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Thanksgiving Is Not Just About The Gobble, Gobble
11/26/2014 4:20:02 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it’s such an appropriate time to give thanks for all of my many blessings. I have lived long enough to know that things don’t just happen. The reason I have a roof over my head and food on my table can certainly be attributed to hard work and preparation over the years but I know the real reason is things happen by the grace of God.

Speaking of the grace of God, isn’t it funny how folks who so quickly and adamantly sanction the removal of God from assemblies, schools and the government have no problem inviting clergies in Ferguson to come forward to help with what authorities knew would be a violent outcome to the Grand Jury’s “no indictment” of the white police officer that shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

It’s unfortunate that black males experience so many atrocities in this country. I can’t help but feel that there is a conspiracy against black males. The black male has always been strong and provided for his family. Although the provisions may not have gone far, they did their best to provide their families with the basic necessities. So, it stands to reason and I don’t think many can argue against the fact that if you cut off the head, the tail will perish. It’s like the chicken with its head cut off. It will soon die. I don’t think the system took into account the strength of a black woman. I don’t know of too many black women that you can break their spirit or who will stand down.

What happened to the America that I love? The America that made room for illegal immigrants to work under the radar on her farms and in her homes with low or no wages and now wants to deport those whose labor is tied to her wealth. It’s no surprise that America is willing to bite the hands that feed her. America has a reputation of turning on folks who don’t agree with her.

Who is America, really? Is she who she says she is? I am reminded of her boastful words etched at the base of the Statue of Liberty that says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door?” That is what made America the melting pot of the world. She accepted all who wanted to enter through her gates unconditionally. She opened her doors and gave hope to the hopeless and to those who dared to dream of a better life. Where did that dream go? America, you reneged on your promises and instead you became a renegade yourself.

In spite of all that has happened this past year, I still have so much to be thankful for. I thought about all of the things that were important to me and I thought about my friends and family. I thought about the disrespect for our first African American president and the infamous government shut down. I thought about the times that I spent working to make a living when I should have been making a life. I thought about my family and friends that called and checked on me during my extended illness. I thought about the times I met friends while shopping and they said “I enjoyed your article last week; keep up the good work.” I thought about how my brothers and sisters have always been there for me. Then I thought about how my life would be nothing without them.

Although this world seems chaotic at times, I am grateful for my family and friends that make my life complete. It’s the friends you make while journeying through life that can make your journey short or long, a memory or a nightmare. It’s not about what you received on your journey but what you believe and who believed in you. It’s not about the gobble, gobble or wobble, wobble but it’s about who made it all possible.

I am grateful to work with those that others have cast aside. I am grateful that veterans are fight to keep us safe gaining more respect, access to jobs and a decent place to live. I am grateful that I have the opportunity through my column to enlighten and frighten some, challenge and cajole others, entertain and change some folks’ perspectives as they relate to issues that influence their lives.

I am thankful for having been blessed with good parents. Although they have passed on, I continue to feed on their wisdom and instruction. Thanksgiving is not the same without them but I am fine because they passed my way.

So, while I might be feeling a little melancholy, I will be on my P’s and Q’s this Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving last year I had to go grocery shopping. I didn’t even have left overs. While I was cleaning up, I was being cleaned out. There are no grocery discounts on Black Friday. So, this year I am shaking everyone down who comes through the door. I am even checking out wheel chairs and walking canes. Y’all ain’t cleaning me out this year. The rules are no ‘luminum foil, no plastic bags, no boxes, no coolers and no garbage bags allowed. I will be at the door and you must come in through the door. A little humor is good for the holiday. Y’all be good now!

“Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and be safe”.

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