Don’t fall for ‘woke’ misinformation about the origins of Thanksgiving

You can eat your pumpkin pie without any guilt this year.

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving ? Woke social media activists, apparently. Every time this great American holiday comes around, they reemerge to explain why Thanksgiving is “problematic.”

In one TikTok video that received more than 400,000 views, a left-wing activist named Audrey Nicholas attempts to explain “why you shouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving” by spinning a narrative about the “real” origins of the holiday.

“In 1637, the Pequot tribe was celebrating their green corn harvest,” she explains. “In early hours of the morning, English and Dutch mercenaries surrounded their tribe and demanded they come outside. The ones who did were clubbed to death and shot. The women and children who huddled in the longhouses afraid were burned alive.”

“The next day, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared that day the day of Thanksgiving … that is the reason Native Americans associate Thanksgiving with massacre,” her TikTok screed concludes. “And when you celebrate it, you’re also celebrating those massacres.”

This isn’t a claim unique to one TikTokker. It’s been featured in countless popular TikTok videos and viral Facebook posts, and it has even been parroted by some ostensibly legitimate media outlets such as HuffPost and Time magazine.

There’s just one problem: it isn’t true.

Yes, there was a horrifying killing of the Pequot in 1637. But it has no connection to the Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today. You don’t have to take my word for it. The fact-checker Snopes, which actually has a liberal bias, looked into it and concluded that there is no basis for this woke mythology.

Colonialists did declare a “Day of Thanksgiving” after the massacre, which they viewed as a significant victory in a war with the Pequot. Yet, Snopes reports , “In actuality, churches declared days of thanksgivings quite regularly.” In 1630, for example, a day of thanksgiving was declared to celebrate the safe arrival of ships from England. Similarly, in 1941, one was declared in honor of Parliament.

“There is no question that Connecticut and Massachusetts had a thanksgiving after [those events], a lot of people did it … but to draw the connection between that and the modern holiday is untenable,” one historian told Snopes. “Thanksgivings were a tradition amongst English people often to mark a gift from God … There were hundreds, if not thousands of thanksgivings, some of them were related to military conquests of Indian people and most were not.”

“When it comes to the 17th century English ‘days of thanksgiving,’ they have no resemblance to the holiday we celebrate today,” another historian told Snopes. “That holiday was not created until the 19th century. The English day of thanksgiving would have been a day of prayer. If they won a victory in battle that would have been a day of thanksgiving, which was normally a day of fasting, totally different from a feast.”

So, no, despite what TikTokkers may claim, Thanksgiving did not originate as a celebration of a massacre. You can eat your pumpkin pie without any guilt this year — and ignore left-wing activists going forward whenever they try to ruin nice things with woke misinformation.

This column originally appeared at the Washington Examiner

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Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo is a libertarian-conservative journalist and co-founder of Based Politics. His work has been cited by top lawmakers such as Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Pat Toomey, Congresswoman Nancy Mace, Congressman Thomas Massie, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, as well as by prominent media personalities such as Jordan Peterson, Sean Hannity, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, and Mark Levin. Brad has also testified before the US Senate, appeared on Fox News and Fox Business, and written for publications such as USA Today, National Review, Newsweek, and the Daily Beast. He hosts the Breaking Boundaries podcast and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.