In a recent article, it was stressed that instead of ruining memories being made, you should set aside political differences during the holidays and focus on family. The author stressed the importance of recognizing the birth of Jesus and that politics "are not worth hating family members over."
While initially this sounds like an appealing idea considering the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, it's only plausible for White people.
White people are not tied to politics the same way people of color are, and thus they can choose when to push the boundaries of their political views and who to end relationships with.
To White people, including this author, politics are a debate or a mild entertainment. They become a hobby to be interested in politics and they believe political actions can only offend someone, not completely shape their lives.
White people have the choice to "be political" or ignore it completely. They could live their entire lives without dipping their toes into politics and absolutely nothing about their lives would be different.
As a result of institutionalized racism and a system built on White supremacy, people of color live out their political ideals daily. They benefit from what they believe in, but they also suffer from what others do not even bother to believe in. They have to fight extra hard just to be included in the political conversation when White people have complete access and often choose not to use it.
When I meet someone new on my college campus, a point of conversation is usually whether they are political or not. Often people say it's too exhausting to keep up with political news or they just don't care. If they don't see that it directly affects them, they won't get involved because they don't have to.
While the article had good intentions, it stank of White privilege. The ability to avoid political discussion to focus on baby Jesus and your racist family members? Believing politics are simply "provocative" and not a daily struggle for civil and economic rights? Thinking your desire to not associate with racist, homophobic, and xenophobic family members is a "personal agenda"?
White people believe there are "proper places and times for [political] discussions," as if it doesn't continue to affect people of color every second of their lives.
The author finishes with an encouragement to forget the "pointless debates" and enjoy your family at Christmas. Your family is your first contact as you grow up and you will forever be linked to them in some way. They influence you as much as you influence them. If you don't bring up these political conversations, when will our country ever grow? Where is the appropriate time to talk about politics? When White people feel good and ready to do it?
Bring up politics at your Christmas table and don't be afraid of hurting feelings. Changing our political atmosphere starts on a small scale and this suppression of political discussion is only going to tear us further apart.