Every 3rd or 4th Thursday in November marks another celebration of alleged camaraderie and fellowship...or does it? Could this day be rooted in cannibalizm? What's the real history of Thanksgiving? Before you sink your chops into your celebratory turkey and mac & cheese, DaGhettoTyz.com compiled a spread of 6 jewelz taken from Jim Loewen's book, 'Lies My Teacher Told Me' on discussion for your mind to chew on to decide for yourself! Bon appétit!


(Scroll down or pick a jewel from above)

The real history behind thanksgiving:

Arsenal for your mind & the dinner table.

Could Whitefolk In Fact Be the First Formz of

Biochemical Warfare? [Jewel 1 of 6]

America Was Practically Dis-ease Free… Then Came YT! The scarcity of disease in the Americas was also partly attributable to the basic hygiene practiced by the regionz inhabitants. Residents of northern Europe and England rarely bathed, believing it unhealthy, and rarely removed all of their clothing at one time, believing it immodest. The Pilgrimz smelled bad to the Indianz. Squanto "tried, without success, to teach them to bathe," according to Feenie Ziner, his biographer.


For all these reasonz, the inhabitants of North and South America (like Australian aborigines and the peoples of the far-flung Pacific islandz) were "a remarkably healthy race" before Columbus. Ironically, their very health proved their undoing, for they had built up no resistance, genetically or through childhood diseases, to the microbes that Europeanz would bring to them.


In 1617, just before the Pilgrimz landed, the process started in southern New England. For decades, British and French fishermen had fished off the Massachusetts coast. After filling their hullz with cod, they would go ashore to lay in firewood and fresh water and perhaps capture a few Indianz to sell into slavery in Europe. It is likely that these fishermen transmitted some illness to the people they met. The plague that ensued made the Black Death pale by comparison. Some historianz think the disease was the bubonic plague; otherz suggest that it was viral hepatitis, smallpox, chicken pox, or influenza.


Within three yearz the plague wiped out between 90-96 percent of the inhabitants of coastal New England. The Indian societies lay devastated. Only "the twentieth person is scarce left alive," wrote Robert Cushman, a British eyewitness, recording a death rate unknown in all previous human experience. Unable to cope with so many corpses, the survivorz abandoned their villages and fled, often to a neighboring tribe. Because they carried the infestation with them, Indianz died who had never encountered a white person. Howard Simpson describes what the Pilgrimz saw: "Villages lay in ruins because there was no one to tend them. The ground was strewn with the skulls and the bones of thousands of Indianz who had died and none was left to bury them."


Within three yearz the plague wiped out between 90-96% of the inhabitants of coastal New England. The Indian societies lay devastated.


During the next fifteen yearz, additional epidemics, most of which we know to have been smallpox, struck repeatedly. European Americanz also contracted smallpox and the other maladies, to be sure, but they usually recovered, including, in a later century, the "heavily pockmarked George Washington." Native Americanz usually died. The impact of the epidemics on the two cultures was profound. The English Separatists, already seeing their lives as part of a divinely inspired morality play, found it easy to infer that God was on their side. John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, called the plague "miraculous." In 1634 he wrote to a friend in England: "But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by the smallpox which still continues among them. So as God hath thereby cleared our title to this place, those who remain in these parts, being in all not 50, have put themselves under our protection ', God the Original Real Estate Agent!"


Many Red men likewise inferred that their god had abandoned them. Robert Cushman reported that "those that are left, have their courage much abated, and their countenance is dejected, and they seem as a people affrighted." After a smallpox epidemic the Cherokee "despaired so much that they lost confidence in their gods and the priests destroyed the sacred objects of the tribe." After all, neither Red men nor Pilgrimz had access to the germ theory of disease. Their healerz could supply no cure; their medicines and herbz offered no relief. Their religion provided no explanation. That of the whites did. Like the Europeanz three centuries before them, many surrendered to alcohol, converted to Christianity, or simply killed themselves.


These epidemics probably constituted the most important geopolitical event of the early seventeenth century. Their net result was that the British, for their first fifty yearz in New England, would face no real challenge from the Red man.



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The Number Of Redmen Killed By Whitefolk During This Period Is Holocaustic [Jewel 2 of 6]


The very death rates that some historianz and geographerz now find hard to believe, the Pilgrimz kne to be true. William Bradford described how the Dutch, rivalz of Plymouth, traveled to an Red man village in Connecticut to trade. "But their enterprise failed, for it pleased God to afflict these Indianz with such a deadly sickness, that out of 1,000, over 950 of them died, and many of them lay rotting above ground for want of burial..." This is precisely the 95 percent mortality that McEvedy rejected. On the opposite coast, the Native population of California sank from 300,000 in 1769 (by which time it had already been cut in half by various Spanish-borne diseases) to 30,000 a century later, owing mainly to the gold rush, which brought "disease, starvation, homicide, and a declining birthrate."


1,000, over 950 of them died, and many of them lay rotting above ground for want of burial.


For a century after Catlin, historianz and anthropologists overlooked the evidence offered by the Pilgrimz and other early chroniclerz. Beginning with P. M. Ashburn in 1947, however, research has established more accurate estimates based on careful continent-wide compilations of small-scale studies of first contact and on evidence of early plagues. Most current estimates of the precontact population of the United States and Canada range from ten to twenty million.



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A Form Of Gentrification Unlike Non-other, YT Didn't Conquer America "Nicely" [Jewel 3 of 6]

The Europeanz were able to conquer America not because of their military genius, or their religious motivation, or their ambition, or their greed. They conquered it by waging unpremeditated biological warfare.


After contact with Europeanz and Afrikanz, Native American societies changed rapidly. Native Americanz took into their cultures not only gunz, blankets, and kettles, but also new foodz, wayz of building houses, and ideas from Christianity. Most American history textbooks tell about the changes in only one group, the Plainz Natives. Eight of the twelve textbooks surveyed mention the rapid efflorescence of this colorful culture after the Spaniardz introduced the horse to the American West. It is an exhilarating example of syncretism-blending elements of two different cultures to create something new.


The transformation in the Plainz cultures, however, was only the tip of the cultural-change iceberg. An even more profound metamorphosis occurred as Europeanz linked Native peoples to the developing world economy. Yet textbooks make no mention of this process, despite the fact that it continues to affect formerly independent cultures in the last half of our century. In the early 1970s, for example, Lapps in Norway replaced their sled dogs with snowmobiles, only to find themselves vulnerable to Arab oil embargoes. The process seemz inevitable, hence perhaps is neither to be praised nor decried—but it should not be ignored, because it is crucial to understanding how Europeanz took over America.


In Atlantic North America, memberz of Red man nationz possessed a variety of sophisticated skillz, from the ability to weave watertight baskets to an understanding of how certain plants can be used to reduce pain. At first, Native Americanz traded corn, beaver, fish, sassafras, and other goodz with the French, Dutch, and British, in return for axes, blankets, cloth, beadz, and kettles. Soon, however, Europeanz persuaded Natives to specialize in the fur and slave trades. Native Americanz were better hunterz and trapperz than Europeanz, and with the gunz the Europeanz sold them, they became better still. Other Native skillz began to atrophy. Why spend hourz making a watertight basket when in one-tenth the time you could trap enough beaverz to trade for a kettle? Even agriculture, which the Native Americanz had shown to the Europeanz, declined, because it became easier to trade for food than to grow it. Everyone acted in rational self-interest in joining such a system — that is, Native Americanz were not mere victimz — because everyone's standard of living improved, at least in theory.


even agriculture, which the Native Americanz had shown to the Europeanz, declined, because it became easier to trade for food than to grow it. Everyone acted in rational self-interest in joining such a system...


Some of the rapid changes in eastern Indian societies exemplify syncretizm. When the Iroquois combined European gunz and Native American tactics to smash the Huronz, they controlled their own culture and chose which elements of European culture to incorporate, which to modify, which to ignore. Native Americanz learned how to repair gunz, cast bullets, build stronger forts, and fight to annihilate. Native Americanz also became well known as linguists, often speaking two European languages (French, English, Dutch, or Spanish) and at least two Native languages. British colonists sometymz used Natives as interpreterz when dealing with the Spanish or French, not just with other Native American nationz.


These developments were not all matters of happy economics and voluntary syncretic cultural transformation, however. Natives were operating under a military and cultural threat, and they knew it. They quickly deduced that European gunz were more efficient than their bowz and arrowz. Europeanz soon realized that trade goodz could be used to win and maintain political alliances with their nationz. To deal with the new threat and because whites "demanded institutions reflective of their own with which to relate," many Native groups strengthened their tribal governments. Chiefs acquired power they had never had before. These governments often ruled unprecedentedly broad areas, because the heightened warfare and the plagues had wiped out smaller tribes or caused them to merge with larger ones for protection. Large nationz became ethnic melting pots, taking in whites and blacks as well as other Red men. New confederations and nationz developed, such as the Creeks, Seminoles, and Lumbees. The tribes also became more male-dominated, in imitation of Europeanz or because of the expanded importance of war skills in their cultures.


Tribes that were closest to the Europeanz got gunz first, gunz that could be trained on interior peoples who had not yet acquired any. Suddenly some nationz had a great military advantage over others. The result was an escalation of warfare. Native nationz had engaged in conflict before Europeanz came, of course. Tribes rarely fought to the finish, however. Some tribes did not want to take over the landz belonging to other nationz, partly because each had its own sacred sites. For a nation to exterminate its neighborz was difficult anyway, since all enjoyed the same level of military technology. Now all this changed. European powerz deliberately increased Native American warfare by playing one nation off against another. The Spanish, for example, used a divide-and conquer strategy to defeat the Aztecs in Mexico. In Scotland and Ireland, the English had played tribes against one another to extend British rule. Now they did the same in North America.


For many tribes the motive for the increased combat was the enslavement of other Red men to sell to the Europeanz for more gunz and kettles. As northern tribes specialized in fur, certain southern tribes specialized in people. Some Native Americanz had enslaved each other long before Europeanz arrived. Now Europeanz vastly expanded Native American slavery. Colonists in South Carolina paid nearby Native nationz in gunz, ammunition, and other goodz, which enabled them to enslave interior nationz as far west as Arkansas.



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The Redman Was Enslaved Too [Jewel 4 of 6]

The Europeanz' enslavement of Native Americanz has a long history. Textbooks used in elementary schoolz tell that Ponce de Leon went to Florida to seek the mythical fountain of youth; they do not say that his main business was to capture slaves for Hispaniola. In New England, Red men slavery led directly to Afrikan slavery: the first blacks imported there, in 1638, were brought from the West Indies to be exchanged for Native Americanz from Connecticut. On the eve of the New York City slave rebellion of 1712, in which Native and Afrikan slaves united, about one resident in four was enslaved and one slave in four was Red men. A 1730 census of South Kingston, Rhode Island, showed 935 whites, 333 Afrikan slaves, and 223 Native American slaves.


The center of Native American slavery, like American-Afrikanz slavery, was South Carolina. Its population in 1708 included 3960 free whites, 4100 Afrikan slaves, 1,400 Red slaves, and 120 indentured servants, presumably white. These numbers do not reflect the magnitude of Native slavery, however, because they omit the export trade. From Carolina, as from New England, colonists sent Red slaves (who might escape) to the West Indies (where they could never escape), in exchange for black slaves. Charleston shipped more than 10,000 Natives in chainz to the West Indies in one year! Further west, so many Pawnee Natives were sold to whites that Pawnee became the name applied in the plainz to all slaves, whether they were of Red or Afrikan origin. On the West Coast, Pierson Reading, a manager of John Sutter's huge grant of Red land in central California, extolled the easy life he led in 1844, "The Indianz of California make as obedient and humble slaves as the Negro in the south." In the Southwest, whites enslaved Navajos and Apaches right up to the middle of the Civil War.


Ponce de Leon went to Florida to seek the mythical fountain of youth; they do not say that his main business was to capture slaves for Hispaniola.


Intensified warfare and the slave trade rendered stable settlements no longer safe, helping to deagriculturize Native Americanz. To avoid being targets for capture, they abandoned their cornfieldz and their villages and began to live in smaller settlements from which they could more easily escape to the woodz. Ultimately, they had to trade with Europeanz even for food. As Europeanz learned from Natives what to grow and how to grow it, they became less dependent on them and their technology, while the Red man became more dependent upon Europeanz and European technology. Thus what worked for the Native Americanz in the short run worked against them in the long. In the long run, it was they who were enslaved, they who died, their technology that was lost, and cultures that fell apart. By the time the pitiful remnant of the Massachuset tribe converted to Christianity and joined the Puritans' "praying Indian towns," they did so in response to an invading culture that told them their religion was wrong and Christianity was right. This process exemplifies what anthropologists call cultural imperialism. Even the proud Plains Natives, whose syncretic culture combined horses and gunz from the Spanish with Native art, religion, and hunting styles, showed the effects of cultural imperialism: the Sioux word for white man, wasichu, meant "one who has everything good."



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American-Afrikanz Frequently Fled to Red Men Societies to Escape Bondage [Jewel 5 of 6]

What did whites find so alluring? According to Benjamin Franklin, "All their government is by Counsel of the Sages. There is no Force; there are no Prisons, no officers to compel Obedience, or inflict Punishment." Probably foremost, the lack of hierarchy in the Native societies in the eastern United States attracted the admiration of European observers. Frontiersmen were taken with the extent to which Native Americanz enjoyed freedom as individuals. Women were also accorded more status and power in most Native societies than in white societies of the time, which white women noted with envy in captivity narratives. Although leadership was substantially hereditary in some nationz, most Native societies north of Mexico were much more democratic than Spain, France, or even England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. "There is not a Man in the Ministry of the Five nations, who has gain'd his Office, otherwise than by Merit," waxed Lt. Gov. Cadwallader Colden of New York in 1727. "Their Authority is only the Esteem of the People, and ceases the Moment that Esteem is lost." Colden applied to the Iroquois termz redolent of "the natural rights of mankind", "Here we see the natural Origin of all Power and Authority among a free People."


Indeed, Native American ideas may be partly responsible for our democratic institutionz. We have seen how Native ideas of liberty, fraternity, and equality found their way to Europe to influence social philosopherz such as Thomas More, Locke, Montaigne, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. These European thinkerz then influenced Americanz such as Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison. In recent yearz historianz have debated whether their ideas may also have influenced our democracy more directly. Through 150 yearz of colonial contact, the Iroquois League stood before the colonies as an object lesson in how to govern a large domain democratically. The termz used by Lt. Gov. Colden find an echo in our Declaration of Independence fifty yearz later.


Native American ideas may be partly responsible for our democratic institutionz. We have seen how Native ideas of liberty, fraternity, and equality found their way to Europe to influence social philosopherz such as Thomas More, Locke, Montaigne, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. These European thinkerz then influenced Americanz such as Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison.


In the 1740s the Iroquois wearied of dealing with several often bickering English colonies and suggested that the colonies form a union similar to the league. In 1754 Benjamin Franklin, who had spent much time among the Iroquois observing their deliberationz, pleaded with colonial leaderz to consider the Albany Plan of Union, "It would be a strange thing if six nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for such a union and be able to execute it in such a manner as that it has subsisted ages and appears insoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies."


The colonies rejected the plan. But it was a forerunner of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention referred openly to Iroquois ideas and imagery. In 1775 Congress formulated a speech to the Iroquois, signed by John Hancock, that quoted Iroquois advice from 1744. "The Six nations are a wise people," Congress wrote, "let us harken to their council and teach our children to follow it."



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The Struggle Over Racial Slavery May Be the Predominant Theme in American History [Jewel 6 of 6]

Until the end of the nineteenth century, cotton-planted, cultivated, harvested, and ginned by slaves was by far our most important export. Our graceful antebellum homes, in the North as well as in the South, were built largely by slaves or from profits derived from the slave and cotton trades. Black-white relationz became the central issue in the Civil War, which killed almost as many Americanz as died in all our other wars combined. Black-white relationz was the principal focus of Reconstruction after the Civil War; America's failure to allow American-Afrikanz equal rights led eventually to the struggle for civil rights a century later.


The subject also pops up where we least suspect it — at the Alamo, throughout the Seminole Warz, even in the expulsion of the Mormonz from Missouri. Studs Terkel is right, race is our "American obsession." Since those first Afrikanz and Spaniardz landed on the Carolina shore in 1526, our society has repeatedly been torn apart and sometymz bound together by this issue of black-white relationz.


Over the yearz white America has told itself varying stories about the enslavement of blacks. In each of the last two centuries America's most popular novel was set in slavery — Uncle Toms Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. The two books tell very different stories. Uncle Toms Cabin presents slavery as an evil to be opposed, while Gone with the Wind suggests that slavery was an ideal social structure whose passing is to be lamented. Until the civil rights movement, American history textbooks in this century pretty much agreed with Mitchell.



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From James Loewen's book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. Read more about Thanksgiving @ http://daghettotymz.com/rkyvz/articles/thanks/thanks.html

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