During a panel discussion about Colin Kaepernick’s participation in a protest on Alcatraz Island commemorating the 19-month occupation of the prison by Native American activists from 1969-1971, a Fox News host seemed a bit confused.
Host Trish Regan seemed to think that the event was a new protest of Thanksgiving rather than an event that has gone on each year for 42 years.
“For goodness sake! We’re not supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving anymore?” she exclaimed. “First it starts with kneeling during the Anthem, now you can’t have Thanksgiving. You’ve got to celebrate an ‘Unthanksgiving’ instead?”
While the event was called “Unthanksgiving Day,” it is reminiscent of a protest 45 years ago, in which 89 Native American activists and leaders occupied the island demanding that it be turned into a cultural center and school. In 1968 The United Council of the Bay Area Indian community began efforts through channels to have the island redesigned. Instead, activists went another route. “Five Sioux even landed on Alcatraz in March 1964 and tried to seize it under an 1868 treaty that allowed Indians to appropriate surplus federal land,” The History Channel wrote.
Long before the first Thanksgiving in 1621, Europeans landed in what became the San Francisco Bay Area in 1542. However, 10,000 to 20,000 years earlier, Indigenous people made their way to the area. According to the National Park’s Service, “over 10,000 indigenous people, later to be called the Ohlone (a Miwok Indian word meaning “western people”), lived in the coastal area between Point Sur and the San Francisco Bay.”
The settlers and eventually the American government took over the island and built the prison. They ultimately began sending members of the Moqui Hopi to the prison in 1895.
Kaepernick’s message was a unifying one, telling protesters that he stands with them as he fights for equality for all people.
Watch the confused Fox News host below: