I know you’re probably reluctant to admit that slightly is an understatement.
Too often, people are subject to the uncomfortable conflict between their love for their grandparents and the hatred of their bigoted views.
We’ve all been there, everyone’s having a great meal, you’ve got your eye on the last Yorkshire pudding, and then your nan blurts out her views on the refugee crisis and perhaps utters the words ‘they’re taking our jobs’, like the obedient Daily Mail reader she is.
Yes they’re a product of their age, and they’re so old, small, and cute, but they also now live a new age which has let go of irrational hatred for people because of their skin colour.
So, when you’re sitting around the dinner table and your gran brings up the Asians who have moved in next door, or the African lady who was in front of her in the Tesco queue, here are some coping mechanisms to stop you throwing gravy across the table.
Plan your argument
I’m the sort of person who is really bad at just ignoring it and letting it slide, if you’re also like this then you need to make a plan.
Unfortunately, it’s likely to be a battle of logic against emotion, but don’t stoop to the irrational level.
Get your facts straight and develop a logical comeback to phrases like ‘get them out of here’ and ‘they’re ruining the economy’ and ‘it would be better if it was like the old days’.
This one can work particularly well if you have a bank of information, your academic achievements or a good photo work the best.
As soon as you can hear the racist storm a-brewin’, shut down the conversation and tell your grandparents about how your tutor described you as ‘extraordinary’ or show them a photo of when you cooked one of their recipes at uni (they fucking love that one).
Like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, you saved the day before anyone knew of the doom that was coming to your Christmas dinner.
Put a virtual reality mask on her and say ‘welcome to the future’…
Establish your Allies
Okay so the distraction didn’t work and the inflammatory argument is under way…you need to know who’s got your back.
For me it’s my sister, together we make an unstoppable force of facts and logic that no racism shall pass.
Whether it’s your cousin, dad, or even the weird uncle who you never speak to but is really intelligent, you need someone on your side so that you’re not left defending world equality alone.
This one can be difficult as it goes against natural instinct, but if you don’t want the argument, then you could let it go completely.
Alternatively you could respond with a short and sweet ‘you can’t say that’ and move on so that they know you disapprove.
Whichever way you go on this one, it’s likely to eat you up on the inside.
Breakout in dance and song
This one is pretty self explanatory.
They’ll either join in or they’ll be really concerned about your mental stability…either way, no racism.
Sabotage their hearing aid
If you’re sneaky enough, find a way to get hold of their hearing aid, and just turn it off for the duration of the Christmas dinner…guaranteed to work.
Feed them more sherry and gin until they fall asleep
Or something stronger…
Everyone says ‘they mean no harm’ and ‘they’re not malicious’, no doubt about it, but it is still racism.
So try some of these tried and tested techniques this Christmas!