Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 12, 2013

We might be celebrating, but they have no reason to do so

The first recorded interracial marriage in Virginia (and possibly the country) occurred in early 1600 at the Jamestown Colony.

A Powhatan Indian princess named Matoaka converted to Christianity and was given the Christian name Rebecca.

In 1614, at the age of 19, she married a tobacco farmer named John Rolfe.

They eventually had a son named Thomas. Today we know Matoaka as Pocahontas.

In 1990, George H.W. Bush signed a bill designating November as “Native American Indian Heritage Month.”

The lack of fanfare each year is testimony to the fact that no one wants to hear about it. Or perhaps even cares.

When the Pilgrims landed on these shores the land was already populated by tens of millions of people. The settlers called them Indians, red man, redskins and eventually savages.

They were supposed to land in Southern Virginia, but were forced to land at Plymouth Rock when they ran out of beer.

History shows us that had it not been for the kindness of the natives, the early settlers may well have not survived those first harsh winters.

At the end of the third year, after the harvest was in, the Pilgrims threw what they called the “Great Feast” to thank their benefactors. We’ll celebrate it again this year on Nov. 28.

As you celebrate, you might want to consider this:

Turns out we were so grateful to these noble people that we eventually slaughtered them, burned their villages, stole their lands and threw them onto reservations.

If nothing else, try not to choke to death on the hypocrisy of it all.

Will Ross

Bealeton, Va.

 

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