You just had to know this was going to come up, sooner rather than later — objections to children re-enacting the basic historical details of Thanksgiving. Click here to watch the story.
A 20-year tradition has come to an end. Kindergartners at Condit and Mountain View elementary schools in Claremont, California, will no longer be dressing up and visiting one another for their Thanksgiving feast. This year, the Mountain View children would have dressed as Native Americans and walked to Condit, whose students would have dressed as Pilgrims.
Michelle Raheja, an English professor at UC Riverside who specializes in Native American literature, believes dressing up as Native American Indians is demeaning. "I'm sure you can appreciate the inappropriateness of asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis), or members of any other racial minority group who has struggled in our nation's history."
It was Raheja who met with her daughter’s teachers and school officials that lead to the canceling of the costumed feast. School officials capitulated, predictable, given the PC nature of the objections, and they did it quickly.
Jennifer Tilton, an assistant professor of race and ethnic studies at the University of Redlands and a Claremont parent who opposes the costumes joined Raheja with some of her own PC verbiage: "Its always a good thing to think about, critically, how we teach kids, even from very young ages, the message we want them to learn, and the respect for the diversity of the American experiences.”
Some have noted that perhaps the costume objectors are actually agenda-driven elitism; "the message we want them to learn," might be a clue to the real motivation behind the objections. Wouldn't acknowledging Indians and Pilgrims in costume be an expression of respectfulness? Most cultures celebrate their own culture and heritage when they dress in their native costumes.
One mother of a student who happens to be of Choctaw descent, Kathleen Lucas, said her son — now a first-grader — still wears the vest and feathered headband he made last year to celebrate the holiday. "My son was so proud," she said. "In his eyes, he thinks that's what it looks like to be Indian."
We hear so much about “teaching moments” these days, but the school administration and teachers didn’t use this situation as such. Thanksgiving, in PC talk, is about two culturally opposite peoples and races coming together to celebrate in peaceful harmony the circumstances and experiences of their past year together.
For those who live in reality, the Indians dressed as Indians did at that time (how could they do otherwise?), and likewise did the Pilgrims. They appreciated the bounty of the earth, after suffering a previous horribly cruel winter, managing to survive through sheer courage and determination with the help of the Indians. They wanted to give thanks to God who they acknowledged and recognized as the Giver of all graces, of which they numbered their food, shelter, and peace as such. And they did it together.
If someone were truly offended, or disliked the message being taught to their child, they would extract their child from the class or the event. But I suspect the objectors are not offended, personally. How could they be? Neither of the professors is Native American Indian or a Pilgrim.
I suspect the purpose and spirit of Thanksgiving is just too God-centered for them. I suspect they have willingly and purposefully developed a hypersensitivity to all diversity issues that are tied to any kind of religious sentiment, and given an opportunity, will pounce on them, in order to make their PC voices heard.
Taking their mentality to its logical conclusion, Halloween is definitely going to have to go — the costumes might offend or mock satan worshippers. And Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as well — they’re really lies you know; same for the Tooth Fairy.
They’ve already managed to remove the name of God and Christian religious holidays from public schools, so we won’t have to worry there. Presidents Day? No, that fits in more with the ever expanding presidential power too much; they’ll probably keep that one. Valentine’s Day, being based on the actions of a canonized saint is already on the way out, having been changed to Friendship Day, in the name of PCness. And on and on it goes.
I guess for now, interpreting a historical event through a little creative costuming for five-year-olds is “Out.”
Spoiling the fun of five-year-olds, however, nixing a message of brotherhood and tolerance, infusing the spirit of the liberalism of the day, deciding what is “dehumanizing” for others, even those of different racial heritage, and equating something as positive as Thanksgiving with the Holocaust is “In.”