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Tuesday, July 05, 2022
<p>A group of indigenous peoples lead a march of protestors against fracking and shale gas through Point State Park before a ceremony to bless the three rivers, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Pittsburgh. The group is protesting before President Donald Trump is to speak at at the Shale Insight Conference Wednesday afternoon. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)</p>

A group of indigenous peoples lead a march of protestors against fracking and shale gas through Point State Park before a ceremony to bless the three rivers, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Pittsburgh. The group is protesting before President Donald Trump is to speak at at the Shale Insight Conference Wednesday afternoon. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Halloween may be over, but we’re still concerned about bad holiday practices, especially here in the U.S. 

There’s no denying the racist tendencies in U.S. It’s obvious in our history books, it’s obvious in the lack of racial representation at UF and its even obvious within the holidays the U.S. chooses to celebrate. 

The country needs to recognize all holidays, including from the cultures it’s so “proud” of having. While we’ve battled to get to a better place today, it seems like we are still drowning in a sea of racism and lies.

Let’s try to get our heads above the water, America. Minorities have suffered long enough.

Out of 10 federal holidays, only one celebrates minorities: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But even that effort initially faced resistance. Former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms held a filibuster against the bill, and demanded the FBI release files from their investigation of King because Helms believed King to be a communist. Although the bill passed 78-22, we can’t help but think about how difficult the battle must have been. The bill finally passed nearly 20 years after King’s death; it’s just disappointing to see how much time the U.S. needed to get over its bigotry.

Today, it seems like the U.S. still needs to improve. There are currently-celebrated federal holidays that undermine the tragedies minorities have faced, and one of the most problematic is coming soon — Thanksgiving.

It just feels inappropriate to celebrate the history of Thanksgiving. It was enacted as a national holiday to celebrate a peaceful harvest between Native Americans and Pilgrims, but really it’s a facade to hide the atrocities colonists committed against their so-called “friends.” 

The only thing we should really give thanks for is the short vacation we get. Although we enjoy the time we have to spend with our families, reparations and social reform would definitely be a better gift. 

By principle, Thanksgiving is a great holiday. Families have the opportunity to come together from across the nation to eat a hearty meal and have a good time. As the most overworked developed nation in the world, we need some time with our loved ones to make things less stressful, and Thanksgiving is perfect for that.

The only people we should be thankful for during this holiday season are those who are brave enough to make a family feast, and the ones who are trying to make change.

Many people now celebrate November as National American Indian Heritage Month, and we encourage you to participate in the different activities that the UF Indigenious American Student Association offers. Even if you’re not a member of any Indigenous groups, it’s good to be exposed to the rich history that has been repressed for so long. 

We need to take back our history. American culture isn’t simply a collective of people celebrating one thing. Although we are more progessive today, the U.S. still doesn’t acknowledge its past and the people who  built it. Why isn’t Juneteenth a federal holiday? Or even Emancipation Day? Is the end of hundreds of years of captivity, or the freedom of millions not enough to celebrate?

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Maybe the U.S. really doesn’t want to recognize its history —  or maybe we still have some work to do.

Either way, we’re confident something positive is going to happen. The holiday season is meant to bring us together, and we should use it to support people as well.

The Editorial Board consists of Zora Viel, Opinions Editor; Amanda Rosa, Editor-in Chief; Kelly Hayes, Digital Managing Editor; and Tranelle Maner, Engagement Managing Editor.

A group of indigenous peoples lead a march of protestors against fracking and shale gas through Point State Park before a ceremony to bless the three rivers, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Pittsburgh. The group is protesting before President Donald Trump is to speak at at the Shale Insight Conference Wednesday afternoon. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

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