Dear Jane: Confronting Casual Racism in the Family During the Thanksgiving Season

A Reader Seeks Advice on Family Racism During Thanksgiving

In her latest agony aunt column, best-selling author Jane Green addresses a reader’s dilemma involving the upcoming holiday season and their family’s casual racism.

The reader, identified as Family Untied, expresses discomfort over the prejudice displayed during family gatherings.

Reader’s Dilemma: Thanksgiving Dread and Family Racism

Family Untied details the dread associated with the holiday season, highlighting the family’s casual racism that leaves them cringing in discomfort.

Despite attempts to address the issue, the family persists in making offensive jokes, prompting Family Untied to set a boundary by deciding not to attend Thanksgiving.

Reader’s Decision: Setting Boundaries and Facing Family Backlash

The reader recounts informing their mother about not attending Thanksgiving, leading to an emotional reaction from the mother.

Jane Green acknowledges the predictable response to setting boundaries, emphasizing the importance of holding firm despite attempts to revert to the status quo.

Jane Green’s Advice: Upholding Boundaries and Effecting Change

Jane applauds Family Untied’s bravery in setting a boundary and advises on the challenges of making the family realize their role in the problem.

She suggests expressing sentiments in a letter to the mother and maintaining the boundary, even if it means being absent from the family gathering.

Alternatives and Coping Strategies: ‘Friendsgiving’ and Seeking Support

Acknowledging the difficulty of changing ingrained behavior, Jane recommends alternatives like hosting a ‘Friendsgiving’ or attending Thanksgiving with supportive individuals.

She advises the reader on responding to guilt-tripping attempts, providing phrases to assert their decision while emphasizing the need for change.

Conclusion: Navigating Thanksgiving with Strength and Boundaries

As the reader grapples with the challenge of family racism during Thanksgiving, Jane Green encourages them to stand strong in upholding boundaries.

The agony aunt wishes the reader luck and a wonderful Thanksgiving, reinforcing the importance of self-care and fostering connections with those who appreciate and respect personal values.

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