Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

During Thanksgiving in America, people eat food, watch sports, go to parades, walk in the park, express camaraderie among families members, shop (either in the streets or online in the Internet), and do a diversity of actions. Millions of Americans eat sweet potato pie, apple pie, stuffing, marconi and cheese, turkey, yams, sweet potatoes, and other foods. Likewise, there is a hidden history of Thanksgiving that many people don’t know about. First, thanksgiving ceremonies have existed for thousands of years. There are harvest festivals that dealt with paganism thousands of years ago. Today, the pagan iconography of the cornucopia relate to many harvest rituals.  Also, believers in God, for thousands of years, have used other thanksgiving actions to give thanks to God for the many blessings in the world. There have been thanksgiving ceremonies in American soil during the 1500’s. The modern Thanksgiving Holiday has its origin from the history of 17th century New England in America. Back then, there were the Puritans and the Pilgrims. In England, during the 1600’s, the Protestant Reformation was in its infancy. The England territory had a monarchy and many people wanted a parliamentary system to have political strength (in order for the Parliament to check the massive powers of the English Monarchy). The Church of England still had rituals and doctrines from the Catholic Church.

Therefore, the Puritans wanted to eliminate the Papal influences and reform the Church of England. Yet, the Pilgrims wanted to break away from the Church of England completely. The Pilgrims militantly believed that the Church of England couldn't be adequately reformed. Henry VIII and King James I of England were Anglicans. Religious prosecution against both the Puritans and the Pilgrims (or Separatists) was commonplace in England. The Pilgrims came into New England first and the Puritans second. First, the Pilgrims left England to the Netherlands in 1609 (after Archbishop Tobias Matthew raided homes and imprisoned many pilgrims). They came into Amsterdam and then to Leiden. In Leiden, they worshiped as they pleased, but the Dutch society was unfamiliar to them. Many Pilgrim children started to adopt Dutch customs. English authorities arrested William Brewster still in 1618. Later, the Pilgrims formed the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Therefore, the Pilgrims used the Mayflower to travel into America. Some traveled in the Speedwell ship too. The Mayflower traveled into many places and anchored in Provincetown Harbor on November 11, 1620. On December 21, 1620, the first landing party arrived at the site of what later became the settlement of Plymouth. Plans to immediately begin building houses, however, were delayed by inclement weather until December 23. They experienced a brutal winter. On March 16, 1621, the first formal contact occurred with Native Americans.

A Native American named Samoset, originally from Pemaquid Pointin modern Maine, walked boldly into the midst of the settlement and proclaimed, "Welcome, Englishmen!" He had learned some English from interacting with English fishermen and trappers (most probably from Bristol) operating in the region.  It was during this meeting that the Pilgrims learned how the previous residents of the Native American village of Patuxet had died of an epidemic thought to be smallpox. They also discovered that the supreme leader of the region was a Wampanoag Native American sachem (chief) by the name of Massasoit. They learned of the existence of Squanto (also known by his full Massachusett name of Tisquantum), a Native American originally from Patuxet. Squanto had spent time in Europe and spoke English quite well. Samoset spent the night in Plymouth and agreed to arrange a meeting with some of Massasoit's men. Squanto, a Patuxet Native American who resided with the Wampanoag tribe, taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them. Squanto had learned the English language during his enslavement in England. In order words, Squanto was kidnapped and oppressed by imperialists. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit had given food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient. The Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. The exact time is unknown, but James Baker, then Plimoth Plantation vice president of research, stated in 1996, "The event occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621, with the most likely time being around Michaelmas (Sept. 29), the traditional time." Seventeenth-century accounts do not identify this as a thanksgiving observance, rather it followed the harvest. It included 50 persons who were on the Mayflower (all who remained of the 100 who had landed) and 90 Native Americans. The feast was cooked by the four adult Pilgrim women who survived their first winter in the New World (Eleanor Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins, Mary Brewster, and Susanna White, along with young daughters and male and female servants).

Later, more Native Americans would unjustly experience genocide and land displacements by the Puritans, Pilgrims, and other European imperialists. That is why it is completely understandable that many Native Americans (and tons of other human beings) refuse to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day on every 4th Thursday in November each year.

On April 6, 1623, Myles Standish led a small group of people to unjustly murder Native Americans at Wessagusset. Myles found out that there no attack against English settlers during that time. Yet, he still decided to execute a preemptive massacre. Pecksuot, a giant warrior and Wituwamat along with two other Native Americans came into the stockade and were allowed to enter the large blockhouse. Standish with four or five men was waiting inside the blockhouse. Standish jumped on the opportunity and signaled to have the door to the blockhouse shut and fastened as he and his men in a ferocious fit of violence sprang upon the Native Americans. From outside the blockhouse, the blood curdling screams existed. The Standish massacre changed everything. Many Native Americans fled their villages. Even William Bradford wrote that the Pilgrims’ trade was damaged. The Pilgrim’s closest ally in the region was the Massasoit-led Wampanoag, which increased in power. John Stone was a smuggler, a privateer, and a slaver. The Pequot War was between the Pequot tribe and the English colonists (along with their Native American allies of the Mohegan and Narragansett tribes). It lasted from July 1636 to September 1638. In November 7, 1634, the Massachusetts Bay/Pequot treaty was negotiated, but never ratified by the Pequot Council. The Pequots lost the war. At the end, about seven hundred Pequots had been killed or taken into captivity. Hundreds of prisoners were sold into slavery to the West Indies. Other survivors were dispersed. The result was the elimination of the Pequot as a viable polity in what is present-day Southern New England. The colonial authorities classified the tribe as extinct; however, survivors remained in the area and did regain recognition and land along the present-day Thames and Mystic rivers in southeastern Connecticut. King Philip’s War existed from June 20, 1675 to April 12, 1678. This was a war between English colonists and their allies against the Native Americans of New England (like the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Podunk, Narragansett, and Nashaway). Metacom (c. 1638–1676) was the second son of Wampanoag chief Massasoit, who had coexisted peacefully with the Pilgrims.

The war existed, because of massive European imperialist expansion while many Native Americans weren’t given adequate respect or compensation. Native American populations decreased because of pandemics of smallpox, spotted fever, typhoid, and measles carried by European fishermen. Metacom (or King Philip) succeeded his brother in 1662 and reacted against the European settlers' continued encroaching onto Wampanoag lands. At Taunton in 1671, he was humiliated when colonists forced him to sign a new peace agreement that included the surrender of Indian guns. When officials in Plymouth Colony hanged three Wampanoags in 1675 for the murder of a Christianized Native American, Metacom's alliance launched a united assault on colonial towns throughout the region. Metacom's forces enjoyed initial victories in the first year, but then the Native American alliance began to unravel. By the end of the conflict, the Wampanoags and their Narragansett allies were almost completely destroyed. Metacom anticipated their defeat and returned to his ancestral home at Mt. Hope, where he was killed fleeing an English ambush.


Today, Native Americans are standing up for their rights in Standing Rock in North Dakota against corporate elitists.

We are in solidarity with the Native Americans.

The 2016 Presidential Election Results

The election results of 2016 have been many things. It was historic, it was shocking to many, and it represented a wake up call to progressive people globally. It was not shocking to me. I will not sugarcoat on what I think here. I will keep it real here straight up. The results of the 2016 election showed the vicious racism, sexism, and xenophobia found in a segment of America. This occurrence has shown the shame of America. The country is divided now and it was divided back then. Trump (who admitted years ago that if he wanted to run for President, he would be a Republican because he viewed Republican voters as not intelligent and watching FOX News all of the time) had no massive political experience. This is another Brexit in America. Mostly white voters voted for Trump (who is a misogynist, a racist, and a xenophobe), so most white voting people during this election caused Trump to be elected as President. So, this situation deals with race, gender, class, and other concepts. It showed that the economic crisis in the Midwest, the Rush Belt, in urban areas, and in other communities of America is real and it must be dealt with in a revolutionary fashion. Many of the Trump supporters were racists and sexists. We know this. Also, many of them (including people who oppose Trump) are victims of bad economic policies that spanned decades from deindustralization to Reaganomics. We know that trickled down economics and neoliberalism don’t work. Donald Trump overtly appealed to patriarchy, hypercaptialism, and white supremacy in order to get votes. That is why red states expanded, because people underestimated the racism that many white people were disguising (in both red and blue states). Trump even had majority support among whites aged 18-39. We should never let our guards down as white racism, sexism, xenophobia, and bad economic policies are totally evil and wicked. Some whites even admitted that they lied to pollsters in order for them to not let the world know that they were going to vote for Trump. Hillary Clinton underestimated Trump and she lost by many reasons. Hillary refused to support an anti-imperialist campaign and she refused to explicitly support of the indigenous people of North Dakota heroically opposing the pipeline.

One big reason for this tragedy was that the Democratic Party establishment refused to respect the independent, progressive movement that sought to end college debt, that wanted an end to imperialism, that wanted to end police terrorism in our communities, and that wanted universal health care for all Americans. The leaders of the Democratic Party didn’t do enough to respect the needs and aspirations of poor and working class Americans (of all colors). They certainly didn't do enough to address the needs of the black community in dealing with police terrorism, poverty,  closing schools, and massive structural racism in America. That Democratic Party establishment took black people for granted while the Republican Party makes no bones about their alliance with a misogynist like Trump. The Republican Party leadership is very clear on its advocacy of voter suppression laws, its love of the privatization of public resources that we fought for, on the massive ignoring of the problem of police brutality, of advancing policies that harm women's rights, and of their overt xenophobia. I can never be part of the GOP, because of its blatantly wrong policy positions. The majority of black people, Latinos, and Asians didn't vote for Trump. The opposition to Trump was highest among black people then Latinos and Asians. Therefore, black people should never be scapegoated for the election results period. We have to realize that Hispanic and Latino isn't a race. It's an ethnic group, so there are white Hispanics, Hispanics of diverse heritage, and black Hispanics (or Afro-Latinos). We know the beauty and the diversity of black people. We know of the excellent contributions of Latino people. It is also true that tons of black people, Latinos, indigenous people, Asians, and other progressive human beings desire justice, freedom, and equality. These people represent humanity. If Hillary Clinton advanced more policies of economic equity, opposition to capitalist exploitation, health care, and justice in urban and rural communities in a high level, this election might be different. Hillary Clinton (who is a blatant advocate of militarism and ally of Wall Street interests) received more popular votes than Donald Trump, but Trump had more Electoral College votes, so he won the election. The majority of poor and affluent white people voted for Donald Trump. A lot of black people live in the rural area too and a large amount of people who suffer the Great Recession are black people. Even the majority of white women voters (in 52%) supported Trump than Hillary Clinton. That shows me that many white women put race above gender.


Also, the revelation of WikiLeaks, the email scandal, and other events presented to the world the corruption found in the two party system overtly. Scandals existed throughout the Hillary campaign. Hillary Clinton is a corporate capitalist who called black people "super predators." The Klan supports Donald Trump. Also, white nationalist racists are emboldened to do evil. White supremacist Robert Spencer spoke in a white racist rally to praise Trump. Many people gave the Nazi salute after Spencer gave his lying, hate speech. Recently, a school in York, Pennsylvania is where white racist students have promoted white racism in the classroom. Many Trump supporters have thrown rocks on black girls. White Trump supporting children got suspended for telling black children to "go back to Africa." White students in DeWitt Junior High School in Michigan created a wall to try to prevent Latino students to go into the junior high school. A white racist and a Trump supporter called Madison Amelia, who is a black woman, racist slurs. Swastikas have been painted in locations nationwide. A racist remark was written in the Burge Residence Hall at the University of Iowa. A white manager at the restaurant in Lexington, KY assaulted teenage black girls and called them racial slurs. The police didn't immediately arrest the manager. In Alabama, someone put up a handing black man in effigy in a restaurant. There has been an increase of hate crimes in America. Hate crimes have surged against Muslims by 67%. This has been reported by the FBI. There has been over 700 recorded incidents of hate crimes in America since the election of the extremist Donald Trump (according to the SPLC).  I can go on. So, we are in a war against racism, against Islamophobia, against sexism, against xenophobia, and against all injustices.

People have every right to protect themselves against racist brutes. Protesters in New York City, Richmond, Virginia, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Hampton, Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia, Boston, Seattle, Indianapolis, and throughout America are exercising their First Amendment right to oppose the agenda of the extremist & demagogue Donald Trump via nationwide protests (Trump has incited violence against protesters). Many sellouts voted for Trump too not just white bigots. People had to sue in North Carolina just for numerous people to vote. The Voting Rights Act was gutted by the Supreme Court. Many Tea Party supporters are now new Governors. Trump once allied with the slander of Birtherism too. Today, the Republicans control the House, the Senate, the future Presidency, many governorships, and could put more Supreme Court justices in the Supreme Court. Extremists like Stephen Bannon (of Breitbart news), Rudolph Giuliani, and Chris Christie are close allies and advisors to Trump. This is the new rightwing backlash in America and we oppose it. Hillary Clinton talks about using an open mind about Trump, but I will not. I know of his tactics and I know what he stands for. I disagree with Trump and I have the right to do so. Also, a great point is to be made. We will survive this. We have faith and courage. We survived the Maafa, Reagan, Bush, etc. No President will deter us and we are in solidarity with wisdom, justice, and truth.

Like always, Donald Trump is considering a collection of reactionary, corporate criminals, and war hawks as part of his cabinet. His advisors represent Wall Street interests and corporate elites that he hypocritically claims to oppose. Many of the proposed leaders have experienced scandals for their extremism and bigoted comments. Trump is a disgrace to propose Steve Bannon as a lead advisor in his cabinet. Bannon is the leader of the alt right Breitbart News Network. Breitbart is known to promote white nationalism, anti-black lies, Islamophobia, and openly reactionary views. Their articles celebrate the Confederate flag and criticized Bill Kristol in anti-Semitic terms. Bannon has expressed support for right wing racist nationalist movements in the world like the far right National Front. He supports the Hindu nationalists in India. Also, it is important to note that the President and many Democrats are not criticizing the racists and reactionaries at Trump’s inner circle. The President Barack Obama is incorrect to describe Trump as pragmatic not ideological. We must not be conciliatory to a sexist bigot like Trump. We must oppose his agenda. Hillary Clinton is incorrect to call for us to have an "open mind" about a future Trump administration. We must not. The leaders of the Democrats and the Republicans represent the same capitalist class oppressing the workers and the rest of us. We know that the capitalist system plays workers against each other based on many things. Ironically, some moderate Republicans are criticizing Trump more so than some Democrats now. "The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office," said John Weaver, the Republican strategist who directed Gov. John Kasich's campaign for the GOP nomination. "Be very vigilant, America." Donald Trump is an overt fascist.

Trump is totally ideological. He views on trade is similar to the isolationism that many people of the early 20th century. Trump has claimed to oppose the Iraq War, but wants more militarism in the Middle East now by opposing the Iran nuclear deal and supporting torture. Many of the proposed members of his cabinet like Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton are ardent supporters of the U.S. war in Iraq. Both of them are neocons who believe in aggressive military involvement worldwide. Giuliani wants American troops to steal the Iraqi oil reserves. He lied and said the following words:  "Of course it's legal. It's a war. Until the war is over, anything is legal." Bolton wants to expand NATO. Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker-turned-hedge fund manager is on the media's short list for Trump's Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin was also CEO of OneWest Bank, which in the aftermath of the Great Recession distinguished itself for aggressively pursuing foreclosures, especially in communities of color, in order to fatten its bottom line. When OneWest tried to foreclose on one Long Island family, a judge ruled against it, calling the bank's behavior "harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive." Michael Flynn is being considered too and he’s an Islamophobe and made an anti-Semitic remark (which he issued an “apology” for). Jeff Sessions is considered to be the new Attorney General, which is ludicrous. His views on racial justice, immigrant rights (he made derogatory comments about Dominican immigrants), and police brutality are antithetical to progressive activism. So, we know what Trump represents. He’s a reactionary extremist. Trump supporters voted for a racist. So, either they are racists or they are fine with supporting a racist. Either way, they should feel shame. Donald Trump is a one percent billionaire and Trump supporters voted against their economic interests disgracefully.

Donald Trump named Betsy DeVos as to head the Department of Education. DeVos is a known far right person who opposes the agenda of public education. She is a billionaire, and a longtime Republican fundraiser. She is part of the oligarchy of the American ruling class. She led an organization that wanted child labor. From 1995 to 2005, she sat on the Board of Directors for the Acton Institute and has given $1.28 million to support the organization since 2000. For decades, she has opposed many policies of public education. She supports the privatization of public education and the public funding of charter schools and vouchers (funding a religious voucher with public money is a blatant violation of separation of church and state). Many charter schools are funded by billionaire interests. DeVos’s record parallels Trump’s campaign promise to divert tens of billions of dollars from Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which go exclusively to schools in impoverished areas, to vouchers that would provide a cash windfall for for-profit charter corporations. Her brother is Erik Prince. Erik Prince is so extreme that he interned for George H. W. Bush and then backed Pat Buchanan's insurgency campaign in 1992, because he thought that Bush was too socially liberal (which is ludicrous). Erik Prince is the founder of Blackwater USA (since renamed as Academi), the mercenary firm that murdered 17 Iraqi civilians at Nisour Square, Baghdad in 2007. Her husband, Richard DeVos, is the billionaire heir of the Amway corporation fortune who spent tens of millions of dollars of personal wealth running a failed campaign for Governor of Michigan in 2006. She is the heiress of her billionaire industrialist father Edgar Prince’s fortune.  DeVos is worth billions of dollars and owns several mansions located throughout the United States. She owns a 22,000 square foot palace on Lake Macatawa in Holland, Michigan, which has 13 porches, 10 bedrooms, eight dishwashers, and three garages. Betsy DeVos advocacy of theocratic policies are disturbing.

*The Electoral College itself was created as a compromise between free and slave states as documented by many sources like the author Akhil Reed Amar (he wrote the book entitled, “The Constitution Today”). The Electoral College was created by the organizers of the American Constitution. People debated about having direct popular elections in determining the future President politically. James Madison thought about it and didn’t want it. James Madison said that if the USA had a direct election, the North will outvote the South every time. So, he wanted a different system where each state will get a certain amount of electoral votes based on that state’s population (in that calculation, slaves would be counted, but slaves didn’t have voting rights or adequate human rights). Slaves would be counted as 3/5s of a person. So, the Electoral College made the South to have more weight in the system than it would have been in a direct election system. The Southern states counted slaves, but those slaves were never given true human rights in the process back then. Thomas Jefferson got 13 extra electoral votes in the election of 1800, which caused him to be President. This system was created as a balance between slave and free states. Folks wanted to compromise with slavery, which is disgraceful since slavery is a total evil. You don’t compromise with evil. The Electoral College is blatantly anti-democratic and it should be abolished.

Donald Trump has proposed many militarists in his cabinet. Trump is assembling a very right wing and militarist administration. He retains personal control over his multibillion dollar business empire. Recently, Trump met with retired General James N. Mattis. He was responsible for the U.S. war crimes in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Mattis could be the new defense secretary. Mitt Romney is being considered secretary of state too when he wants more increased U.S. military aggression. Also, Romney criticized Trump for his misogyny and xenophobia, but he wants to be part of his administration. This is a sign of hypocrisy not courage. Mike Pompeo is being considered for CIA director too. Leading Democrats now in many cases are not showing strong opposition to this horrific reality. Many Democrats believe in the myth that using “common ground” with Trump can help America. Yet, the Democrats for decades have used centrism, triangulation, and neoliberal policies and those policies (of creating so-called "common ground") don’t work to create revolutionary change. Revolutionary change revolves around the condemnation of the current capitalist system and forming independent, progressive policies to help humanity. Many Democrats want to ally with Trump’s economic nationalist and protectionist policies when they forget that multinational corporations (not all Mexicans and not all Chinese people) are responsible for trade problems. America First nationalism is very similar to the nationalism of other demagogues in history. We know who those evil demagogues are.

Mattis and Romney believe that the Obama administration hasn’t done enough in its militarism when the current administration has been at war for its entire eight years in office against a total of six different countries, for supposed reticence in using military force. Mattis is already a veteran of several American wars of aggression. As a brigadier general, he led a Marine battalion in the invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1991, one of history’s most lopsided imperialist slaughters. In brief fighting, as many as 100,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed, mostly in their bunkers or in retreat, as compared to 147 “coalition” casualties. Mattis then commanded forces in the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, in 2001-2002, and the “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq, in 2003. Also, Mattis revels in killing. In early 2005, months after the massacres of defenseless civilians in Fallujah and Mukaradeeb, he was caught on video telling a San Diego audience that he enjoyed the slaughter. “It’s a h__ of a hoot,” Mattis said. “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling… it's a h__of a lot of fun to shoot them.” So, Mattis’ words show sadism and a bloodlust. Romney is more hawkish towards Russia than Trump. Trump has met with proponents of charter schools and school privatization like Michelle Rhee (a Democrat) and Betty DeVos (from the American Federation of Children organization). Recently, Trump met with leaders of the media in order for him to criticize them and try to convince them to ally with him. Trump has one of the most overly right wing, militarist, and authoritarian agendas in American history. Also, we are in solidarity with the Native Americans (and their allies) in Standing Rock in North Dakota fighting for their human rights as well. We should always respect the environment. We believe in justice.

Therefore, we have to organize our power in advancing political independence outside of the major 2 party system in America. American society has made it clear that it is hypocritical with the treatment of my people. We have to build and unite in our own communities. We believe in black liberation. We must unite and fight for justice as black people. Justice for all is a sacrosanct precept that I will always believe in and cherish.

By Timothy

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