First, I hope this day is spent breaking bread with the ones you love.  Second, if you’ve been following the nonsense about the Pilgrims, the Indians, and socialism, this red (and I mean red, in the true meaning–progressive–not the current reactionary or ignorant one) thought it would be worthwhile to share this letter with you all. Jack Shakely wrote to The Los Angeles Times (unfortunately, it didn’t get printed in today’s issue).  Jack is a member of the Internet Writing Workshop and, he was also the chair, Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian  Commission. And now for Jack’s wise words:

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, there are those who want us to  believe that  the Plymouth Pilgrims didn’t thrive until they broke free of  secular socialism.

It would be good to remember that the other people at that  first feast,  the folks who in fact brought the food and made the feast  possible, were  then, and continued to be for the next 250 years,  communists.

The great American Indian nations owned their land in  common, harvested their crops and hunted the buffalo in common, feasted  together in good times and faced famine together in hard times.

This is not to say that the Indian way was superior to the  Pilgrims, just different. The Pilgrims and Indians at the first Thanksgiving  couldn’t have been farther apart in politics, religion and culture. Yet they  embraced our shared humanity, and both came away stronger because of it. Let  us try to do the same.

Jack Shakely
former chair, Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian  Commission

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!