A Forgetful People

We are forgetting our stories. We are forgetting the stories that once helped forge a national identity. We put so much focus on “multiculturalism,” and hearing other people’s stories, that we no longer tell our common stories. A Darwinian consciousness has gripped America, so that the past is dark, and deluded, and racist, and we are moving forward to a great society. So the stories of the past are seen as patriarchal, as racist, as exclusivistic. Consider the story of this day–Thanksgiving. The core American story of this day is that it is rooted in the thanks that the Mayflower pilgrims gave to God after their first year in a new world–a world they didn’t conquer by force, but one where they learned to live in partnership with their Wampanoag neighbors. One would have thought that would be a story worth telling today. One would have thought that would demonstrate how interfaith and cross-cultural relations have always been part of this nation. But on this day, of the 450 channels on AT&T U-verse that are available for preview for the rest of us subscribers, no one is telling this story. No showing of “Plymouth Adventure,” “Desperate Voyage,” “Mayflower: The Pilgrims’ Adventure,” or “Squanto.” No documentaries on Plymouth, or the Mayflower. Nothing about Abraham Lincoln, and his call for a yearly Thanksgiving day. No singing of “Over the river and through the wood.” The “History” Channel is spending the day with marathon showings of “Swamp People” and “Pawn Stars.” A generation exposed to this and we will have a nation with no story, with no identity, with no heritage–a nation of mindless zombies entertained and compliant.the-first-thanksgiving-jean-leon-gerome-ferris-1621