On the same day that The New York Times profiled ways to argue with your conservative family members over Thanksgiving dinner, thereby ruining the beloved holiday for everyone, the foodie website Eater argued that people are morally obligated to debate racist Trump supporters at the dinner table.
The piece by Amy McCarthy begins by painting a bleak picture of Trump's America that's quickly headed toward the dystopian future depicted in "The Handmaid's Tale," a country where children have been separated from their families at the southern border and where mass shootings dominate the news.
"Moderates everywhere still insist that being nice to your racist, Trump-supporting relatives at the Thanksgiving table is somehow going to be the balm that prevents us from ending up in Margaret Atwood’s Gilead," begins McCarthy. "That assessment is, frankly, a steaming pile of bulls**t."
McCarthy claims that such calls for civility are simply conspiratorial ruses enacted by privileged white males who seek to pacify people.
"There is no amount of civility that can balance the harm of xenophobic nationalism, and no amount of sitting silently while listening to someone spew racial epithets that will repair what Trump and his ilk have broken," she exclaims. "Being progressive doesn’t just mean clicking 'like' on left-leaning Facebook statuses. It requires a commitment to pursuing justice, even when it’s your weird uncle, even when it’s uncomfortable, and especially when there are other people in the room who you care about."
McCarthy then paints a picture of Thanksgiving tables being inhabited by casual racists or homophobes who regularly spew harmful epithets while passing out the gravy or carving the turkey. In these (highly unlikely) moments, McCarthy presses people to speak up, lest a closeted LGBT person at the party be afraid to defend themselves as they suffer "abuse from your family." She acknowledges that people would feel uncomfortable talking back to their elders, but ultimately advises people to just get over it by letting the reality sink in that their family members caused the problems in our society today.
"You can’t just sit there and pretend that the people in your family didn’t play some role in getting to where we are today," she argues. "For that temporary peace during dinner, you trade an opportunity to make a space you occupy safer for everyone."
In the likelihood that the relationship could go sour, McCarthy argues that should not be a problem, because if the relationship has already been reduced to superficial topics of conversation with zero substance, then people should have no issue severing the relationship since they were not getting much out of it anyway.
Fortunately, not everyone is advising on ways to ruin Thanksgiving with political discourse. Over at Fox News, Mitzi Perdue provided a few helpful tips to avoid politics while passing the yams over to your MAGA-hat wearing uncle this Thursday; however, even ones as innocent as those prescribed could easily be a trigger-point for a miserly SJW, who views the very existence of Thanksgiving itself as an affront to humanity. But who's to say you shouldn't try.
1.) Share some fun facts. "Did you know that the first Thanksgiving was eaten with spoons and knives, but no forks? Pilgrims at the time did not even know what a fork was," writes Perdue. "And you might not be able to outrun a turkey; wild turkeys can run up to 20 miles per hour when scared."
If the offended party believes Thanksgiving is a celebration of genocide or thinks eating a turkey is akin to cannibalism, then you might want to pick another set of "fun facts" to talk about besides those that Perdue listed.
2.) Turn on the television. "Thanksgiving Day is host to two famous American pastimes – parades and football," writes Perdue. "Rooting for two different sports teams is a much safer kind of disagreement than an argument over two political parties."
Just to be safe, be sure to tune into the football games only after the National Anthem has played. If that fails, then just watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. That dog show can be fun, too.
3.) Get outside. "The holidays are all about traditions, and it’s never too late to start a new one, especially out in the crisp fall weather," suggests Perdue. "Start hanging those Christmas lights, or go for a family hike."
That suggestion may actually be SJW-triggering proof. Use this one for emergencies only.
4.) Give back. This one may be the best of all and should be employed by all families regardless of political divisions.
"Thanksgiving can be a difficult day for those who are struggling with homelessness or loneliness," writes Perdue. "This Thanksgiving, consider volunteering as a family at a local soup kitchen."