When Our Loved Ones Hold Racist Beliefs

Spending time with loved ones is often one of the highlights of the holiday season. At the same time, these gatherings can involve tension for some families, especially when contentious topics of conversation arise, namely race and racism. Navigating uncomfortable interactions with a loved one who holds racist beliefs can be stressful, but with some preparation, presents an opportunity for us to improve the lives of marginalized peoples by addressing ignorance within our families over the holiday season.

The guide below comes from the White Ally Toolkit and outlines an approach one can take when engaging with someone who may question whether racism against people of color is an issue worthy of attention. It is known as the R.A.C.E Method.

Expanded explanations of each step to the R.A.C.E method can be found here.

When tensions arise, it is helpful to redirect the focus of the conversation to what brings your loved ones together, as opposed to what divides them. Approaching these kinds of interactions can feel like a balancing act – you may know that it is worthwhile to call something out while not wanting your loved one to feel called out.

In the coming days, we will explore ways to approach tense familial situations in a way that leaves all parties feeling heard and understood.

-Your Friends at Undoing Racism