Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Talking To Your Family About Immigration Over Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner, photo by Marcus Quigmire from Florida, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Props to Baptist News Global for their headline: Tips for having a Thanksgiving Dinner conversation about immigrants without choking. The content is as amazing as the headline.

The article starts with What Not To Do: "Your loved ones did not sign up for a Ted Talk." Haha! Yet, really, true. People might be tempted to "counter anti-immigration arguments with a flood of expert references, statistics and Scripture verses about welcoming the stranger," but this form of preaching doesn't work.

What can work? "responses based on kindness and empathy and which avoid personal and partisan attacks." Talk about small things that can build empathy.

This nugget is GOLD: "arguments don’t necessarily have to have winners and losers." "Could we plant a seed?" "Did they walk away feeling hurt? Or did they learn something? Did they feel respected? I think that’s how we can reframe a ‘win’ here.”

Other important points: avoid criticism and find common ground where possible.

Wow. THANK YOU Baptist News Global for offering real, practical advice to those of us who struggle with anti-immigrant family members.


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