I have tried to focus on the positive, to identify things for which to be thankful, and to look on the bright side. For most part, I am able to do these things. There are so many heart-warming stories this time of year. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my home, the opportunities I have to go places and do things with wonderful people. And I am still basically an optimist who believes good will ultimately triumph over evil.
However, I have been much troubled by the recent tone of discourse in this country and can not sit down with my loved ones to enjoy all our favorite family annual traditional dishes if I don’t do say something about the fear-focused ugliness I am hearing from too many of our leaders and would-be leaders. To that end I wrote a letter to our Texas governor and I share it here at HowWiseThen as a reminder that the only reason we had an event that led to our Thanksgiving tradition was because another leader four hundred years ago decided to help the starving, desperate new immigrants.
Happy Thanksgiving people. Pass the gravy and say a pray for desperate immigrants everywhere.
November 23, 2015
Governor Greg Abbott
Austin, TX 78711
Dear Governor Greg Abbott:
In a few days we celebrate the day officially set aside by President Lincoln in 1863 during the Civil War conflict to be a national day of remembering and giving thanks for the kindness given to the English immigrants in 1620 by the Native American leader Massasoit.
Massasoit did not cave into the fear-based resistance to these incoming starving and desperate people just off the ship from a horrific Atlantic crossing. If he had, the remaining English would surely have all died, as did half the Mayflower passengers that first winter.
But Massasoit did not cave in, even though he had good reason to do so. Previous European explorers turned out to be foreign terrorists, killing the natives or capturing them and hauling them away as slaves. Such is the story of human history. People of different ethnic groups are forever wandering into new places – some out of curiosity, some to strike it rich, some to flee persecution, and some to run for their lives.
Whether there shall be peace or on-going conflict when different ethnic groups meet is in the hands of the leaders of the people. As our appointed leader you have chosen a path that will lead to conflict and more troubles.
I am not a native Texan, however, I have now lived here longer than anywhere else. This is my home. I used to be proud to claim Texas as my adopted home. No more. I am sickened by your lack of leadership on this issue. For God’s sake, these are not terrorists. These are women with small children, elderly people who wanted only to die in peace in a land they loved, and men who want a chance to work and care for their families.
To treat an entire ethnic group as an enemy because a handful are misguided into thinking violence is the cure-all for any situation is to play right into the hands of the monsters who abuse, torture, enslave, and kill innocent people for the sport of it.
We are better than this. I plead with you to reconsider your position and show some compassion and leadership, as did Massasoit in the 1600’s when confronted with desperate strangers in search of sanctuary.
The Rev. Kathryn Haueisen