At a recent event a couple of days before Thanksgiving Day, I exited by wishing the group “Happy Thanksgiving,” which one attendee promptly modified by saying, “Yeah, for those of you celebrating, enjoy.”
Until that moment, my normally sharp senses about woke infiltration were caught off-guard about how, having vilified Christmas for years, the cancel culture left has now set its sights on Thanksgiving.
Many are not even subtle about it. They’ll insist that Thanksgiving is nothing more than an affirmation of white supremacy, subjugation of the indigenous Native-Americans (and don’t you dare call them “Indians” or they’ll really brand you a hater) and an arrogant disregard of those who don’t believe in a higher power. (Giving thanks to God? How positively anti-science!)
Others, though, are far shrewder and won’t tip their hand quite so easily. Hence, the “for those who celebrate” qualifier. Much like “Xmas” — which most people innocently and sincerely use as an abbreviation for Christmas — has been exploited by some in order to keep the word “Christ” out of it, the celebration option now opens a Pandora’s box, creating limitless opportunities to subvert American traditions.
Christmas and Thanksgiving, after all, despite any religious implications, are also American holidays that transcend faith. Offices are closed and kids get the day off from school on those days, unlike a myriad of other Christian holidays, such as Ash Wednesday, All Saints Day and Pentecost.
Also, two of the most celebrated American holidays, St. Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), have also transcended religion and have become, respectively, days of romance and celebration of Irish history and culture.
By injecting “for those who celebrate” into the conversation, the cancel culture left is planting the seed of doubt into the minds of folks who — gasp — simply want to wish happy tidings upon their fellow Americans.
Having been born and raised in New York City and having spent most of my years attending school and later practicing as an attorney and teaching at various colleges there, I’ve been the “target” of many people wishing me “Happy Kwanzaa.”
Mind you, I don’t celebrate Kwanzaa, but I’m familiar enough with it to know that it is a holiday rooted in Africa and celebrated by a substantial number of African-Americans, and it focuses on universally benign mores like love, peace, family, harmony and community.
Therefore, upon becoming the recipient of a “Happy Kwanzaa” greeting, I don’t insist that the well-wisher qualify it with “if you’re celebrating,” nor do I spoil the moment by replying “I don’t celebrate Kwanzaa.” Instead, I smile, and reply, “Thank you, and Happy Kwanzaa to you!”
Similarly, those who object to a “Happy Thanksgiving” nicety or feel compelled to inquire into the intentions of those who in fact celebrate it are nothing more than gadflies trying to undermine American history and culture.
Because Christmas itself is based upon a particular religion, it is not unreasonable to preface it with “for those who celebrate,” if one feels compelled to do so. Never mind that it’s a convenient cop-out, because, despite its Christian roots, Christmas — from carols to tree-trimming to Rudolph and Frosty — is celebrated by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of non-Christian Americans.
Surely next up on the cancelers’ hit list is Independence Day. It won’t be long until, “Have a Happy Fourth,” is met with a, “For those of you who celebrate,” retort. In other words: “Some of us choose not to find joy in the anniversary of our nation’s founding.”
For the time being, support for our troops — if not the leaders who thrust them into battle — remains reasonably strong, which is a good thing, considering the bum rap our Vietnam vets endured from the anti-war protesters. Nonetheless, Veterans Day is on the endangered species list to be canceled as well.
If any of this seems far-fetched to you, consider that former President George Washington’s birthday and Columbus Day have been relegated to the dustbins of American chronicles.
It’s vital for Americans to remain vigilant and pay careful attention to words. Many media outlets have turned message manipulation into an art form, carefully positioning specific words to shape the narrative, as if meticulously designing an intricate mosaic, whereby the end result can be alarmingly misinterpreted.
Perhaps the next time someone in your presence throws out the “if you celebrate” qualifier, if she/he then bids adieu to you by wishing that you “have a nice day,” you can get them to think twice about their own absurdities by replying, “I don’t celebrate nice days.”
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