Happy Holidays — Don’t Forget To Bring Politics To Your Family
I didn’t think about it until recently but I owe a lot of my political awareness and activism to my family. In particular, I have to thank my mother for this fact. — thanks Mom!
You see, speaking about politics, society, and etc for my family is like talking about the weather. It’s like this now and has been this way well before I was born. As a child, I would see and hear my mom, grandma, and various family members talk about everything. It was/is normal.
No feelings were hurt, discussions were had, people were called out on bad faith arguments, and etc. Sure, we believe in that home and family is where you should feel comfortable. Which includes being completely transparent. What better environment to examine life than home? Again, we would speak on all matters. This was just a part of our communication.
So whenever I read or hear from people, they don’t talk about politics with their family. I become confused. The very notion that it’s sensitive is highly bizarre to me. I just see this as actively avoiding real conversations.
After our midterms, we got interesting statistical data on voters. To be blunt, it showed how a lot of our non PoC friends aren’t voting for everyone’s best interest. Well, they’re voting for theirs. More importantly, it told us we need to hold them more accountable with their politics.
Maybe (not maybe) a reason is that certain demographics don’t talk politics with their families. Well, it’s time everyone starts “friends”.
So with that energy in mind, I decided to make a short Instagram video asking people to forgo all the nonsense and talk politics at home. Again, reiterating that it’s normal and unavoidable especially today. If not then…when?
A curious and not surprising thing happened with my post. If you happen to follow me there, I’m sure you’ve noticed a response or two to my video. I won’t link it here as that’s not important.
What I would like to do is address those comments here to further my point. And if you’re the said commenter reading this post, excellent. The following is a learning opportunity.
So when I say talk “politics” with your family, everyone knows what I mean. We mean all the bad that is happening or has happened this year. All the ugly, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, actions and general maneuvers of this presidency. This needs to be spoken about if any of your family member are Republican and vote as such. They are supporting a lot of bad things and as adult need to be held responsible for that choice.
Before I continue, I’m sure this person that commented falls into a certain demographic. A demographic whom should stop voting conservatively.
So was told I’m wrong for my sentiment, my ideas, and I’m perpetuating that our nation is divided. Oh, also a dash of all lives matter was thrown into there? Now, I didn’t bother responding with the same energy. Marginalized folks don’t owe that to anyone because we’ve heard and seen it all our lives. Mainly by those in the majority.
Now, because I like to write, I wanted to analyze thid. So that all lives matter and we’re all a family (equal) good vibes stuff? Doesn’t hold water when Black people are still racially profiled and or worse as we speak.
Our nation being divided? Hello and welcome to 2018. Did you know America has been like this for decades? The only difference is we have a empowering bigot in office. A loud, uncouth bigot whom a few weeks ago, had no problem talking ill of Black female reporters.
We also live in an age where this administration is openly separating families. Because you know it’s “politics” when it people whom are Brown.
To help put an end to injustices, we need to talk. But being a person whom does not openly speaking about politics, or societal issues doesn’t mean you’re an ally. Allyship is doing the work for minorities and the marginalized in the spaces you are allowed.
They perhaps may have detected my cynicism with my remark of “Doesn’t work like that but OK”. After all, they did take the time to write a dissertation in my comments. So they felt inclined to smooth things over and say they felt we’re on the same page with this subject/life.
Now, readers if anyone writes or mentions the above to you…I ask you examine some things.
Does they write about how society has issues like you do? Do they participate in activism like you do? Do they use their social media/platform to speak about politics or anyone issues regularly? Do they talk to their minority/marginalized friends about these issues?
More importantly, do they speak to their family about real shit?
Unless, the answer is yes to all of this, no one can openly claim you’re both on the same page. For clarity, this is a scenario that happens millions of times over among people. I just wanted to take my time and help weave it into my larger point today.
So the holiday season officially starts rolling out. You will have a lot of opportunities to talk to your family. Depending on your family’s relationship this may or may not be easy for you.
Nonetheless, take some time out to call out your racist grandma. Ask your hardcore Trump supporter cousin what’s their deal? You might need to drag your homophobic father in the process too.
Whatever it is that you want/need to do, shake up the dinner table with politics!
Side note: I’m thankful for this melanin and all the righteousness it summons.