How to argue with your racist Facebook uncle this Thanksgiving

I picture you with a little @Humbabella on each shoulder, whispering in your ear.


I am not supportive of today’s republican party one bit.


Given the history of democrat “glass jaw” politics, where they seem to cave to even the slightest republican opposition

I have to wonder how many of those 250 bills they passed would have been seriously pushed at a time when they actually had a chance to get ratified. This could be seen as a golden opportunity to look good for the voters, without actually doing anything that might annoy the donors. From their perspective, a win-win!


You don’t. You leave him there to eat his Swanson’s Microwaveable Thanksgiving Day Dinner For One in his tighty whities because neither you nor anyone else wants to put up with him. Maybe he’ll realize he should maybe be less of an asshole, but he will probably just write it off to the pussification of American society. Either way, he’s not your problem anymore.

At first, I thought that was a how-to article on how to be more intolerant to racist uncles. There (sadly) is no such article. But if I may offer my advice:

Get an erasable white board and markers from Staples or wherever. Every time Racist Uncle* says something racist, politically charged, or that otherwise fails the smell test, don’t respond, just let it hang there like the big stinky fart that it is. Then, mark it off on the white board, Vanna White impression optional.

*why is it always an uncle? That’s so unfair, and sexist. Not even joking. Every time this surfaces I keep hoping this next article is about a Racist Daughter or someone else.


It’s a winning tactic, at least in his mind.


It’s actually the octopus on my head.

If no one can stand to be around you then you win every argument by default!


None of those things work for the few family members (Racist Daughter-in-law™ and her Evangelical Mom) I have that are Trumpers because they were ignorant, hateful and racist long before Trump came along to validate their views.
No amount of logic or facts will sway them or shut them up, they just dig deeper.

The last time I spoke with them I got a lecture on the 1st Amendment because apparently the 1st Amendment says they can say whatever they want and no one can disagree with them and if you do, you are violating their 1st Amendment rights so just go look it up, it’s in the Constitution.

The real reason they don’t come by anymore is because all their kids turned out to be drug addicts and convicted felons. They are actually embarrassed about it. Not about Trump, but the fact that they failed as parents and they don’t want to hear me remind them about what failures they are. Good riddance.



Because traditionally, men have been the ones allowed the loud opinions at the table and women were to sit there and smile awkwardly. I am not even kidding. Throw in the fact that a lot of these people tend to be “traditionalists” with the authoritative husband and submissive wife, and it’s not surprising that the stereotype is so often proved.

That’s not to say it’s the only option. But there’s quite often a stew of racist, sexist, classist, ableist, asshole behaviors in there.

A daughter invokes an entirely different set of power dynamics. Closer to the where the stereotype comes from would be an aunt or a cousin.


Just Don’t. To paraphrase - You get angry and the troll likes it.

If you can’t avoid them there are two options: 1. Ignore/Shun (only), or 2. Absolutely Devastating Riposte, followed by #1.

The “irredeemable piece of shit” reply was quite good.


That’s why I chose it. It’s someone 1) younger, 2) female, 3) closely related, and 4) your responsibility. It’s one thing if it’s some old dude you only see on Thanksgiving, and they’re someone you expect to spout racist bullshit. But what if it’s someone you feel an attachment to, and when they spout that bullshit all you can think of is how you should have tried harder to shield them from it, but wait, maybe they were shielded so much that they fell for it the first time the shield came down. And what if it all came on out of the blue?


Give everyone else Bingo cards?


It’s counter-productive because it’s composed talking points that are persuasive to Democrats. For example, the list of legislation that the House has voted for isn’t a list that Republicans are going to say “Gee, really? That’s good stuff! We need more of that.”

I’ve had excellent results in getting people to reconsider by using talking points Republicans care about. For example: fighting global warming is a nice side effect of renewable energy, but efficiency and renewable energy is worth it regardless (long term energy independence, planning for future generations, whatever your audience might care about). That we don’t have to change our way of life yet we can get better, cheaper energy.

Another example is Trump. I say sympathetically to conservatives that Trump is damaging their causes for generations to come by giving Republicans and conservatives a bad name. You’ll get responses ranging from agreement to silence to “no he isn’t.” In which case you can just point out that, yeah, not today, but look at the stats for what the next generation is registering as. Better yet, say maybe they are right, then let them stew. Mental judo.

I know it’s uncool now days to try to find common ground, but it does exist. It might be some weird island (Hey, have you heard how an MTV show is responsible for fewer teen pregnancies and probably fewer abortions?) And maybe your racist uncle isn’t salvageable, but a lot of people are still worth the dialog.


I am thankful that all the overtly ist people in my life have been removed by death or divorce. I have exactly zero people that I need to avoid or prepare for this year. The absence of that stress is amazing. To everyone that still has someone to deal with, you have my sympathies.


Pretty much.

But because of bothsidesism, do a liberal one as well as a conservative* one. I guarantee you the liberal one will never fill up.

*fascist who is in no way conservative, but is somehow given a seat at the table, metaphorically and literally


Not “deleted” because they are still alive, but I haven’t had to deal withe either of my racist uncles on my mom’s side in over 25 years.

Yay, for being an adult who can make my own choices about the company I keep…


Not really a cure-all solution to the problem… but there’s a tacit agreement amongst family members that my brother be totally ignored; he’s not been invited to anything for years now. That’s how bad he is.


Why ‘notorious?’. I assume you mean this guy…

I remember his surrender on the news. He was not supposed to surrender unless ordered by his superior officer to act otherwise. He was not even allowed to kill himself*. They found his superior officer, and he stood douwn just as he should. It was not that he ‘could not believe’ the war had ended, but that he had no honourable course of action other than to do what he did, until ordered otherwise. His rifle was in good condition, and his ammuntion and grenades worked.

  • His mother had given him a dagger to kill himself with rather than surrender. His mother, right? Unless you mother has given you something similar, think on that before you dismiss him as a fool.

Yeah, me too. We haven’t communicated since the early 90’s…

In all seriousness I am always surprised how many people seem conflicted by this. If you have relatives that are assholes then either don’t see them or, if they insist upon being in your space, communicate simply and clearly that you find them abhorrent and want to have nothing to do with them. Sure that’s awkward, but so’s the alternative.


Ohhh, I suppose he’s not “notorious”, maybe more like “legendary”, since he inspired the idea that there might be other soldiers out there still on duty long after the armistice.

There were other men in his platoon who gave up and came out of the jungle. “Drudgery before dishonor.”


Is a Facebook uncle like a Facebook friend? Can one just ununcle them?


Nazi shit became the default when people thought it was an okay thing to tolerate their existence.