Thursday, November 26, 2009

Neck cuts and genocide: A coincidence?

I am not saying I totally know what Native Americans went through during their genocide. But when my seldom used electric razor broke the day before Thanksgiving, I felt neck pain and endured several cuts. So let's just say I may be a little more empathetic toward the Native Americans' plight than just the average person.

Although I am far from my extended family in Cleveland and could not travel there this year, I thought about past Thanksgivings, when every so often someone would bring up Christopher Columbus' campaign to murder the natives. I believe historians disagree on exactly how big of a role Columbus had with the killings and how many Native Americans were murdered.

Nevertheless, the genocide of Native Americans is a conversation that can pop up at the Thanksgiving dinner table as diners' guilt of gluttony transforms into guilt of being American.

I believe Thanksgiving and maybe even Columbus Day, too, work as holidays. They are not meant to be times to revel in what tragically happened to many Native Americans. Still, I believe it is important to not dismiss what happened to them, and if I think of them because I was cut by an electric razor, that may show compassion.

But wait a minute! I thought it was impossible to cut oneself with an electric razor. ... Guess again.