Of the various instances of pain, distress and anxiety sending liberals scurrying for their safe spaces after the election, one of the oddest categories I’ve been seeing all week is the subset of editorials about what to do if you have to go sit through Thanksgiving dinner with any relatives who may have voted for Donald Trump. So horrifying is the prospect of being forced to sit at a table with people who have different political views that some folks are actually being uninvited from the holiday meal.
Well worry no more! Now if you find yourself in a tight bind while waiting for the turkey to be carved, there’s a hotline number you can call where skilled social justice warriors will help bail you out. (Washington Post)
Many Americans have expressed anxiety over attending this year’s holiday meal if the company’s politics will be mixed. But Showing Up for Racial Justice, or SURJ (pronounced Surge), is urging that people not shy away from uncomfortable conversations.
And if the conversation hits a stalemate, SURJ has created a hotline that provides real-time support to keep the dialogue going.
Inspired by Butterball’s decades-old hotline that provides turkey-cooking help over the holiday season, SURJ’s version invites anyone to text SOS to 82623 to receive a menu of hot-button topics including immigration, the economy, a “Muslim ban” and when someone says “I’m not a racist.” Then SURJ will send a brief talking point on that topic to help guide the conversation.
I’m just trying to picture how this would work out at the house where we’ll be celebrating.
NIECE: Don’t you feel at all bad about supporting a racist for the presidency?
GRANDFATHER: I’m not a racist.
NIECE: Um… hang on a moment.
[walks into living room and pulls out cell phone]
NIECE: Hello? Social Justice Hotline? My grandfather says he’s not a racist.
SJH: Try telling him that his inherent whiteness limits his ability to detect his own racism and blinds him to the effect this has on others.
NIECE: Ooooo… good one! I’ll try that. Hang on a second.
[ninety seconds later]
NIECE: Hello? Social Justice Hotline? I’m sitting at the kids table…
I don’t know how it is around your house, but there really aren’t any rules in our family for discussions over dinner other than restraining yourself sufficiently to not ruin the meal for everyone. That rule is at least twice as important during a major holiday dinner with a lot of guests. If somebody is starting in with a list of complaints or attacks, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the person at the head of the table asking them politely but firmly to not ruin the day for everyone. And if you’re the one doing the carping about how awful America is now, feel free to go to Arby’s. There’s probably one open.
Frankly, I don’t want to be bothered with it at all on Thanksgiving. It would be nice to catch up on actual family matters, enjoy some good food and then pass out on the couch while pretending to watch football. If you can’t manage to do the same, please eat elsewhere.