What’s wrong with showing kindness, caring, and friendship?

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2021

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To the Editor:

I am a former Ridgecroft School Kindergarten teacher and helped direct and produce The First Thanksgiving play for at least 18 years. After reading the social media comments made from the recent news article and photos, I was at first surprised, then angered, and finally saddened.

Through the years doing this play, the children would ask the most intriguing questions about the pilgrims and their friendship with the Native Americans. Some I would not have thought about, so, this play is actually a teaching and learning experience! Thank goodness for Google! Some people should try it!

First, I would like to congratulate the children and teachers of Ridgecroft on their hard work learning and memorizing their parts and those of their classmates. This takes a great deal of time and discipline! They have to learn where to walk, stand, and what to say, when to sing, and when to listen for their cue. What an accomplishment for a group of 5 year olds! They were awesome and should be very proud!

As for all the negative comments from some uninformed or misinformed people in the area…..shame on you! The true story of the first Thanksgiving (which was documented on PBS a few weeks ago) is a story of survival, perseverance, and friendship.

The Wampanoag people did help the people of Plymouth village. They were sick and starving. A Native American named Squanto befriended the new settlers and helped them to learn the area to plant, fish, and hunt.

Research shows there may have been one man of color on the Mayflower, so that is why the light skinned children are Pilgrims and, yes, the Native Americans did have darker skin and hair. Is it wrong to teach history correctly? That is not racism, it is simply what happened.

When the day came, the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, came to Plymouth village and it was said he brought 90 Native Americans with him, far out numbering the villagers. They pledged friendship and ate and drank and danced together for three days. It is a story of kindness, togetherness, sharing, and friendship. Those human traits are very much of what we celebrate on Thanksgiving today. What could possibly be wrong with that? I think much more is needed today!

Peg McLean