Perspectives: What is Thanksgiving For?

Headline Roundup November 25th, 2021

When millions of people gather with loved ones on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, how should they celebrate it?

As is typical, people across the spectrum see the Thanksgiving holiday in different ways. Some voices on the right used the holiday to write about being thankful for America and freedom; some on the left wrote about how Thanksgiving represents a time to reflect on the oppression of Native Americans and America's relationship with race and ethnic inequality. We at AllSides, along with some of our friends, use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to offer tips for listening across differences and having respectful conversations. Happy Thanksgiving from the AllSides team!

From the Right
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OPINION

Americans began celebrating Thanksgiving long before there was a United States. For hundreds of years, the colonies celebrated a day for local communities to come together and give thanks to God.

It was not until the height of national division, during the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln first set a uniform date for the nationwide celebration of Thanksgiving.

“In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity,” Lincoln wrote, “order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except...

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From the Center
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ANALYSIS

To call the past few years a time of upheaval is a pretty huge understatement. Gender roles and gender identity, race and justice, capitalism and socialism, hyperpolarization, wars, and pandemics – all have brought disruption at levels unseen in generations. Now we’re witnessing what economists are calling the Great Resignation, the unprecedented decision by many Americans to voluntarily quit their jobs, step back, and ask what they really want from work and life. 

In some ways, this time of year is about doing just that. Yes, there are turkeys and...

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From the Left
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OPINION

A reckoning about Indigenous peoples’ histories has been unfolding across the United States in the past few years. Many states and municipalities have begun to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of or in addition to Columbus Day. Some companies, universities and governments are also issuing statements to acknowledge that the land we take for granted was once the homelands of Indigenous peoples. And now most Americans know that the story of a harmonious first Thanksgiving is a dangerous myth. The truth of what Indigenous people suffered, and endured, is finally...

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