The fourth Thursday of every November has always stirred up a lot of emotion within me. It has inevitably become a day where my family gathers to eat, dance, laugh, sneak extra vodka into their cranberry juice (or perhaps puerto rican rum into their pepsi), talk about a relative from across the room, complain about how nobody knows how to watch their own damn child, argue about who ate the jellos before dinner was even served, cry because the Holidays remind them of a relationship they're no longer in, cry because they're in a relationship they no longer want to be in, and overall great memories. Despite the brutally beautiful moments that have transpired over the years, I cannot seem to ignore the native brothers and sisters who were in every dimension raped & exploited for us to now so naively celebrate a "Holi"day that is so far from Holy. When I speak to people about the history of Thanksgiving or history in general pertaining to other events such as Christmas or...freakin' Columbus Day or anything that challenges mass tradition, they always try to dismiss me as though I'm going on a senseless rant and request that I just get over it and enjoy the moment. But look, you canNOT being to tell the descendant of one of the oppressed and violated mix of people on this earth that what he has to say with respect to who he is...well, is irrevelant and annoyingly past tense. I'm not going to go in on this blog right now but in short, let's just say I try my best to be present everyday but it becomes more and more difficult when the past oppressions of your ancestors consume the cultural fire that ignites your spirit. How ironic is it that we slaughter mass numbers of turkeys every November to represent family love and, in some illogical way, a dinner that was followed with smoked gun powder, dead bodies, and "free" land???
With that said, I have decided to rename this Holiday "Giving Thanks." As opposed to saying "Thanks" for "Giving," I want to "Give" in order to say "Thanks." I want to give thanks to everyone who has ever given a fuck. For anyone who has been there beyond artificial means and stuck it with me when I didn't even know how to be myself. Before I even learned what self meant or words like culture or love or history or Taino or Arawak or oppression or hate or greed or color or lack there of or any/everything in between. I give thanks for my upbringing. For both the joy and pain that it has brought to my life. To the lessons I learn daily and to the new and beautiful souls that continue to enter it. I am eternally grateful. Each year will continue to serve my growth (I believe beyond my own expectations), nonetheless, I will continue to evolve accordingly. In the meantime, I'm done gobbling yo' oppressed turkeys with booty holes filled with dirty fingers and expired seasoning! Word. Stuff that Pilgrim!!!