400–500 years ago, Europe’s unwanted social outcasts and religious extremists began relocating to Virginia and Massachusetts. Grateful crowns back in London, Amsterdam and Strasbourg rejoiced as their most ungovernable and unwanted subjects self-exiled to the new world. There, waste people and pilgrims set about recreating the same intolerance they sought to flee. Puritan Christianity was so intolerant that they were unable to coexist anywhere – neither with their own kind back in the old world, nor with the natives of the new.
These first settlers thought the Inquisition ended too soon and eagerly sought to reproduce it – burning heretics and accused witches, perpetuating the cruel and unusual medieval tortures discarded by their European forebears, and forcing abused wives to wear the scarlet letter. Women and children had no rights; men were vicious tyrants. Colonial promoter Richard Hakluyt back in England neatly summarized the first settlers’ goals in 1585: “The ends of their voyage are these: to plant Christian religion; to trafficke; and to conquer.”
Fleeing class and religious persecution in an overpopulated Europe suffering widespread disease and crushing poverty, early settlers did not amicably live long with the new land’s old inhabitants. Things soon went bad and ersatz 300-year genocide of indigenous Americans began as they built a new white world on the back of the blacks, in the ashes of the red. Emerging from humble beginnings at Roanoke, Jamestown, Plymouth and America’s oldest European settlement la Florida, a 17th century arc of instability spread over the continent.
Coldblooded Indian killers, fugitives, loners and drunks led the way, as squatters inched forward across 3k miles of hostile terrain and even hostiler natives. From sea to shining sea, we wiped them out and took their land. The last holdout Apaches finally surrendered in Arizona in 1924. Throughout, the wretched refuse of all Europe’s teeming shore arrived; their sheer numbers overwhelming the native tribes, who never lasted long after fatal first encounters with the white man – an estimated 90% died within five years of first contact with European settlers.
England launched America’s first Indian war from Jamestown in 1610, a mere three years after the colony was founded. Before the first thanksgiving was even held at Plymouth, Mayflower militia leader Miles Standish attempted America’s first political assassination on Narragansett sachem (chief) Corbitant in summer 1621. The attempt failed but Standish successfully rescued Corbitant’s famous hostage – the Pilgrims’ loyal Christian Wampanoag advisor Squanto – and the next Pilgrim escalation against neighboring natives would prove disastrous to peaceful coexistence in the new world: Standish invited several Massachusett tribe sachems to negotiations under diplomatic pretenses, then under a white flag of truce the colonists killed them. In the words of historian Nathaniel Philbrick, this treacherous ambush “irreparably damaged the human ecology of the region.”
Wampanoag descendants do not celebrate thanksgiving. For Indians, this day is a souvenir of their ancestors’ betrayal and murder by white invaders. And since 1970, they have instead commemorated a National Day of Mourning at Plymouth Rock at the foot of Massasoit’s statue: the last, doomed Wampanoag chief – star-crossed to reign when the white man came.
But with our revolution still 150 years in the future, Americans are not actually responsible for these early disgraces. Like slavery, America inherited its native policies from the owners back in Europe, who would themselves not have human rights revelations to outlaw slavery for another two centuries until the 1800s, when it finally began to tear the nascent social fabric of the new world settled by their slaves, indentured servants and Jesus freaks. The annual whitewashing of this is an insult to everyone who’s not a white aristocrat. It’s a casually racist and divisive holiday benignly camouflaged as a nationally unifying tradition. Native Americans and blacks doubtless also have reasons to be thankful, but the settlement of the new world is not one of them – at least not the first 300 years of it.
A main difference between the old and new world is white trash; they predominate in the states but not Europe or other former colonies because America was primarily settled by Europe’s permanent underclass. Other colonies got their convicts; America their unemployed – likely why the world’s most livable places are white ones everywhere but America. More complex reasons also exist: Australia didn’t need slaves, they had aborigines; Canada remained loyal to foreign monarchs; Austria, Germany and Finland didn’t experience mass migration or diversity until the late 20th century; and many elements are at play in America.
One of which is perhaps the Nazis’ exuberant response to America’s pioneering progress in eugenics. Throughout the turn of the 20th century, many leading lights of our public life advocated extreme policies to keep the new world homogeneous like the old. To achieve this, they went so far as to enact laws for mass sterilization of target demographics. The permanent white underclass would not only face no competition from other races, it would be steadily eliminated through social engineering.
No less a personage than president Woodrow Wilson headlined American Eugenics Society events. And as late as 1934, the society was still arranging junkets for Nazi racial theorists to present their junk science in Los Angeles to the American Public Health Association. California, Washington, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia all enacted sterilization laws targeting not only the mentally ill but also slave descendants and the socially undesirable; one subsection of which was poor whites. Such imprecise, generic, and poorly written legislation obscures the target, but “poor whites” pretty clearly means white trash. And those states enacted these laws for an entire generation, until the extent of Hitler’s Holocaust horrors became undeniable in the wake of WWII.
Thanksgiving is for America’s erstwhile colonial masters in Europe, who had the foresight to rid themselves of Trump voters 400 years ago. Colonial charters may have lent this venture the guise of early free marketeering, but kings and queens back home really just wanted to rid themselves of the human detritus weighing down their treasuries and befouling their beautiful imperial capitals. So they herded their white trash onto rickety boats to cross the ocean and then unceremoniously shoveled them ashore on barren, poorly selected beaches that proved difficult to survive.
Confronted by thousands of miles of unknown, inhospitable and hostile wilderness; scared and alone just like medieval peasants always had been – the only difference was that these settlers and squatters would conquer this new land and make it their own, only to then remake it at their own expense in the image of what they left behind. As Queen Marie Antoinette once memorably said, let them eat cake – to be sure, but let them do it in red states. Copenhagen wouldn’t be nearly so nice had Billy Bob’s ancestors not fled the city’s Enlightenment humanists to settle Indiana and the Carolinas.
At Thanksgiving Europeans are thankful Americans left, because as George Carlin put it: “This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free. So they killed a lot of white English people, in order to continue owning their black African people, so they could wipe out the rest of the red Indian people, and move west and steal the rest of the land from the brown Mexican people, giving them a place to take off and drop their nuclear weapons on the yellow Japanese people.”