“We cannot break bread with you. You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now, my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the roadsides. You will play golf and enjoy hot hors d’oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts.”
The scene is full of the Addams’ trademark dark humor and played for laughs. Wednesday and the other Native Americans–comprised of the camp’s offbeat kids–tie up the pilgrims and set the camp on fire. But her speech still looms large as perhaps the most biting social commentary we’ve seen about Thanksgiving in any piece of American media, let alone a family movie.The moment has become iconic, with gifs of Wednesday’s words shared with fervor every Thanksgiving. But even beyond its weird-girl credibility, it remains an important reminder of what the holiday means, and is especially apt to revisit as we collectively grow more culturally aware. In an era of March for Our Lives and Teen Vogue social wokeness, American youth are already primed for conversations like these. To witness it through the eyes of one of pop culture’s most salient and worshipped young female characters makes it even more empowering and towering.Feeling moved by the scene doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Thanksgiving, or feel proud of our identities, or need to steer clear of stuffing and pie. But reflecting on Wednesday’s speech is a nice way of remaining conscious of our cultural identity, the history of our country, and those who weren’t so lucky throughout its creation.
Featured Image: Paramount Pictures