The Wall Street Journal editorial board announced that the paper will continue with the publishing of its annual Thanksgiving editorials despite efforts by the left to cancel them.
In a Monday op-ed, the board declared that efforts by progressives to stop the publishing of the “racist” 1620 account of the first Thanksgiving, as well as a mid-20th century “contemporary contrast” of American progress, would not succeed and that The Journal wouldn’t “bend to political demands for censorship.”
“No doubt it was only a matter of time. The progressives have come for our annual Thanksgiving editorials. They won’t succeed, but we thought we’d share the tale with readers for an insight into the politicization of everything, even Thanksgiving,” the board wrote.
It noted that the pair of editorials had been run every year since 1961 without complaint.
“But we live in a new era when the left sees nearly everything through the reductive lens of identity politics. It sees much of American history as a racist project that should be erased,” the board wrote, before noting that the motivation to censor the Pilgrim editorial was being driven by a petition on left-wing site Change.org.
The author of the petition, which has garnered around 50,000 signatures, claims that “it’s time to stop publishing 17th century racism” in 2021. It also complains that the editorial refers to Native Americans as “wilde men” and says that the Pilgrims were separate from “all the civil parts of the world.”
It adds that such a worldview contributed to genocidal practices that eliminated a large portion of the indigenous population.
“We think that’s a willful misreading of the editorial, which recounts the bravery and trials of the Pilgrims as they sought a better life in a new land,” the board wrote. “The petition makes a historical point, which is fair enough, but then wraps it in the grievances of contemporary politics to claim the editorial is racist. Somehow the Pilgrims and their chronicler share responsibility for genocide. The point of the statement and petition isn’t to promote debate but to shut it down.”
“We don’t mind giving critics a chance to make their case, but we won’t bend to political demands for censorship. We will run the editorials as usual this week,” it added.