How Can We Possibly Celebrate Thanksgiving?

As much as I love a reason to celebrate gratitude, to spend time with loved ones, and even to eat way too much food… The reality is that we are celebrating a GENOCIDE committed by our ancestors. How is this okay? Why do we not use this day as a day to educate our children, to support the Native Americans, to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself?
I somehow developed a fascination for the Holocaust and other genocides while I was in high school. As a 16 year old kid, I chose “Holocaust Literature” as one of my chosen electives. In college I participated in STAND (a student led organization against genocide). We held candlelight vigils, protests, spread awareness and stayed up to date on the genocides at the time (DR Congo, Myanmar, Darfur).
I now spend my days with Yazidis, who survived a brutal genocide by ISIS. Through all of this I have developed a deep compassion for genocide victims and survivors, a sense of compassion that is impossible to put into words.
A genocide continues as we speak… Hayley has just returned from Bangladesh, where 600,000 have been forced to flee their homes due to ethnic cleansing. Fires, rape, torture running ramped. For more information:
My days and nights are spent strategizing how to bring support to Yazidi survivors in Iraq. I can’t seem to fathom how the Yazidis in their homeland continue to suffer with such little support from the international community.
So, today I chose to take a stand against the genocide committed in this country. An Article from Wake Up World, shares the reality we neglect to share with our children on this day:
“The first actual proclaimed “Day of Thanksgiving” came in 1637 in a meeting between the Pequot Indians and English religious mercenaries. The Pequot were celebrating their annual Green Harvest Festival, which resembles modern-day Thanksgiving. On the eve of the festival, the English demanded that everyone comes out of their homes, puts their weapons on the ground, and surrenders by converting to Christianity.

Those who obliged with these terroristic demands were either shot dead or clubbed to death. Those who stayed inside their longhouses – including women and children – were burnt to death. In all, more than 700 Pequot men, women, and children were slaughtered that day.”

Read more here:

This sounds far too familiar… Far too similar to the atrocities committed against the Yazidis by ISIS. Today, and everyday, I choose to support survivors of genocide. Join me in this by bringing light to Iraq. Our new campaign offers a simple, direct way to make a difference of those who have survived genocide, yet continue to suffer in inhumane living conditions.

Many of the families in Iraq are surviving with two hours or less of electricity each day. I visited them last summer, and knew I had to find ways to bring more support. For only $15 you can purchase a light for one of these families.

Please select “Solar Lights for Iraq”.

Please choose today as a day to honor the suffering inflicted upon the Native Americans and victims of genocide everywhere. Educate yourself, act out of compassion, and spread light in the world around you.

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