Happy Decolonization Weekend!
(Because the news is so crazy that it's sometimes hard to tell nowadays, this post is satire.)
It's a given that Thanksgiving is evil. The history, the annual event, the name — all signify the horrors of our far-from-exceptional (really, not even run-of-the-mill) nation.
Once you combine the woeful — and typical — American over-consumption with the undeniably racist, sexist, ableist, and unsustainably violent and heteronormative (Dad carves the meat?!?!) images consistent with this egregious event...well, you can clearly understand the importance of recognizing that this "holiday" (a word derived from *gasp!* "Holy Day") cannot continue to be "celebrated" in its current fashion.
That's why, on Thursday, our family — as we ourselves collectively define the term — truly enjoyed (especially because a certain never-to-be-named fascist is no longer president) a joyous, eco-friendly Indigenous People's Day. And yes, we know that the day once known as — Gaia help us — Columbus Day is also now called Indigenous People's Day, but we've decided that, considering the sacrifices the Indigenous People made and suffering they endured, there really should be two official days. After all, veterans have two already, so we're just ensuring honor equity.
But over our postprandial Only Certain Words Allowed with Friends game, we started thinking more deeply about representational and intersectionality issues. That's how we realized that getting rid of the dreaded "Thanksgiving" is not nearly enough, given that the whole weekend is a sybaritic parody of "Americanism." Ick.
We decided to reimagine — and take back — this whole time period under the heading of "Happy Decolonization Weekend!"
Image: Celebrating Indigenous People's Day. YouTube screen grab.
For starters, we all know that terms like "black eye," "black hole," "black sheep," "blacklist," and other endless and terrifying "black" terms are inherently racist (and we won't even mention the hockey-based compounded racism of "black ice"). There are hundreds of synonyms and adjectival uses for black — almost all negative. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of synonyms and uses for white — almost all positive. Case closed.
And there it was, staring us right in the face as part of this weekend: Black Friday. This orgy of unnecessary, climate-destroying shopping — this truly horrific day — is actually called Black Friday. This festering Friday fixture, foisted upon friends and fellow alike by fetid and foul fleecing financiers, would, of course, have to be dubbed Black Friday in America — the sickening irony of tying White profligacy to Black poverty perfectly encapsulates why we must all keep doing the work.
To that end, we're asking that we immediately move away from this term towards a more inclusive moniker: BIPOC Friday. By using BIPOC Friday, we will be constantly reminded — even if we shop, although we limited ourselves — of the mountain of progress that must still be climbed from the valley of shame upon which this (stolen) land was founded.
Beyond that term, we learned that Saturday — for some manipulative marketing reason — is called Small Business Saturday. While we acknowledge the important role small businesses play in creating walkable, breathable, local neighborhoods, we cannot forget the racist legacy they have created in many NOCs (neighborhoods of color). Therefore, we decided that Silent Saturday — staying inside oneself, tuning out the noise, and focusing on achievable plans for personal improvement — was a more productive concept.
As to Sunday...nothing seemed to work well enough to shine a light on the miseries inflicted upon our planet by organized religion — particularly Western, Christ-based ideas that "celebrate" that day — except Sadness Sunday.
Monday has been dubbed Cyber Monday, and that — to us — seemed to make sense. One of our number suggested "Overlord Monday," but that was deemed highly problematic for a whole host of reasons. Oddly, though, this person soon received a text on his [the preferred pronoun] phone promoting books and videos on the history of something called "D-Day" shortly after he made the suggestion out loud. None of us have any clue what that was about.
So do please put down the credit card, give your leftovers to charity, and take the weekend to reflect on the important and necessary improvements we can all make to ourselves and for those our society has wronged, and join us in Decolonization Weekend.
We'll all be better for it.
Author's note: To make absolutely sure I was right that everything is racist, I did a bit of internet research and came across the following story on NBC's Today Show website:
The really funny part is the banner ad that was on the page:
The icing on the cake is that college students at the University of Florida thought Black Friday was a terrible day, not just because of evil capitalism but also because of racism. It was only when they learned what the name meant that they conceded that it could stay.
Really — I did try to make this stuff up, but, oh well…
Thomas Buckley is the former mayor of Lake Elsinore and a former newspaper reporter. He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at email@example.com. You can read more of his work at https://thomas699.substack.com.
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