I’m Suspicious of Gratitude: The day after Thanksgiving should be about being pissed off.

From the newsletter

Thanksgiving is the time of year where we are obligated to publicly enumerate our many privileges and blessings. For me, it’s really not that hard, because I do have way too many privileges and blessings. My home was filled with many loved ones last night. Our buffet overflowed with platters of food and treats. When the guests left, I went to bed in a warm home with my boys near by. Honestly, it’s hard for life to get better than that. 

At the same time, I’m a little suspicious of this whole gratitude thing. It may be a ploy by those who control the world to keep the rabble quiet and complacent. If we are busy counting all our good fortunes, then it is almost rude to talk about politics. Injustices are only discussed in comparative terms: “Well, my life is a whole lot better than those poor saps who don’t have X or Y. I have X AND Y AND Z, so dude, I win!”

In order for political change to happen, people have to be a little pissed off. If we’re sitting around bloated on turkey and tweeting that we’re thankful for the family dog and warm sweaters, then we’re not writing articles, showing up to meetings, and organizing. Being political isn’t always nice. It’s about pointing out uncomfortable truths and forcing people to make tough choices. If we don’t complain, then nobody will make changes. 

If I am legally obligated to be grateful one day a year, then I think the day after Thanksgiving should be all about things that piss me off. 

I’m pissed that we could be doing a better job of educating all our young people. I’m pissed that families caring for their disabled children are exhausted, ignored, isolated, and overwhelmed. I’m pissed that raising a family is so difficult. I’m pissed that inequities are growing. I’m pissed that rhetoric for change never matches up with actual change. I’m pissed that Donald Trump is still in the news. 

What pisses you off?