This organization is helping white people talk about race at Thanksgiving

Posted at 2:46 PM, Nov 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-23 16:46:03-05

(CNN) — It’s Thanksgiving, which means family recipes, games, laughter and, inevitably, conversations we’ve been trying to avoid all year long.

For some reason, it seems like absolutely anything — from relationship statuses and finances to weight gain — is on the table.

There’s another topic that sometimes sparks awkward silences: race. When racially divisive issues such as police brutality or immigration come up at a holiday gathering, it can be hard for some white people to find the line between ruining dinner by yelling about Uncle Fred’s questionable outlook, and silently letting racist or uninformed opinions slide by unaddressed.

In response, an organization haslaunched a hotline to help white folks have “tough conversations with other white folks.”

Showing Up for Racial Justice aims to “break white silence about racism and the danger of Trump’s presidency.”

Anyone in need of conversation pointerscan text SOS or a turkey emoticon to 82623. The hotline then asks the user to respond HELP for a list of common topics such as National Anthem protests, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program or whether the President is racist. After a topic is picked, another text offers a full sentence or two to keep the talk flowing.

How to talk politics at your holiday gatherings this year

For instance, if your family is awkwardly stumbling through a conversation on immigration, the automated response suggests saying:

“I know that a lot of immigrants are scared right now bc of the way Trump has been talking about immigrants — can you imagine how that might feel?”

Clearly, the pointers aren’t meant to be challenging but rather a soft-serve way to keep the gates of communication open — and avoid any flipped tables or screaming matches.