Posted on November 24 2016
How to talk to your family about Donald Trump this Thanksgiving Holiday By Nia Hampton
Lol Just kidding.
But be aware that this year, Thanksgiving will be a doozy. Some of us won’t be celebrating with our family. We’ll be with friends. That should be easier. Some of us are also friends with closeted Trump voters. That will be interesting. Anyway, here are some tips on how to deal with the heavy conversations about Donald Trump that will arise this Thanksgiving.
1. Drink, but don’t get wasted
Delicious holiday drinks may help lower inhibitions and warm those vocal cords up as you introduce your grandparents to the theory of white supremacy and intersectionality. But it could also find you choking your cousin out when he utters the imaginary term “reverse racism”. It’s a slippery slope, so tread lightly. I suggest one drink, post first thanksgiving plate, before you get on your soap box.
2. Make sure the food is delicious
It’s already going to be a long hard day full of people who don’t really know or like each other, on top of the current political heaviness. Please make sure the food is good. Make sure the turkey is juicy, make sure the gravy is perfect. Make sure the pies aren’t cold in the middle. The better tasting the food, the easier people will swallow the knowledge you’re about to drop.
3. Ease into it
Don’t walk into grandma’s house and lean into your Uncle with stats about the prison industrial complex before the rolls have been buttered. That will only make them hate you more. You want your family to be relaxed and in a slight food coma so that their urge to fight you will be sedated.
4. Use personal antidotes over cold hard facts
Studies have shown that when it comes to talking to people about oppression, logical facts fall on deaf ears. Statistics don’t mean anything. But if you can humanize the oppressed group, and make them seem relatable, your chances of actually getting through to a prejudiced person are higher.
5. Understand that you can’t stop systemic racism over one dinner (but you can try)
A national holiday celebrating the slow genocide of the people indigenous to what would eventually become the United States of America, will not be the stage in which you end racism in your family. But it can be a place for you to practice your ally skills. In a world where high end retailers are selling safety pins for hundreds of dollars and calling it social activism, you can do some real tough work and talk to your family about the state of the world. Shed some light on how their vote for Trump or passive acceptance of his presidency is irresponsible and needs to be checked. If they’re really open, you may find yourself organizing around a local cause as a family. On the other side you may find yourself disowned. Either way, you can’t call yourself an ally if you’re not doing the necessary work of fighting white supremacy. And it starts with informing everyone of it’s existence.
Graphic by Sophia Gach-Rasool.
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