By Jaime Franchi and Michael Conforti
Thanksgiving marks that fateful feast so long ago when European colonists and Native Americans shared freshly harvested food and celebrated their mutual appreciation of life together for a fleeting moment. Fleeting, yes. Eventually these sacred native peoples would be stripped of their ancestral lands and all but decimated.
This Thanksgiving has a special hypocrisy in that it falls amid the ongoing, government-sanctioned human rights violations unfolding outside the Oceti Sakowin Camp—an unprecedented and historic gathering of Indigenous Nations and allies banding together in solidarity to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and protect the drinking water of countless families who depend on the Missouri River. Hundreds have been arrested, and recently a 21-year-old New York woman was critically wounded when law enforcement officers threw a concussion grenade at her.
There’s much to genuinely be thankful for this Thanksgiving, for sure. Yet there’s also so much to be vocal about, and far too many injustices currently taking place here in the United States and across the globe worthy to fight against. So while Thanksgiving can typically be somewhat stressful in simply dealing with one’s family members and relatives, especially if they’re being really annoying and tiresome, take time to reflect upon and appreciate your loved ones—and recognize the importance of standing up for the rights of so many others.
On the heels of such a polarizing and divisive presidential election, below are some lighthearted, useful tips on how to perhaps best navigate this year’s celebratory feast. Happy Thanksgiving!
1. Stay away from Trump or Hillary-related topics. Stick to less-controversial subjects, like the death penalty, abortion or religion.
2. Don’t snort when you talk to your relatives. It’s impolite. Plus, it implies you may either do drugs or have some serious psychological issues.
3. When asked if you are en route with Mom to the holiday, saying “I’m with her” is not a proper response.
4. If the turkey gets burnt or you forget to cook the candied yams, do not blame it on the Russians or a “rigged” stove.
5. Refrain from building a wall with your mashed potatoes…
6. …and making your mother-in-law pay for it.
7. When your cousin’s baby starts to cry at the table, do not shout: “Get that baby out of here!”
8. Acceptable responses to differing opinions: “Interesting. I’ve never thought of it that way. Please pass the stuffing.” Unacceptable: “WRONG!”
9. Do not tweet anything. In fact, turn off all devices at the table.
10. Don’t go Putin Russian dressing on anything.
11. “Fat” “chubby”—are adjectives for turkey, not relatives.
12. No grabbing the family pussycat.
13. Wishbone pullers must mutually agree on “Time Machine!”
14. No banning in-laws while you “figure out what’s going on.”
15. No one is taking away your inalienable right to second helpings.
16. Make sure you get there on time, but don’t Russia.
17. Don’t take more than your fair share. There’s enough thin skin to go around.
18. Make sure to break out the good JINA.
19. Wedding registry? Good. Baby shower registry? Beautiful. Muslim registry? ABSOLUTELY WRONG.
20. You know those crazy relatives? The ones you love, but maybe you shouldn’t admit it? You can seat them on the alt-right side of the table.