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What to do if your family actually is like that 'SNL' sketch about Adele.

Sometimes 'Saturday Night Live' hits too close to home.

What to do if your family actually is like that 'SNL' sketch about Adele.

It's Thanksgiving ... during a dramatic election season ... right after a string of hot-button and highly polarizing news stories have made waves here in America.

You know what that means.


GIF via "The Office."

Your Thanksgiving has somewhere between ... oh, I'd say an 80-100% chance of featuring awkward-meets-passive-aggressive-meets-offensive remarks from loved ones this year. (Sorry.)

It's sort of a rule of thumb that at every Thanksgiving, the two topics most people agree should not be brought up — politics and religion — definitely will be brought up.

Will Donald Trump Make America Great Again™? Is Hillary's email scandal really a scandal? Is Larry David a better Bernie Sanders than Bernie Sanders? Do you have to pronounce the exclamation point when you mention Jeb! Bush? You better saddle up because those questions (and so many others) will without a doubt be voiced just as Cousin Jerry passes the green bean casserole.

This Thanksgiving family phenomenon was captured brilliantly (and hilariously) by "Saturday Night Live" over the weekend.

In the sketch, just as these arguments are peaking, a politically polarized family is able to find unity around the table thanks to the magic of "Hello" by Adele (the episode's musical guest).

GIFs via "Saturday Night Live."

As seen in the clip below, it's hysterical. But it also begs the question: How should I respond when my family makes absurd and offensive remarks that absolutely should not go unchecked?

Well, #1, remember: They're family. And you (probably) love them. Don't resort to any mean-spirited name-calling you'll regret by Black Friday. (Stay calm ... take deep breaths ... everything will be OK.)

And #2, be prepared. If the conversation goes there (and again, chances are it will), have the facts ready to unload. Because, as you know already, they're on your side.

Here's how to respond to the three outrageous remarks from the sketch that you might actually face on Thursday.

Juuust in case Thanksgiving dinner suddenly feels like a sketch comedy show.

1. "Why is it that your ... friends ... keep antagonizing the police?"

Oh, the good 'ole "Are cops racist?" debate. (I can already hear Aunt Mary explaining why #AllLivesMatter amongst the clatter of cutlery on fine china.)

If you have a family member who doesn't think racism plays a big role in our justice system — and if you're white, you probably do — you can use this powerful tool we have called data to make your point.

Here's what to use in response: Racial inequality exists in our justice system and law enforcement. No, that doesn't mean all cops are maliciously racist. But it does mean that implicit bias — subconsciously allowing stereotypes to affect our behavior — does affect all of us (cops or not).

In terms of police arrests, there's a "staggering disparity" between whites and blacks in America. As far as jail time? Black people are ordered significantly longer sentences than their white counterparts for committing the same crime and punished more severely when it comes to drug violations. All of this, compounded with the fact that black Americans are far more likely to be killed by police, sort of puts the "racism is dead" argument to bed.

So, of course, Aunt Mary, all lives matter. But because of far-reaching racial injustice throughout our society, it's important to specifically point out that black ones do, too.

2. "I heard the refugees are all ISIS in disguise."

OK, so Uncle Bob probably won't say something as outrageous as all refugees are members of ISIS. But you probably will hear something along the lines of, "We can't let 'em in because #NationalSecurity."

It's disappointing that this line of thinking has influenced several governors and presidential candidates on the subject because the facts don't really add up.

Here's what to use in response: America's vetting process for potential refugees is multilayered and rigorous (the White House doesn't just, you know, yell, "All aboard!" and close the door after the last person hops on an imaginary ship coming from the Middle East).

Six of the nine attackers in Paris identified so far are European nationals — not Syrian refugees.

The process, which takes more than a year (or often much longer) for the average applicant to complete, is comprised of background checks, in-person interviews, and medical evaluations. The process is halted or abandoned altogether if anything remotely indicating a red flag surfaces.

Furthermore, Syria's refugee crisis doesn't actually have much to do with the attacks in Paris ... like, at all. Six of the nine attackers identified so far are European nationals — not Syrian refugees.

And as Vox points out, it would have been (much) easier for the terrorists in Paris to enter the U.S. posing as tourists than as Syrians escaping war in their country.

Bottom line: The process to screen refugees has been thorough and effective. We shouldn't stop helping those in need simply out of fear.

3. "There weren't any [people who are transgender] around when I was younger."

Nope, nope, nope.

Unfortunately, the idea that being transgender is some modern-day invention is nothing new. But it's certainly wrong.

Here's what to use in response: Being trans can be tough. You face higher rates of discrimination in housing and employment and are generally more at risk of violence. Sadly, our collective intolerance has resulted in an alarmingly high suicide rate among people who are transgender.

It wasn't until pretty recently that mainstream America even began discussing these issues in any substantial way. And a lack of social awareness in generations past meant being transgender wasn't even a thing to be cognizant of to older Americans.

"Although the word 'transgender' and our modern definition of it only came into use in the late 20th century," the Human Rights Campaign explains, "people who would fit under this definition have existed in every culture throughout recorded history."

It's only because of relatively recent strides in visibility that more people are becoming aware of trans issues and knowingly befriending folks who are transgender.

Just because you don't realize something exists doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

So there you have it. When life hands you ignorant remarks from family members, make fact-based arguments (in a calm voice) and put their comments in their place.

But if all else fails ... there's always Adele.

Check out the entire sketch below:

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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