Thanksgiving, a part of the anti-racist tradition of America


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Thanksgiving might be an excellent anti-racist event, even higher than most. Thanksgiving for a race or ethnicity that you might have a grudge against is the Good Samaritan way of racial reconciliation. You may hardly have reconciliation by declaring the logs in the opposite person’s eyes. This just builds partitions and is why most anti-racist training has been a failure, in line with a review of empirical studies by Columbia University sociologist Musa al-Gharbi. This bad advice continues to be making the rounds. Higher to count the blessings that you might have received from people of other races and ethnicities. Examine yourself and consider carefully.

Give thanks for something the opposite race or ethnicity has done, created, or exemplified. It ought to be something that you can adopt in your personal life. That is thankful, functional unity: I actually have been given a present from the “Other” and am thankful and can make it a part of my life. In doing so, you may even turn into a part of their life. “Otherness” is diminished and even demolished.

Preferably, it ought to be something that just isn’t trivial or commonplace. In other words, in the event you are thanking the American Indians because you might have a prejudice against them, don’t just thank them for turkey and corn. Think harder, go deeper, and add something really recent in your life from “the Other.” Yes, that is the hard part. You have got to essentially start to know the Other culture and personality.

I do not forget that I went as much as Syracuse, NY one time to deal with a gathering of pastors on racial reconciliation. Before the meeting, I visited an African American who was head of the African American pastors group. He told me concerning the immense amount, and infrequently successful, marriage counseling that he was doing. He was really quite shrewd and discerning about these counselees. I assumed, wow, we must always go to him for counseling suggestions. That’s something to thank God for and to include into one’s life. And I actually have run across this expertise amongst African American pastors across the nation.

Thanksgiving as a national holiday got here out of a necessity within the Civil War to look ahead to rebuilding the unity of the nation. Thanksgiving is a time to construct relationships by thanking God for other races and ethnicities about whom you might have criticism.

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Lincoln’s Proclamation was printed in Harper’s Weekly on October 17, 1863, to assist spread the word concerning the day of observance. On December 5, Harper’s published a two-page engraving by renowned artist Thomas Nast illustrating scenes of a grateful nation.

A Proclamation by the President of the US of America

The yr that’s drawing toward its close has been stuffed with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To those bounties, that are so continually enjoyed that we’re vulnerable to forget the source from which they arrive, others have been added that are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the guts which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful windfall of Almighty God.

Within the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes appeared to invite and provoke the aggressions or foreign states, peace has been preserved with all nations,  order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed in all places, except within the theatre of military conflict, while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

The needful diversions of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense haven’t arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the dear metals, have yielded much more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made within the camp, the siege, and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing within the consciousness of augmented strength and vjgor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They’re the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while coping with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has appeared to me fit and proper that they ought to be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the entire American people;

I do, due to this fact, invite my fellow-citizens in every a part of the US, and in addition those that are at sea, and those that are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth within the heavens.

And I like to recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly as a result of Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender all those that have turn into widows,· orphans, mourners, or victims within the lamentable civil strife through which we’re unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the injuries of the nation, and to revive it, as soon as could also be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the complete enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I actually have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the US to be affixed.

Done in the town of Washington this third  day of  October, within the yr of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of  the  United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln

By the President:

William H. Seward, Secretary of State.


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