The holidays can be a scary time for many badgers. The sudden loss of freedom and having to pretend you are still the golden child despite the weight of sin you now carry can be unbearable. Most terrifying of all, there is always the crushing fear of racist commentary given unprompted by relatives. UW-Madison freshman Annie Sandgrew gives a harrowing story of one such encounter.
As the Sandsgrew family sat down to their Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Annie’s Uncle Mike, a 54-year-old engineer, must have gotten the feeling that all middle-aged men get in a family dinner setting: the need to share his opinion.
“The moment I heard him start to speak, my mouth went dry, I could feel the pit in my stomach grow with every syllable,” said Annie. “I started to tune out, pretend it wasn’t happening, but then he said it―’Immigrant’―and I knew there was no going back.”
Uncle Mike went on to explain his belief that Pilgrims, or “real Americans” as he referred to them, were in no way, shape, or form, immigrants. Attempting to argue that Pilgrims were completely different from modern people seeking asylum and a better life, Uncle Mike just repeated the classic Thanksgiving racist uncle rhetoric.
Annie claims she survived the rest of the meal by staring intensely at her mashed potatoes, using her flowing tears to salt the bland dish.
“Really, being forced to deal with racist relatives is just about the worst experience I can imagine. I cannot think of anything more tragic or unjust than having my week-long break of sleep and eating ruined by the comments my uncle makes about people who have dealt with famine and the horrors of war. It's so unfair. What did I do to deserve this?”
Annie used the rest of her weekend of white privilege tweeting about the exhaustion of dealing with racist family members making her suburban life miserable.