Cancelling Thanksgiving and Other Colonial Holidays

Toby Right: First they took our turkey and I did not speak out because I was not a turkey!

I’m madder than a dirty bird in need of a clean over the way the woke are washing us of our days of significance, like Thanksgiving.

Why just the other day my wife, Greta, and I sat down with our youngest daughter’s teacher for Parent-Teacher Interviews. Our daughter, the other Dana, did well in math, science and reading, but is failing miserably in gender studies, native reconciliation, and could only identify 2 of the 72 genders. (Now that’s a proud poppa!)

I asked her teacher,  who had short dark hair and a lumberjack beard but went by the name Ms. Ramone, how the class was planning to mark the upcoming Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, to which Mr./Ms. Ramone replied that the school had actually removed Thanksgiving from their Days of Significance calendar.

Mr./Ms. Ramone said that Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates white people stealing land from the Indigenous and it didn’t fit with the school board’s socially conscious agenda. I’d never heard of such tomfoolery before.

WHEN PIGS COULD FLY: Prior to corporate agendas that promote Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (DIE), natives and settlers used to have regular pow wows with wine, women, and good cheer. These days the only red skins you’ll find at a Thanksgiving dinner are on an overcooked ham like your sister-in-law, who banned the unvaxed last year and won’t shut up about the benefits of vaccination, made.

“Every turkey matters,” I said. Since moving to Canada from Africa, Thanksgiving has always been my favourite: food, family and giving thanks to the hardworking farmers and truckers who put grub on our table.

“We’re omitting days that normalize colonialism,” Mr./Ms. Ramone lectured us.

I said: “That’s insane. The origin of the holiday was sharing food with the Indians. There’s nothing evil about that.” I said: “What about the pilgrims and the founders of this great nation! What about the convoy of truckers who deliver our goods and services?” 

Nevertheless I was shut down and we were lectured about Dana misgendering her classmates. Apparently she has also been ‘sneaking’ books into class that had been banned in the school library by the school boards Diversity, Inclusion and Equity committee. Greta said she’d talk to our daughter about being more woke.

Thanks For Nothing

On the way home, I couldn’t control my anger. “Do these goofs even know what they’re talking about?”

“Well, dear,” my wife said. “The family and I took a vote and we also decided to not celebrate Thanksgiving this year.” I almost swerved off the road.

No turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. No Canadian football and family time. What the hell is happening to this country!!!

We arrived home. I told Dana that she was a star student and that pronouns are for transvestites, but Greta, who’s becoming more and more woke in her autumn years, had a stern talk with our child about being more Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable. In other words, she told our child to DIE.

I couldn’t sleep that night. If the Gelman clan wasn’t going to celebrate breaking bread with another culture then I’d do it myself. I asked my best friend and neighbour Mr. Wong to join me for dinner. He stood in the doorway wearing only an orange shirt that read: Every Child Matters and said that he was also boycotting. “Wong answer!” I said to him. He frowned and said he was on the way to check his privilege, anyway.

I called around to try and fill up my festive table, but kept getting the same answer. “Not this year. Those graves! Residential schools!! White privilege!!!”

Turkey Fields of Dreams

Finally I decided to do it myself. I drove to Costco, bought a 40 pound turkey, all the fixings, and the last plastic plates and cutlery they had — assuming like every great movie in the 80s everyone would just show up. “If you cook it they will come,” my Kevin Costner voice said.

Well, $500 later. Thanks Justinflation. I had my dinner. When I arrived home I was correct that all my family was there. Except they weren’t waiting for me to cook dinner. They were sitting on the floor in a circle holding hands with some natives they had met at a healing centre and praying for Justin Trudeau to send more money to Ukraine.

A WOLF IN WOKE CLOTHING: Kevin Costner may have gotten away with speaking Lakota in Dances with Wolves, but these days he’d be lucky if woke Hollywood green lit any projects that appropriated culture.

Undaunted, I cooked my dinner and packed it in some Tupperware then headed back out to find someone who would share a meal with me. Even the local nut outside the Shoppers Drug Mart, Crazy Joe, who thinks he’s Aunt Jemima said he was skipping Turkey Day. 

I’ll tell you if I didn’t walk 10,000 steps looking for someone to eat dinner with. I finally resigned myself to being the only one in Canada eating Thanksgiving dinner. I found a park bench with some seagulls and ended up sharing my meal with them.

I said: “At least you guys don’t care about wokeness.”

They replied by cawing and then nibbling on some pumpkin pie. Eventually more and more gulls came by for dinner. I explained to them about how humans are moving holidays to accommodate others, but then doing nothing for ourselves. When does it end? I sadly wiped the turkey grease from my chin with an orange shirt from Mr. Wong I’d brought to use as a napkin.

Woke Are the Real Bird Brains

You know, though, I don’t get it. Why does everything have to be about something? Why can’t we just enjoy a family dinner without it being about something we did 300 years ago? Why if I celebrate a holiday am I a racist or don’t care about this or that? The seagulls seemed to agree. (Nothing wrong with dinner company who agrees with everything you say.)

When I arrived home all the natives had left and my woke offspring had gone to bed. Greta said, “Did you find anyone to eat with?”

“Yes,” I said, “a family joined me in the park.” I didn’t tell her that my new flock was actually bird-rats. “They thought I was a pretty good cook.”

“Maybe next year I’ll join you,” she said. “I missed having our family dinner.”

I reached into my bag and pulled out one of the containers that the birds had been nibbling on. Greta sat up in bed. The lights were low and it was hard to see. I said: “Is this what our holidays will become: sitting in the dark ashamed of enjoying something?”

“I’m afraid so,” she said, tearing the flesh off the wishbone.

After she finished, I said: “Now for dessert. How about I stuff your turkey?”

Greta laughed, but by then the tryptophan had kicked in and she fell asleep. So much for being awake.

And that’s all the woke Turkey I can baste this week.

Toby Gelman
+ posts

Producer of Woke Up! podcast, father of six, husband to Greta, and author of Johnny Jock PI Moon Rock Opera.

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