Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Unthanksgivings List

When I was a staff writer for a print publication, my editor and I had stark ideological differences during our Thanksgiving issue.

Though we both agreed on the history of Thanksgiving and all the falsities and historical amnesia it encouraged, she chose to write a commentary about the things she was thankful. I, on the other hand, wrote about the hypocrisies.

She would often say to me that we must be grateful for the blessings that some people have. I would tell her that I totally agree, but why must we do it on this day, a day that gives energy to the same oppressive forces that keep us in the same miserable conditions.

Furthermore, why must we give "thanks" for being less miserable, and less fucked-up than the other person when in fact, that person's misery is our misery in some way or the other. We are not these disconnected people. Though we are disjointed in our actions and thinking, we are still linked, so in the end, we either reap each other's joy, or pay dearly for our sorrow.

So in truth fashion, I continue with my annual Un-Thanksgiving’s List for several reasons:

Firstly, few people recognize how the United States operates more like a slave camp than a united nation that celebrates the richness of its people and attends to its needs.

Secondly, holiday (holy days) fit the political, economic, and cultural agenda of the agenda setters and not the masses; we pay for overpriced food, alcohol, gas, and airline tickets to refill the coffers of those that exploit us.

Thirdly, instead of people resting, many right now are seeking double-time pay to make up for the mountain of bills in trying to the live the American dream.

Lastly, in my conscience, I can never forget the domestic genocide that occurred in the present-day Americas regarding the indigenous folk of this land.

Un-Thanksgiving’s List
(Gobble Gobble on this)

1. I am Un-grateful for the current umployment rate for black/African-Americans that is 15.7%, the highest compared to Latinos who are in a close second at 13.1%, whites at 9.5% and Asians at 7.5% (October 2009 reports from the US Department of Labor, Burueau of Labor Statistics).

2. I am Un-grateful for people telling me that I need to be happy that I am working, although I have several degrees and am still underemployed, uninsured, and overworked.

3. I am Un-grateful for the atrociously high levels of homeless women and familes, mentally ill, and disproportionately increased percentage of black Veterans.

4. I am Un-grateful for professional, collegiate, and high school teams that still use racist Native American caricatures as their mascots and blatantly justify their actions as being a "tradition" at their institution.

5. I am Un-grateful for the 18th Century images of Native Americans in feathers, in face paint, and on horses as the current visual idea of how Native Americans look as if they are extinct.

6. I am Un-grateful for the 1.5 million Native Americans who live on reservations and are dealing with serious issues of survival.

7. I am Un-grateful for the ignorant and xenophobic Native Americans who deny the progeny of Native and African American peoples a rightful place in their nations and their histories.

8. I am Un-grateful for African-Americans who are more comfortable with saying they are Cherokee before they say they come from African bloodlines.

9. I am Un-grateful for a black President who is surveillanced by audacious white privilege and a white power structure that situates him as being a powerless figure-head who must apologize for being black, and apologize for the black people who challenge his supervisors.

10. I am Un-grateful for greedy corporations such as airline carriers that are getting away with bloody financial murder and creating a divide between who is able to travel and who is not worthy enough to see their family.

11. I am Un-grateful for a body of black people who think Obama can "change" America with his two hands, and just hold side conversations during lunch hour at "prestigious" jobs to educate their white co-workers. Only to have never done a goddamn thing in communities of color because they are so preoccupied living the dream by going to work, the club, church, the frivolous sporting events of their children, or a nice Negro Kwanzaa.

12. I am Un-grateful for prosperity churches that are the neo-pimps of religion and are led by hypocrite pastors who literally wear the tithes of poor people and pseudo-middle class on their backs with $5,000 tailor-made outfits.

13. I am Un-grateful for prosperity churches and missionaries leaking religious toxicity in Africa, and all black and brown nations all over the world. Then in America claim they are saving souls, much like former slavers and colonizers.

14. I am Un-grateful for this only day that allows a significant chunk of people to eat with their families, especially working class folk in which this "holy-day" represents their ancestors' and thus their enslavement, colonialization, demonizing indigenous spiritual systems, family disruption in homelands, dismantling of culture and worshipping of slave masters.

15. I am Un-grateful for a spineless United Nations that does not stand up to power-hogs such as America, but agrees to bully countries that have less military amunition.

16. I am Un-grateful for the blatant move of using war and domestic surveillance as a means to create jobs instead of building infrastructure in cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and Oakland, and the rural areas, and neglected areas of Mississippi that have not been rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.

17. I am Un-grateful for a dual-political party system that uses communities of color during tight elections, but forget about them for the rest of the terms.

18. I am Un-grateful for the colorism that still exists throughout all oppressed communities in which bi-racial children and white populations have set the standard of beauty based on the lightness or whiteness of one's skin, and in some cases, the texture of one's hair.

19. I am Un-grateful for over half a million children in the foster-care system who wish they had better circumstances, especially during the holidays.

20. I am Un-grateful for voice enhancer machines such as Autares (autotune) and Vocopro.

21. I am Un-grateful for America projecting its domestic violence issue on Rihanna and Chris Brown.

22. I am Un-grateful for some members of the LGBT community blaming the African-American community as being one of the main reasons for its political set back in California; and attempting to make the black community the face of homophobia while disregarding the intrinsic sexuality issues throughout this country's history.

23. I am Un-grateful for the perception of mainstream America that three or more black people on a television series makes it a "black show."

24. I am Un-grateful for the constructed divides between race and ethnicities across the lines, but especially within black and brown communities that often perpetuate these divisions.

25. I am Un-grateful for an economic system that uses paper currency as a way to weight one's labor worth, when the labor itself holds far more weight than a paper bill. Only for this currency to be justified by people who will bend and fold for a dollar.

26. I am Un-grateful to the financial architects of a disastrous economy who are eating very well today, and sleeping good tonight, while those who are gravely affected are worried about the next meal and where they will sleep tonight.

27. I am Un-grateful for an old corroded stock exchange system that is on its last breath, yet the news lies about the DOW and Nasdaq's current status. These news entities are not owning up to the fact that many nations and individuals are leaving these forms of exchange for older and more efficient ones such as bartering actually resources and labor.

28. I am Un-grateful for a climate that makes people fear, harshly criticize, and avoid not admitting that being clear about what we do not like or are ungrateful is some type of moral sin.

29. I am Un-grateful for the unhealthy food we are about to eat.

BTW, thanks for reading this post :-) cornbread is cooked ready to serve to some people who need to eat.

6 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

Reggie said...

I will agree with you that the world is a fucked up place and that this country is probably the most biased country in the history of the world. But if you don't mind, I'm gonna sit here today and be thankful for the football that I will watch today.......and the gumbo that I will eat to go with it.

And while I will give thanks for my many blessings, I always remain mindful of the fuckedupness too. Just like I do on July 4th or as I prefer to call it, White Folks Independence Day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Goddess Intellect said...

I effin love you! I'm sharing this on FB & possibly re-posting on my site...

ayankha said...

Raw & uncut, in true form! Big up on the list.

Ensayn1 said...

Big up on ur list. This is awsome!

Anna Renee said...

Sista woman, you are a very ungrateful someone!! I like your list too!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Your list is right on the money thanks!