If you dread Thanksgiving a little every year because of that one conservative uncle who makes you want to slingshot mashed potatoes in his face, then this year will be a doozy. Amid the current global tensions over terrorism and one of the worst refugee crises in history, your right-wing relative — or bless your soul, relatives — will have plenty to rant about. If you'd rather not hear their diatribes on why the U.S. should refuse to accept refugees, then you're going to need one hell of an argument. That's where John Oliver comes in. Being the savior that he is, John Oliver made the best case for refugees and Thanksgiving, and it's all you'll need to shut down conservative uncle Bill.
Before presenting Oliver's brilliant argument, here's what you'll need to brace yourself for. Jumping on the Islamophobic, xenophobic, and all-around bigoted views of conservatives like Donald Trump, some of your family members might make the following points:
- Accepting refugees will put America at risk for terrorism
- Why should we share our resources with them?
- There are plenty of other countries they can go to
- It's not our fault their native countries are so unstable
Even without Oliver's wisdom, you already have an arsenal of arguments at your disposal to counter these horribly self-serving points, and they're all fine and dandy, but chances are, knowing how stubborn your relatives can be, they'll fall on deaf ears. If you really want to make an impact this year and make uncle Bill eat his words, arm yourself with Oliver's argument.
During his Last Week Tonight segment last Sunday, Oliver addressed the refugee crisis again and made an incredibly logical and morally sound case for why the U.S. should accept Syrian refugees. He delivered very practical points ("This is the most rigorous vetting anyone has to face before entering this county") sprinkled with some snark ("Look, it is difficult to vet people coming out of a war zone, but it's not like we're just letting anyone in. We are the United States of America, not Arizona State."), but what he said in relation to Thanksgiving was the real kicker that will render your relatives speechless.
There was only one time in American history when the fear of refugees wiping everyone out did actually come true, and we'll all be sitting around a table celebrating it on Thursday.
Boom. Do as Oliver suggests and rip off a turkey leg and drop it like it's a microphone. The absolute irony of your conservative family members griping about refugees wanting to come onto our land as they sit around and celebrate a centuries-old tradition started by a bunch of refugees coming onto new land is just painful. But the irony is also laced with a much darker contrast.
As the U.S. discusses rigorously vetting refugees who are escaping war and persecution in order to let them in, 500 years ago Christopher Columbus and the rest of the European settlers made America their new home with no struggle from the native inhabitants, and then they went on to persecute and kill those native inhabitants. But that's not all. Then the Pilgrims started an annual holiday to celebrate a successful season of draining the natives' resources, an annual holiday that uncle Bill now uses as a platform to complain about today's refugees.
Yeah, you let that one sink in, uncle Bill.