Leave it to MSNBC to try to take the joy out of Thanksgiving with a segment aimed at shaming white people for supposedly bringing violence and genocide to the American continent.
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called out the leftist network for a divisive on-air essay read by Native American author and speaker Gyasi Ross.
“[MSNBC] corporate message: Thanksgiving sucks,” Cruz tweeted on Sunday. “Come for the lies; stay for the anti-American hate.”
.@msnbc corporate message: Thanksgiving sucks.
Come for the lies; stay for the anti-American hate. https://t.co/MaT5cQaqDy
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 21, 2021
Ross argued in the essay that “the mythology of Thanksgiving closely mirrors the mythology of America.”
“White settlers come to a strange land in good faith, bringing something of great value that enriches the people who are already here. The natives also bring something of immense value. Equal exchange.”
“The truth, of course, of Thanksgiving is much different,” Ross continued. “The truth is Pilgrims did not bring turkey, sweet potato pie or cranberries to Thanksgiving. They could not. They were broke. They were broken. Their hands were out. They were begging. They brought nothing of value.”
Well, the truth of the matter is that Pilgrims brought plenty to the first Thanksgiving and got along with the Native Americans quite well.
Two contemporary accounts of the first Thanksgiving, which took place 400 years ago this fall, describe it as a celebration involving both Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe.
According to a letter written by Edward Winslow, “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted.”
The Wampanoag “went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth colony, concurred with Winslow’s account that the Pilgrims were well stocked in the fall of 1621.
“And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. … Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”
That’s not to say that relations between the English settlers and Native Americans remained cordial in the decades to come, as more and more Europeans arrived in the New World.
King Philip’s War erupted over 50 years after the first Thanksgiving as a confederation of natives, including the Wampanoag, came together to oppose the colonists’ settlement in their lands.
Of course, this was not unprecedented in history.
Before the British arrived in Massachusetts, the native tribes fought each other for dominance in the region.
In fact, the Wampanoags signed a peace treaty with the Pilgrims in March 1621 because, by Bradford and Winslow’s account, Massasoit had “a potent adversary the [Narragansetts], that are at war with him, against whom he thinks we may be some strength to him, for our [guns] are terrible unto them.”
But Ross contended that “instead of bringing stuffing and biscuits, those settlers brought genocide and violence.”
As noted, warfare among Native Americans was ubiquitous even before the arrival of the Europeans.
“Contra leftist anthropologists who celebrate the noble savage, quantitative body counts — such as the proportion of prehistoric skeletons with axe marks and embedded arrowheads or the proportion of men in a contemporary foraging tribe who die at the hands of other men — suggest that pre-state societies were far more violent than our own,” said Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker in a 2007 lecture entitled “A History of Violence.”
So white people don’t bear the burden of introducing violence to North America.
Ross went on to argue that blacks and Native Americans remain victims of white violence to this day.
“That genocide and violence is still on the menu, as state-sponsored violence against native and black Americans is commonplace. And violent private white supremacy is celebrated and subsidized,” he said.
Ross offered as examples the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery.
There is so much factually wrong with trying to argue that these are instances of white supremacy, but just note that Martin was killed by a Hispanic man and the Arbery trial is not even complete.
Ross went further off the rails when he said reparations must be paid to blacks for “246 years of stolen labor.” That’s an apparent reference to the time since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Newsflash: The U.S. fought a civil war to end slavery over 150 years ago.
That conflict came after the northern states began outlawing the practice during the Revolutionary War, nearly 100 years before. That’s why we had the Civil War.
America’s record on race has been marred by some significant failures, but it is also marked by many incredible successes, such that people from all over the world seek to come here each year to take their shot at the American dream.
Americans of all backgrounds have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.
A version of this article originally appeared on Patriot Project.
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