Ever had to correct a racist relative? Here's a handy guide on how to do it.

You're minding your own business, scrolling the feed, liking pics of toddlers at the pumpkin patch, and suddenly there it is:

"I'm glad that illegals are facing consequences! Illegal immigration is ILLEGAL! I can't afford my doctor bills, why should I pay theirs?"

Oh. Hi, Aunt Linda.

GIF from "Cinderella."


You know it's your job to collect her, right? (That's "collect" in casual vernacular meaning "make her stop" or "go pick her up and get her under control.") You're supposed to blow your ally whistle and snatch Aunt Linda so she can't do anymore harm.

But then this debate happens in your head:

She's wrong and she needs to know how wrong she is!

Whoa whoa whoa. She's from a different time.

Tell her off, right there on her Facebook page!

I don't want to offend her, though. And hey, everybody starts somewhere.

That's white supremacy talking! Unfriend her! No mercy!

Be kind — try to understand her point of view!









It's a tough call. You know you should deal with Aunt Linda. But how?

How do you wade through the swamp of warring voices in your head? How do you collect Aunt Linda?

Fear not: We're here to guide you through it. Stop chewing your fingernails, and let's get to work.

1. Know your goal.

First, let's redefine "collect."

It's not your job to save Aunt Linda's soul. It is your job to make her uncomfortable about casually demonizing immigrants on the internet.

When you collect folks, don't worry about being perfect. Your goal is to speak up, challenge racist ideas, make mistakes, learn from them, and keep going.

Think of yourself as a human Taboo buzzer when a friend, relative, or back-asswards stranger strays into unacceptable territory. It's not OK, Aunt Linda!

2. Be patient. Invest in the "half-wokes."

It takes time to help people empathize. Don't expect a sudden transformation.

Aunt Linda might not change today, but guess who else read her post? A whole crew of half-woke white people who see that her post was cruel and racist but also don't fully understand the politics of why. They have good intentions but have not yet learned that intentions don't really matter unless they act on them.

Invest your time and energy in those people. Some of them will get defensive and storm off. But others will grow. Remember that when you reply to Aunt Linda, those people are reading (and learning).

3. Get angry.

Yes. Aunt Linda has just said something really offensive. You get to be pissed off about that!

Anger is the appropriate emotional response to witnessing the systematic and interpersonal dehumanization, humiliation, and violence against other human beings.

4. But don't get too angry.

Boy oh boy, does it feels good to lay into a racist without mercy! The problem is that's not your anger.

You're angry with Aunt Linda on behalf of other people — the people of color she wants to deport who have to hear her say "all lives matter." And the madder you get, the better you feel. You are genuinely mad, but be honest:  You're also kind of impressed with yourself.

Recognize what exactly you're doing here. You're stealing anger rooted in someone else's suffering and harvesting its fruit to feed YOUR pride. If you're getting angry about other people's pain, then your anger had better be serving those people, not yourself. So yes, get angry. But never forget whose anger it is.

5. Hit the books.

The tools of your trade are facts, stats, knowledge, and more facts. Here's an example of a helpful response:

"Aunt Linda, it's a common assumption that undocumented immigrants drain public resources. But actually, most undocumented immigrants pay taxes and contribute to social security, are employed, and aren't even eligible for most social safety nets. Check out this article: 'Do Undocumented Immigrants Overuse Government Benefits?' Or this one: 'Immigration Myths Debunked.'"

Not only will you be rooting your argument in fact, but you'll also be sharing resources with those other conversation watchers who can turn around and share them with their Aunt Lindas, too.

Include a couple of salient details in your comment; don't just post a link as your entire response. And never forget to check your sources.

6. Assume everyone is capable of learning.

Many of us white allies make excuses for people who say racist things — "She's so sheltered" or "He grew up in the South." These excuses help you blame a person's racist actions on something else, effectively claiming they're irreversibly racist. Not only is that untrue, but it says something about you, too.

What you might not realize is that you're side-stepping and, worse, enabling. Don't get it twisted: Making excuses for racists turns you into an apologist.

Every person who can type something racist on the internet is also capable of typing something not racist on the internet. Stop inventing excuses for them.

7. Remember you're not anyone's hero.

Collecting people is highly visible and often dramatic. As these conversations get heated, responses get more poetic, powerful, visceral, and staunch. Sometimes you'll type or say something transcendently awesome, and you'll feel like anchorman Ron Burgundy.

GIF from "Anchorman."

When you catch yourself trying to get in the spotlight, stop.

"It's obvious to everyone, it creates aggravating extra work for the people of color you want to help, and it's a transparent bid for everyone to recognize that you are one of the good ones," explains Mia McKenzie of Black Girl Dangerous.

Stay focused. Your job isn't to show off how great an ally you are; it's to show Aunt Linda that what she said was wrong and to protect the people she's hurting.

Along those lines, if you're ever in that conversation with Aunt Linda and your friend Ana hops on to offer her perspective as a daughter of immigrants, your job just changed. Your turn to talk has ended; you are now the "liker" of everything Ana says and the bodyguard who protects Ana's space to speak.

Remember, you are not the hero, and this isn't about you. Stay focused.

8. Be brave, and don't give up.

If you're doing this right, Aunt Linda will get mad at you, you will lose friends, and you will get a reputation for being an evangelical anti-racist. But if you are as anti-racist as you like to think you are, then you won't be scared of the consequences of speaking up about it.

You still have it easier than people of color because you still get to choose when and where you engage in conversations about race. If you're tired, imagine how exhausted people of color must be. If you feel hopeless, keep going as if you had no other choice because the people you're fighting for do not.

Show up. Speak up. Go collect your racist aunt. That's what integrity looks like.

This story was originally published on Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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