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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday Night Card Game (The Biggest Problem With Christmas Is ... Racist Relatives?)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

Wasn't sure if I should post tonight, so I'll keep this brief.  If not today for the topic of this post, when?

At Feministe there was a post by Jill (you remember her), titled Dealing with racist relatives during the holidays, centered around this reader story:
I’m dreading going home for Christmas this year. At Thanksgiving one of my family members made an ugly racist comment that really made my blood boil. I stated that the comment was racist and I was met with condescending laughter. I left the house for a while because I was so angry, and when I got back, others tried to explain to me why their racist beliefs were important, and why I should believe them too. I was so horrified I basically didn’t talk to anyone for the rest of the day. Everyone I’ve talked to so far has told me “they don’t know any better”. This doesn’t seem at all adequate but I don’t know what else to do- the oldest generation of my family has no idea that hating people is even wrong. Where do you start with people like that?
One of the commenters at Feministe linked to the video below, giving instructions on how to tell people they are racist.

The Daily Dish had a similar theme, How Do You Deal With Racist Relatives Over The Holidays? Ctd, which had a series of reader questions and stories (more here, here and here), including this one:
I'm curious as to how readers deal with homophobic relatives. My partner is from Indiana and his immediate family is very supportive and gay friendly, but his more distant relatives are a complete question mark. I am dreading meeting his father's cousin's family for Christmas. My partner is apprehensive as well, since in his words they are "complete hicks." There is no way I'm going as his "friend" this time. We are way passed [sic] that in our relationship.
I don't claim any expertise on Christmas gatherings.  Is it really that bad out there for you?  Can't you folks just get together for dinner without talking racist and homophobic trash?

Or is this just more prepping of the political battlefield?

For those of you who have not experienced racist comments at Christmas dinner, you probably aren't listening carefully enough.  Please follow these instructions on How to Recognize Racism.

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  1. I hate holiday dinner social/political discussions. Over Thanksgiving I had an ultra-liberal niece try to start trouble. I asked her when was the last time she honestly changed her mind on even a small issue after having a discussion with someone considerably more conservative than her. When she stammered some generalization about how she always keeps an open mind I replied "I thought so. Perhaps we should just talk about the weather."

    And...if it wasn't for my father-in-law (a life-long staunch southern Democrat) there wouldn't be any racist trash-talk around the house. But at least over the years I've cured him of using the N word around the children.

  2. Is it possible to just say you disagree and perhaps explain why without attacking the speaker?To ask why they feel that way? Is the notion that you attract more flies with vinegar than honey or is it simply that the idea is (a) not to have a good time (b) not to change hearts, but (c) to feel morally superior to your hated relatives?

  3. This reminds me of a PJTV video put out last year at Christmastime. Its topic was how to deal with your leftist liberal relatives at holiday dinners. Hilariously funny!!!! I don't remember all the "stars" but Alfonzo Rachel (of ZoNation) was one of the dinner table mates. I don't have the link, but I will look....

    Personally, I have a VERY liberal leftist brother who is a hippie throwback; he can be depended upon to make a holiday uncomfortable for all by brining up why America is terrible: we are guilty of war crimes, are were slave holders, we have used nuclear weapons, blah blah blah.

    We humor him as best we can, because to argue is to get to the level of absurdity no logic can penetrate. In other words, we TOLERATE his different viewpoint. We don't bother to argue, because it always leads to illogical foolishness. He is not going to change his views, so we move on, change the subject, and put up with him. In love.

    "Racism" - a term that is being used incorrectly in so many cases! It is uncommon to hear a racial slur made by my family, nowadays; most of those who were "racists" in our family have passed away. The problem seems to stem usually, from a leftist liberal relative who does not understand that "tolerance" means "putting up with one another in love," and "insofar as it is up to you, be at peace with your neighbor." Where most of us can say, kindly, "Please don't say that" a liberal MUST make a POINT about being CORRECT (i.e. PC) and accuse that any disagreement with "CORRECT" thinking = RACISM.

    The PJTV video has a dark-comedy twist ending, but.....an amusing answer to the annoying problem of leftists' lack of tolerance of others.

  4. Someone needs to make a video of how to deal with holier-than-thou relatives who scrutinize others for any speck of imperfection during the holidays.

  5. racism, from what i read of the link provided is dependent upon intent yet we hear too many accusations of racism that has not been based upon intent.

  6. The difference in families that get along, I guess, is that mature people can disagree then shut up and forget it by the time they pass the potatoes. Heck, people can be happily married without agreeing on politics if they are grown ups.

    I find it concerning when someone repeatedly or publicly disparages their own relatives or their own spouse (or ex-spouse), their children or their in-laws. Why are they so anxious to convince others that the people closest to them in life and genetics are somehow 'less than'? If someone is so ashamed of their upbringing they are willing to hold their own family up for ridicule to gain points with their "new friends", something is wrong - but not with the family.

  7. Racist is just a synonym for white person. The Tea Party is "racist" because it has too many white people and not enough POC. Somehow being white and gathering without the requisite "diversity" is considered evil and "racist," the latter just being tautological for white people.

    You don't debate with a loaded term, and "racist" is loaded as I described above. You reject the loaded term, or embrace it the way homosexuals embraced "queer" and African-Americans embraced their "n" word.

    Yeah, I'm a white person, ergo I'm a racist, and I refuse to apologize for it!

  8. This really shouldn't detain anyone for any time--just figure out the stance of the New York Times editorial page on any issue and any opinion that varies from that, or opposes any policy of the Obama administration, is ipso facto racist.

  9. So why is disapproval of homosexuality considered 'racist'? Why are relatives who disapprove of it called 'hicks'? That's not very tolerant of the homosexual couple, is it? They seem to expect that people will set aside religious belief to embrace their lifestyle. That's totally unrealistic. They want us to be tolerant of them but they will not be tolerant of us. As Paul says in Galatians, "they would affect you, but not well. They would exclude you that (lest) you might affect them."

    As for the word 'racist' ... I'm just plain and simple tired of it. When ideological disagreement is called 'racist', then racism has jumped the shark.

  10. He describes a group of people he hasn't met and doesn't know as "complete hicks" and he expects tolerance in return?

  11. I too found the remark about 'complete hicks' to be interesting. I think any time, in life, you go out looking for 'approval' for certain viewpoints, you run the risk of disappointment. Statistically speaking, there is enough variance in terms of 'opinion' on a given subject that makes that so. Strict values aside, tolerance or lack thereof plays a role, as well as the expanded definition of 'racism'.

    Things my parents/grandparents said:

    "Different strokes for different folks"
    "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it"
    "Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one"
    "Better to shut up and appear stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

    The reason I share these cogent concepts is because too often we get the 'old-fashioned' eye-rolling, the snickering about 'the old days', etc. This works hand in hand with the assault on tradition and the forgettable introduction of 'critical thinking' which really is just about values modification.

    Our pathetic education system plays a huge part. If you have any curiosity about the gist of which I speak, get a copy of 'The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America', it is available for free download as a .pdf on the 'net.

  12. okay i am not totally down with this post.

    i mean it depends on the context. if someone says, "geez, this obamacare is going to force me to cut off health care for the children of my employees" and you reply, "omg, that is so racist" well, that is silliness.

    But you know i had a step grandfather who joked about getting himself a n----r to help him out with stuff. that is right, in the new millenium, this a55hole was telling slavery jokes.

    and my wife is asian, right, so what do i do if someone says something racist about asians? thank god no one alive in my family is likely to do that, but that is because all my grand parents were dead. when my grandmother was alive, i wouldn't take my wife to see her. my logic was this. my grandmother won't remember. she was too far gone to remember anything. she didn't even know her husband was dead. we tried telling her twice and she went through the grieving, twice. but when it became clear that she didn't remember anymore, we decided not to make it a third time. So whether i was there or not, she wouldn't even know. so all we get is bad feelings for my wife, that will last forever, but my grandmother won't remember and won't learn to be cool with her (because you have to remember stuff in order to learn), which begs the question: why bother?

    if you want to keep racial issues out of holidays then if you hate people of other races, keep it to yourself.

    and actually in general stay out of politics, too. whoever drags politics and race into family time is being an idiot.

    Btw, semi-funny story about my grandmother. my mom told me around 2003 that she figured out my grandmother believed it was 1991. I replied, "well, that's not surprising. she turns on the TV to see President George Bush, along with Dick Cheney and Colin Powell, all talking on TV about how they are going to kick Sadam's a55. Its confusing."

  13. I had a leftist professor constantly perched on his soapbox tell our class, "I wish I had a nickel for every time the person sitting next to me on an airplane started making racist comments in our conversation." Really? I've done a lot of flying and never once experienced that. Wish I had a nickel for every time it didn't happen.

    I've been reminiscing since my mom passed away last week. I miss my dad (he loved my mom) speaking of her Chicago Czech neighborhood in endearing terms such as, "Those goddamned Bohunks." I tease my Asian wife and she teases me about my background. We now live in a society where words hurt us more than sticks and stones.