Here in America, the observance of Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November. During the week of Thanksgiving, mainstream Americans meander through their local communities and greet each other by saying, “We are celebrating that we killed all the Native Americans.”
The appropriate ceremonial response is, “And we stole their land.”
The purpose of this ritualized exchange—the eye-rolling, the sighing, the snarkiness—is mutual reassurance that mainstream American culture still values irreverence and unactionable self-awareness. In the Age of Trump, this is more important than ever. Many people worry that as President Trump begins to roll back civil liberties for regular Americans, irony will seem less appropriate.