Thanksgiving: the keepin’ it real edition…

Roseanne Barr, one of our greatest comediennes and social commentators, has done some truly hilarious and deeply substantive Thanksgiving episodes over the years. I grew up watching her show, and I was happy to discover recently that the LOGO network has syndicated reruns on constant rotation.

In the weeks leading up to T-Day this year, I’d been hearing from a number of Spanish-speaking immigrant parents (for whom I was interpreting) that the meaning of Thanksgiving still eluded them, despite living in the U.S. for many years. They knew that families got together to enjoy a big feast, including turkey. And they knew that thankfulness was an important part of it. Nevertheless, they had a sense that they weren’t in on the whole story.

I’d been thinking about the general, shall we say, unawareness or cognitive disconnection of the U.S. populace at large regarding the origins of this holiday, which is so tied up with the genocide of indigenous peoples at the formation of this nation. And it seems to me that it’s not simply ignorance but a whole barrage of myths that are either questioned or not. And this gets to why Roseanne’s work was and is so important. On so many fronts, she was/is a fearless cultural myth-buster.

With all due respect to Dave Chappelle, this video gives us a prime example of “When ‘keepin’ it real’ goes RIGHT“. Watch, share and please tell me your thoughts in comments below. (And just to clarify, as I belatedly noticed, the above embedded video is a playlist in which video 4 of 5 [Season 8, Episode 9, titled “The Last Thursday in November”] is the episode to which I’ve referred here.) Enjoy!