O n this “first Thanksgiving” of the OWS Era it is good that we reflect on a demystified look at America in 17th century New England. (Pequot Indian Land)
The Groundswell Project at Auburn Seminary in Manhattan has a clear invitation for all participating human beings to acknowledge.
Groundswell is a rising movement that is not about a single issue or political party but a shared moral vision for a better world.
Auburn Seminary (NYC) equips bold and resilient leaders who can bridge religious divides, build community, pursue justice, and heal the world.
Auburn Seminary is committed to troubling the waters and healing the world.
Valarie Kaur, Groundswell Program Director, is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, advocate, and public speaker, and a third-generation Sikh American. This is her statement on behalf of the truth. http://www.groundswell-movement.org/
“Tomorrow, many of us will gather in the homes of family and friends across the country for Thanksgiving dinner. This holiday gives us a moment to pause, break bread, and share gratitude. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on what’s happening in our nation and world and in ourselves. We know that there is a movement afoot — young people and old who are standing up for a moral economy, weathering unannounced evictions and police brutality to occupy the streets.
I have loved watching the movement. I am one of the 99 percent so embroiled in school and work that I cannot occupy anything for longer than a few moments. Most Americans out there are like me — we feel the energy in our bones, but we are entangled in life and uncertain about the future.
I am certain about one thing: the Occupy Wall Street movement is complex, messy, and at times problematic — but it’s also earnest, energetic and hopeful. It is the groundswell that has emerged from the shadows of the 9/11 decade to call for a better world. And it is changing the conversation.
It is changing the conversation on our airwaves and in the halls of power. May it also change the conversation at our dinner tables this Thanksgiving.
This holiday is an opportunity for us to talk about what we hear on the news, and what we feel when we pass the tents in our city park. The occupiers are in the streets precisely so that we begin to talk in our homes. Heart to heart, family to family.
Can we begin to imagine together what a moral economy might look like in our country, in our community, and in our households? Can we talk about a society where no one goes hungry, where all people have access to jobs and education, where children are not abused or trafficked, where we are not bitterly divided by race or class or religion or even politics? Can we find common ground with family members who are different from us, or disagree with us?
If we change the conversation at our own kitchen tables, if we put economic justice at the center of our moral concern as Americans, we enter an election season where politicians must listen to what we the people want to resolve. We keep the demand for a moral economy at the top of our
Imagining a moral economy with our friends and families also calls upon us to become young again, to dare to dream the dreams of youth. A few weeks ago, I spoke
about what it means to rekindle our imagination at Auburn Seminary’s “Peace is Possible” dinner.
That same night, our cherished friend and adviser Bishop Gene Robinson appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, reflecting on the role of faith in the Occupy Movement. I marched with the Bishop for a few moments earlier that day, and we both experienced a groundswell of joy, energy,
community, and the sense of “God at work in the world.”
Finally, I want to thank you for joining us in the journey to help build a groundswell for justice. In two short months, we have grown to 15,000 strong and captured national attention in our campaigns to promote dialogue on 9/11/11, combat racism, religious bigotry, and LGBT oppression, and end child sex trafficking — issues at the heart of a moral economy. We are humbled and inspired by you — and look to the future with hope.
Wishing you deep reflection, rich conversation, and a warm Thanksgiving holiday,
Director of Groundswell
Please let us remember ..
“Some aspects of the conventional story are true enough. But it’s also true that by 1637 Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop was proclaiming a thanksgiving for the successful massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indian men, women and children, part of the long and bloody process of opening up additional land to the English invaders.
The pattern would repeat itself across the continent until between 95 and 99 percent of American Indians had been exterminated and the rest were left to assimilate into white society or die off on reservations, out of the view of polite society.
Simply put: Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers.
The first president, George Washington, in 1783 said he preferred buying Indians’ land rather than driving them off it because that was like driving “wild beasts” from the forest. He compared Indians to wolves, “both being beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.”
Thomas Jefferson” president #3 and author of the Declaration of Independence, which refers to Indians as the “merciless Indian Savages” â€” was known to
romanticize Indians and their culture, but that didn’t stop him in 1807 from writing to his secretary of war that in a coming conflict with certain tribes, “[W]e shall destroy all of them.”