Opinion

Steven Newcomb: Fear and loathing of history on Thanksgiving





"On November 19, the Drudge Report linked to a story about a Native student group at the University of Virginia, a group that decided to deal with the Thanksgiving holiday by holding a potluck dinner where students and speakers would discuss “Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective.” Reportedly, Ms. Nicole Bailey, executive-in-chief of the campus newspaper The Virginia Advocate, “stands firm against the plans of the student group.”

According to a report at Indian Country Today Media Network, “Bailey does not see such events as a chance to learn from and about Native Americans; rather, she sees them as an attack on American values. The most likely reason for Ms. Bailey’s attitude is that, like far too many self-proclaimed conservative Americans, she has a life-long and deeply ingrained learning disability when it comes to Indian history.

However, in this instance, when I think about the underlying meaning of “America” and “American values, I find Ms. Bailey’s feeling of an attack to be somewhat understandable. That feeling is the natural result of a psychological condition called denial, and a fear of cognitive dissonance. After all, a truthful discussion of America’s treatment of the originally free and independent nations and peoples of this continent, and of this hemisphere reveals the actual “American values,” not the professed ones. I will elaborate."

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: Fear and Loathing of History on Thanksgiving (India Country Today 11/22)

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