of the demands of the retail and merchandizing industry. The business owners would probably say it’s because of the demand of the consumer but I don’t remember consumers begging to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Family first they say, but before the holiday season the U.S. Congress decided to cut back on food stamps, which are needed by many families to just get by. And some of the meanest of that crew had the nerve to quote Bible verses that supposedly supported the right to starve people because they didn’t have jobs. I have a Bible verse for them it’s called the Golden Rule,” do unto others as you would have them do to you, or simply, “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Moreover these same titans of industry will be waving flags and celebrating the great American holiday while shipping as many jobs overseas and putting as little back in the American kitty as they can.

I thought about the folks locked behind prison bars, especially those that I learned are locked up for life for non-violent crime as a result of some states near-sighted effort to stop crime by creating three-strikes legislation that send folks away for life for borrowing a truck or stealing garden tools.

The ACLU has put together a heartbreaking study that pointed out that over 3,000 U.S. citizens are locked away for life. None of them were major drug dealers or even violent criminals. None of them killed anyone. Most were poor, people of color, women and drug addicted. Most were victims themselves. Some are simply mentally ill. Based on what I read most of these folks experiencing a “living death” have become model citizens and even serve as assets to their fellow prisoners.

The president has been approached to set right this grievous wrong by pardoning these folks, many of whom have already served lengthy sentences.  So far his administration has leant a deaf ear to their cries.

This is a strange response from a man who has always claimed to be one of us and a former community organizer. It would have been real compassionate to let them go right before the holiday season and return them to their families.

Yes the good ole holiday season. Good ole Thanksgiving filled with lying, acquisition, thieving and a lack of compassion. There is something wrong because it would seem in a rationale society there would be some kind of outcry.

 

Mel Reeves welcomes reader response to [email protected].

 

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