If you CAN’T talk to your racist relatives this holiday… here’s a solution

It is no secret that I agree that there’s a moral obligation to call out racist relatives (not just at Thanksgiving). And if you’re the sort of person that agrees with me about the repulsiveness of the “confederate” flag, or that one Nazi (or racist) at the table makes everyone at the table complicit, then there’s no shortage of guides on how to talk to your relatives about their racist beliefs and behavior.  Hell, my local library system had a public event about doing so.

But I also recognize that I have a lot of privilege, and that there’s lots of my friends who – for whatever reason [1] – cannot call out the racism and fascism at the table.

That doesn’t mean they have to experience it.

There’s a simple solution.

Contact whoever is hosting your Thanksgiving (or other holiday) event. Say something like the following to them:

I know there’s a lot of us who are going to be together for several hours. And I know that some of us have completely different political opinions.  But this holiday is supposed to be able all of us coming together as family and feeling safe around each other.  Can we publicly make it a rule that nobody is going to talk politics while we’re all physically together during the holiday, and that whoever breaks that rule – no matter what their politics are – is the person who is in the wrong?  And that if that person persists, that they will be the one asked to leave?

I’ve run this idea past a lot of people of all sorts of political stripes.

ALL of them agreed that this would be a reasonable request.

If the person/people organizing your family holiday celebration refuse this request, they’ve told you quite explicitly that their ideology matters more than you do.

And if that’s the case, then there’s no reason for you to attend and subject yourself to it.

[1] Such as anxiety disorders, financial dependence, and the like.

Featured photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

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