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Why it’s important you talk to your family this Thanksgiving

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We all know that Thanksgiving is not only the day that you eat a lot, but it’s also the day you see your extended, or not, family. And you may not have the same opinions as your family members. Generally, we would say that it is not the time to get into big arguments and just sit back and eat, but this Thanksgiving it is important we do get into arguments.

On November 9th, we woke up with a new President in the name of Donald J. Trump. Following this election many people came out of hiding and showed their hate towards minorities. Friendships were challenged. Families were broken. Protests were held.

I know some college students who decided not to go home this Thanksgiving to avoid talking to their conservative family. And I understand, I have some family members like that, and I try to avoid them. But this Thanksgiving we can’t, and we mustn’t.

This Thanksgiving we are all going to seat at that table with some relatives who are racist, sexist, white, privileged, homophobic, anti-immigrants, etc. We are going to seat with them, and engage in a discussion. It’s important now more than ever to have conversations with those people. If you hear something that bothers you, don’t stay silent as you were past family dinners, raise your voice, and express your opinion. Challenge them. Discuss. You probably won’t change each other’s minds, but listening is a first step to an understanding of the other’s position.

We are in an incredibly divided country. But we are still one country, and we’re going to have to live with each other, so we need to talk. We can’t just post Tweets, Facebook posts, or even blogs like this one. Change starts in discussions, and it starts at home. We are college students, which means we are lucky to go to a classroom, and learn everyday. We probably learn things that our family members don’t know, whether it’s in our outside of the classroom. We have friends who are black, white, Hispanic, Latino, undocumented, international, women, gay, queer, bisexual, etc. We have heard stories from them. And we need to share these stories with our family. We need to try to make them see bigger than just their home. So don’t stay quiet, make sure your voice is heard, because it’s an important voice. We need to be louder than we used to. We may be younger, but that does not make us less relevant. If we don’t challenge them, they might think that we all agree, and that they’re right. We need to show them that we don’t all agree.

So agree, disagree, argument, discuss, do whatever you need to do to make your voice heard at Thanksgiving dinner, but I beg you, DO NOT STAY SILENT.


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