The Day After Thanksgiving: Should Guilt Follow Gratitude?

Michael Medved

2/14/2012 2:32:31 PM - Michael Medved
The legislature in Washington State is considering a new holiday to celebrate the legacy of Northwest Indian Tribes. The proposed schedule would place “Native American Heritage Day” on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when most public schools and government offices are already closed. According to the draft legislation, the commemoration would serve to remind people how “the Native American population was disrupted and nearly destroyed through European colonization” and the tribes suffered the impact of “genocide, slavery, and political and cultural repression.” In other words, the legislature wants to follow the Thanksgiving message of gratitude with a new holiday that sends a message of guilt. That notion insults Indians as much as white settlers—suggesting that the only “Native American Heritage” worth celebrating involves suffering at the hands of others, not achievements by the tribes themselves.