Thanksgiving break is a time to relax with family and catch up with old friends. However, it usually ends in debates with close-minded family members and lesson plans for those who are uneducated. If I could be thankful for one thing this past year, it’s the ability to write what I’m feeling and my own experiences. Us students go back home to parents who only see what they want to see. They can’t handle their views being challenged. It’s rewarding to see how far I’ve come as a feminist and how much I need that for my family. I do my part to educate and inform them about the lessons that I’ve learned but I feel like it’s not enough. Sometimes I wish that my parents could sit in one of my classes to truly understand. I see myself become so frustrated because I don’t understand how they can’t see the world as I do. I’m no teacher, I was never good at explaining concepts to others, but it’s my duty to try. It’s scary to see how much racism is embedded in so many peoples’ vocabulary and they don’t even realize it. And those people will tell me they’re not racist. I’m thankful for my ability to learn and understand where people are coming from but also be able to depict MY own beliefs. Not what they tell you to believe.
This year, at my Thanksgiving table, health care gets brought up. Most family members around the table agree on not wanting to pay higher taxes for health care for other people who cannot afford it. I try and sit back and wait until the lower class and minority jokes arise from this. Of all the years of hearing similar conversations like this one, I decided to speak up. I said maybe you would understand if you were given the same opportunity that minorities and people of color have been dealt. I waited to see if anyone would counter what I spoke out too, but no one seemed to want to. Maybe, one of my many relatives took what I said and thought about deeper. I can only hope. The worse thing that anyone could do is sit back and listen to people talk out of their ass.
Politics is not something that I was ever interested in. If anything it’s just annoying. Hearing people argue for hours, not achieving anything from it. There is never any middle ground or compromise. Hearing the same bullshit every year, from the same close-minded people, was enough for me. Why do politics even get brought up? Is it because we all run out of things to talk about with one another? Maybe. But every year my family does the same thing, we eat the same food, watch the same movie, have the same conversations- it’s the norm. My relatives feel like it’s their duty to talk about people and ideas that are “not supposed to be like that.”
To say it easy to change the viewpoint of the life of another person is like saying that it is easy to graduate. It takes a long time, you deal with a lot of bullshit, and you might fail.
One thought on “Oh the Relatives at Thanksgiving Dinner”
Ugh, sadly do I relate to this. My family has some controversial opinions, and the unique ability to only ever hear thoughts that reinforce their preconceived beliefs. Good for you for speaking out this year, I hope you continue to find the courage to do so.