Thanksgiving editorial preps students for 'conservative uncle'

The University of Florida’s student newspaper has some advice for students on dealing with questions from their metaphorical “conservative uncle” over Thanksgiving.

In addition to the normal questions about schoolwork and life on campus, The Independent Florida Alligator predicts family members will also ask those who have been away at college whether the “liberal Kool-Aid” has “brainwashed you into committing moral suicide yet.”

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When such topics come up, the paper advises that students simply deflect them with a non sequitur, such as accusing Rasputin of sexual assault.

“You know your family is going to bring up the recent sexual allegations against literally every man who has ever breathed air,” the editorial notes. “If they try to defend any of those men—like Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, or Kevin Spacey—remind them Rasputin probably groped a nun or something, too.”

The editorial also suggests that students “explain to your conservative uncle exactly how dire seuxal [sic] assault is and how prevalent it is on college campuses” if the uncle attempts to stick up for those prominent liberals, reminding them that “every awkward conversation can become a teaching moment.”

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The editors also anticipate that family members are “without a doubt going to ask about Richard Spencer,” the white supremacist agitator who recently generated national controversy by delivering a speech on UF’s campus, where he was met by protesters and opposed by student organizations such as the Alligator.

When asked why students are “giving him all this attention” rather than “just leave him alone and let him speak to no one,” as the school’s president advised, the editors urge students to recite a “brief dialogue” they concocted to defuse the conversation.

When asked why they didn’t simply ignore Spencer, students are instructed to respond that “Rasputin may or may not have groped a nun.” If family members press the matter further, the editorial suggests telling them that “More recent historians argue Rasputin’s allegations are blown out of proportion, that many of them are rumors propagated by contemporary Russian nobles. But he still probably maybe groped that nun that one time.”

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Answering the question of whether they “have a boyfriend/ girlfriend yet” is much easier, the editorial maintains, saying students have only to explain why the very question betrays an uninformed perspective.

“First, you explain to them the myth of the gender binary, then you explain the different types of sexuality and how they can manifest,” the paper explains. “Let them know not everyone is looking for a healthy relationship all the time and cite, for example, the chances are good that Rasputin groped a nun at some point during his time in the Russian court.”

When it comes to their opinions on President Trump, however, the Alligator advises students to resist the temptation to “rattle off every single thing wrong with his presidency and his face,” saying it is better to keep discussion of that topic as brief as possible.

“It’s not worth the debate, and if you dig yourself a hole you’re not getting out,” the editorial warns. “Just state the facts—that it’s speculated that Rasputin more likely than not groped a nun—and move on.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @danweldonfb