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"Some Who Feel no Reason for Thanksgiving"

Rec. 11-20-06

1) 2:19 Radio essay Mp3

2) 4:32 Radio essay Mp3

SOME WHO FEEL NO REASON FOR THANKSGIVING
============================================
[Col. Writ. 11/19/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

To this day, I can hardly bear to think of that quintessentially American holiday -- Thanksgiving.

When I do, however, I do not dwell on pilgrims with wide black hats sitting to sup with red men, their long hair adorned with eagle feathers.  I think not of turkeys, nor of cranberry, foods now traditional for the day of feast.

Unlike millions, I don't even think of the day's football game; and not thinking of it, I don't watch it.

I think of the people we have habitually called 'Indians'' the indigenous people of the Americas.  Those millions who are no more.

I think of those precious few who remain, and wonder, what do they think of this day; this national myth of sweet brotherhood, that masks what can only be called genocide?

Several years ago, I read a thin text that was pregnant with poignancy.  It was a collection of Native remarks from the first tribes who encountered whites in New England, and down through several hundred years.  Throughout it all, the same vibration could be felt, no matter what the clan or tribe.  A profound sense of betrayal and wrong; from people who were treated like brethren when they first arrived.

In New England, the name Powhatan (ca. 1547-1618) is still recalled (even if that wasn't his name, but what the English called him).  Known as Wahunsonacock by his people, he headed a confederacy of 32 tribes, and governed an area of hundreds of miles.  He was the father of Pocahontas, the young Indian maiden who saved the life of Capt. James Smith.  A year after sparing Smith's life, the white captain threatened the great chief.  This is some of his response given in 1609:

"...Why should you take by force that from us which you can have by love?  Why should you destroy us, who have provided you with food?  We can hide our provisions, and fly into the woods; and then you must consequently famish by wronging  your friends.  What is the cause of your jealousy?  You see us unarmed, and willing to supply your wants, if you come in a friendly manner, and not with swords and guns, as to invade an enemy.  I am not so simple, as not to know it is better to eat good meat, lie well, and sleep quietly with my women and children; to laugh and be merry with the English; and, being their friend, to have copper, hatchets, and whatever else I want, than to fly from all, to lie cold in the woods, feed upon acorns, roots, and such trash, and to be so hunted, that I cannot rest, eat, or sleep.  In such circumstances, my men must watch, and if a twig should but break, all would cry out, "*Here comes Capt. Smith*"; and in this miserable manner, to end my miserable life; and, Capt. Smith, this *might* be soon your fate too, through your rashness and unadvisedness.  I therefore, exhort you to peaceable councils; and, above all, I insist that the guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy and uneasiness, be removed and sent away." [Blaisdell, Bob, ed., *Great Speeches by Native Americans* (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Press, 2000), p.4.]

That great chief's sentiments would be echoed for over hundreds of years, but injustice would just be piled on injustice.  Genocide would be the white answer to red life.

Centuries later, what can Thanksgiving Day mean to Native peoples?

Thank you for stealing our land?  Thank you for wiping out our people?

Thank you for placing a remnant of our once great numbers on rural ghettoes called 'reservations?'

Thank you for abolishing most of the ancient traditions?

Thank you for poisoning what little Indian lands remain with uranium?

Thank you for poisoning the lands now inhabited by the whites?

Thank you for letting Indians fight in American wars against other people?

Thanks.

The real tragedy is that millions of Americans don't know, and don't want to know about Indian history and traditions.

Today, the names of rivers, lakes, and landmarks bear indigenous markers of another age.

The people, except for an occasional movie, are mostly forgotten; out of mind.  The easier to replace with false images of happy meals, and turkey dinners.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal


[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
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Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
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========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
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==============================================>

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WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.] 

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com
AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.com!


For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom,

visit: southendpress.org

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com


The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa