Casual racism at family gatherings can be tricky to navigate! Most of these resources are aimed at white people in conversation with other white people. Staying silent means being complicit when actually your voice can make an important difference. Prepare for the festive season by checking out these resources: click on the title of each resource to access it.
The Democracy in Colour Solidarity Network runs workshop for members on having conversations with family members about racism. Sign up as a Solidarity Network member for opportunities. Democracy in Colour also offers Bystander intervention training.
Speaking Up Against Racism, All Together Now (Australia)
It can be difficult to talk to people who have a different opinion to you about racism – particularly if you feel strongly about your beliefs.Our tip for avoiding an argument is to never call somebody a racist. If you do this, the person will become defensive and not listen to anything else you say. Instead, you should tell them that you disagree with what they have said, and explain why. You should only criticise the comment, not the person.
Racism: It Stops With Me, Australian Human Rights Commission (Australia)
Speaking up to the people closest to you, whether in response to a single incident or an ongoing pattern, is a unique challenge. Social dynamics, and the nature of peoples’ relationships come into play, and these can affect how comfortable we feel about speaking up. Calling out racism does not need to be confrontational.
Modern Dilemma – how do you contend with a racist joke at the dinner table? ABC Life Matters Podcast (Australia)
You are at a large family gathering, Christmas dinner in this case, crackers are being pulled and the mandatory jokes made. Until one guest tells an extremely racist joke. What would you do in this situation? The hosts discuss, unravel, dissect and maybe even help solve the dilemma.
‘Where are you really from?’ How to navigate this question of race and identity, ABC Life (Australia)
You’re at a party or family get-together where there are new partners, and you meet someone new who seems a little different from yourself. You’re curious about their cultural background, and are tempted to ask: “Where are you from?” It’s a query with deeper implications about how we perceive race, identity and nationality in a country where half the population was either born overseas or has migrant parents. It’s also a question that people of colour, and anyone with an accent, is likely to be asked often. Four Australians share their thoughts on navigating this delicate subject, from whether the question can be tackled differently to whether we should be asking it at all.
How to Deal With Racist Relatives This Holiday Season, Restless Network (US)
We often don’t address racism in our families because we don’t want to upset people. But the biggest impact you can make this festive season is to not continue to let casual racism pass at the dinner table. Racism is learned behaviour, and because of that, we all have the capacity to unlearn it. Follow these tips: Curiosity; Challenge the truth; Compassion; Risk Assess; Decide; Keep learning.
How to Navigate Holiday Conversations, The Opportunity Agenda (US)
By framing complicated or controversial issues in terms of shared values, stories, and metaphors, we can build understanding and support for the issues we care about, creating a personal connection for our loved ones to our work and issues.
Here’s What to Say to Racist Family Members During the Holidays, Mother Jones (US)
It’s holiday season! Which means it’s time to have some potentially awkward conversations with family, on top of the usual awkward conversations that dredge up old resentments and new disappointments. Here’s some quick and dirty tips: Keep in mind that your silence enables their racism; Strategically offer them some homework; Define terms.