Many people are dreading the political conversations they’ll inevitably be forced to have at the Thanksgiving table this year, particularly given that some of their relatives likely voted for Donald Trump. Instead of merely chugging wine and tuning them out, the anti-racism nonprofit Showing Up for Racial Justice wants people to actually engage in these important conversations — and it’s offering a hotline to help.
SURJ is encouraging “white folks” to text SOS (without quotation marks) to 82623 when they find themselves in difficult conversations with relatives who aren’t bothered by Trump’s racism. The organization will, in turn, send some talking points to help “break white silence” and help people actually have constructive conversations with relatives about the election and racism. SURJ also has a Thanksgiving Discussion Guide people can read through before dinner even starts, so that they can go in prepared.
The organization says that these conversations are a “necessary” step to break the silence about race in the United States. They believe that every informed white person must engage with their Trump-supporting relatives to educate them on what the election really means for people of color, women, disabled people, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community:
Right now, as white people, we have to resist the urge to retreat. White people — men and women alike, mostly those with economic privilege — put Trump in the White House. We must organize and reach people, specifically the people who we have not yet reached. We cannot wait for people of color to tell us what to do.