How to Handle MAGA Relatives at the Family Dinner You Shouldn’t Even Be Having
Photo: Granger Wootz/Getty Images

How to Handle MAGA Relatives at the Family Dinner You Shouldn’t Even Be Having

Don’t go home for…

I already tried to tell y’all that a Thanksgiving gathering isn’t worth a tragic death by Christmas, so the best idea this year is to stay the fuck home and make your own turkey. Turkey isn’t that bad if you inject it with Cajun seasoning or ask some Black man over 40 in the South to deep-fry it for you. But the problem isn’t the bird — it’s the people foolishly gathering around this week to eat it.

As the latest travel reports show, many won’t be opting for cooking at home or ordering takeout: Americans are flying at pre-plague levels.

Y’all are really going home to honor a holiday that began in genocide by spreading germs in the middle of a plague. The irony is noted, but we as a nation could really stand to fall back on the needless death. I’m not here to lecture about those choices anymore, though. I wish you all the best and pray you don’t have to end up watching a bunch of Zoom funerals next month.

Usually, frustrating Republican family members are only a problem for White folks, but that’s no longer a burden confined to people obsessed with casseroles.

Still, as long as many of you will be flying home anyway, I might as well offer some guidance on how to deal with a potential problem some of you might be facing in this year of endless hell: the creeping MAGAfication of your relatives.

Usually, frustrating Republican family members are only a problem for White folks, but thanks to Fox News, conservative-leaning media companies like Sinclair following in their footsteps by monopolizing the local news media market, tech companies not doing enough to stop the spread of disinformation, and Donald Trump’s inexplicable celebrity, it’s no longer a burden confined to people obsessed with casseroles (especially if there are green beans and shit in it).

Based on various surveys and exit polling, Trump’s improvement among Black voters has ranged from roughly two to as much as four percentage points. And while the increased support has been largely overstated by the Trump reelection campaign, separate data has confirmed a modest but noticeable bump in Trump voter support in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Cleveland. Rappers like Ice Cube and producers like Polow Da Don don’t represent the general population, but as far as the Black men without a college degree demo goes, they’re merely famous examples of reports of Black men of a similar education backgrounds embracing Trump in higher numbers than 2016.

I guess the same now goes for Waka Flocka’s mama, manager Deb Antney. While I was watching a recent episode of Braxton Family Values, Antney broke my heart during a promo for the upcoming season of Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta, declaring she “fucks with Trump.” I don’t know why, but I expected more from the person who once managed Gucci Mane and Nicki Minaj.

The disappointment spreads to the fancier aunties, too. Former President Obama may have placed jazz singer Cassandra Wilson on his 2020 summer playlist earlier this year, but she is actively on Twitter championing the man who helped mainstream birtherism. When a fan tweeted that he was deeply saddened by her posting and couldn’t listen to her music the same way again, Wilson wrote back, “Thank you.”

Wilson’s timeline reminds me of the Trump-loving feeds I now see on Facebook from Black people I used to think knew better. Or the friends who have shared screengrabs with me to complain of their embarrassing Trump-loving kin. If you have a reckless deplorable who you’re related to by blood or marriage, you have my condolences.

Every year, content is produced around this problem of how to gauge relatives when politics comes up, but most of it sounds painfully unrealistic, like designating rooms specifically for politics, listening carefully to what a Trumpist has to say, or having compassion for their point of view.

If you were dealing with sensible people, this could all theoretically work. But Trump supporters are in a cult. Last I heard, that cult thinks the election has been stolen from Trump by way of some voting machine hack from a Venezuelan dictator. You can’t have rational conversations with people like that.

Nor can you expect much from Black folks who support a reelection campaign strategy that’s been trying to nullify the votes of Black people in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee. And don’t even get me started on that other goofy shit they say. “Democratic plantation”?

I like to respect my elders, but if your auntie and uncle are the Black folks I saw hanging a Trump flag outside their home in a Black neighborhood a month ago, they can be traded for a bag of sunflower seeds. The same goes for your dumbass brother, sister, and cousins.

If you find yourself in proximity to that person this week or at any point during the holiday season, remember that it’s a plague and you don’t have to suffer more than you already have. I know the president-elect wants unity, but Joe Biden won’t be there when the bullshit starts. It’s up to you, beloved.

Some people like to immediately curse out their Trump-loving relatives when it comes up. Others prefer a stern warning. I prefer the former, because I love profanity, but I respect other folks’ lifestyle choices.

If Uncle Isaiah Washington, Auntie Tina Campbell, or cousin Wayne, Cube, or Kanye brings up that bullshit, give them the choice: They can be silent on the subject or starve. I suppose this is my childhood trauma speaking, but there’s always the option of cutting them off. Family or not, putting Candace Ow**s in your feed is unforgivable. If that sounds too harsh, you still better find a way to convey how fed up you are — because if they’re MAGA, then no matter their background, they won’t be able to shut the fuck up about that stupid, crazy man should the subject come up.

I hope if you’re put in that impossible position, you’ll do whatever it is necessary to shut them up. If you’re going to gamble with your life, you can at least enjoy your evening while you do it.