Point-counterpoint: The battle for Thanksgiving

By Andrea Anastassov and Jamie Linton

Thanksgiving traditions help students decompress

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By Andrea Anastassov

On a typical Thursday afternoon, you can catch our thousands of students here at the University running across the Main Quad in a dire attempt to catch yet another class.

But in about a week’s time, the situation will be a very different one. That is because all of us will be on a lovely break to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Instead of being at the library surrounded by books, students will most likely be at home or sitting at someone’s dining table surrounded by their beloved family members and plates upon plates of delicious, home-cooked food.

Thanksgiving is one of the greatest holidays because it’s dedicated to family, friends, and food. Who could hate that? It also falls during a time where everyone could use a break and relax.

Thanksgiving kind of sneaks up on you, but when it comes, you should be nothing but thankful. First of all, thanks to this day we get an entire week off to relieve stress and get some things done.

We also get to spend quality time with family members and relatives who we rarely get to see when we’re away, which gives up a chance to catch up on eachother’s lives.

After months of eating dining hall food or even making your own meals, there is nothing like home-cooked family dining. Not just any old meals for that matter, but delicious food.

From start to finish, Thanksgiving is easily one of, if not the best meal of the year. If the food isn’t enough to sell you, there’s plenty more to Thanksgiving than the turkey.

Whether you are taking a nap, watching the parade or gathered around the T.V. watching football with your family, it is a completely stress-free day. College students can appreciate those rare days more than anyone.

Family traditions can truly complete the relaxing effect of the holiday. Maybe you’re the one in the kitchen cooking and bonding with your mom or maybe you’re the one outside tossing the football around with your dad.

These special moments are what make us step back and truly appreciate the people in our lives. These are the moments that we remember and that make us realize what we’re thankful for.

Put that way, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything wrong in this equation.

So next time you roll your eyes at Thanksgiving or wish it was December already, think again and have nothing but thanks for this day.

Andrea is a freshman in Media.

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Thanksgiving’s past shouldn’t be excused

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By Jamie Linton

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

In the years following, European immigrants plagued this “newfound” land with the introduction of smallpox, influenza and other diseases — oh, and the enslavement and mass murder of the indigenous people.

In modern times, we celebrate this victory with dry poultry, artificial gelatin desserts and a vegetable dish that gives pie a bad name every fourth Thursday of November.

The celebration is capped off by going around the table and announcing our gratefulness in some form of cliché. We call this holiday: Thanksgiving.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with gathering at a relative’s house to enjoy traditional food and each other’s company. However, it’s another thing to celebrate the mass incarceration and genocide of millions of indigenous people without acknowledging that the very reason we’re gathered around the table sitting next to that weird cousin or drunk uncle is to commemorate these atrocities.

One may argue that tradition needs to be honored, and we should not have raw feelings over an event that occurred almost 400 years ago, but there is quantitative proof that Native Americans are still being affected by the discrimination placed upon them in the 15th century.

Native Americans have a higher suicide rate than any other ethnicity according to the CDC, and 40 percent of those who commit suicide are between the ages of 15 and 24.

Additionally, the unemployment rate of Native Americans as of 2013 was close to, or more than double the unemployment rate of whites in many regions according to the Economic Policy Institute. Native Americans also experience more poverty than any other ethnicity: 28.3 percent were in poverty as of 2014.

Yet Americans continue to perpetuate the myth that the pilgrims and Natives coexisted in harmony to our children and celebrate the history of the destruction of Native Americans as if it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

This year, in addition to the few positives that Thanksgiving has embedded into our culture such as volunteering at soup kitchens and catching up with relatives that we only see a few times per year, I’d encourage you to reflect upon the true history of our nation.

But if not, and you decide you’re a fan of mass genocide and dry poultry, then your love of Thanksgiving is justified.

Jamie is a freshman in Media

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