I eat a Thanksgiving meal two times a year. The more traditional one is with my family on Thanksgiving Day. We eat all of the usual foods and watch the Detroit Lions find creative new ways to embarrass themselves on national television.
The other meal takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving. People from my church make a bunch of food and we take it to the Jackson Housing Authority. We don’t just serve food to our friends over there. We eat it with them. It’s one of my favorite meals of the year.
Most of the people at the housing authority are black. Most of the folks at my church are white. But, despite the best efforts of the professional agitators in our culture, we all get along with each other just fine.
In that small community room and the garage connected to it, people are just eating. There’s really nothing complex about it. It’s not a summit on race relations. No one stands up and apologizes for something terrible that happened 200 years ago. I don’t even preach a sermon. Yet somehow, we all get along with each other just fine.
There are no safe zones in the room where we eat together. There are no debates. There is a lot of laughter. And eating. There’s something about sharing food from the same pot that makes you put aside your differences. It’s hard to hate each other when you both have potato salad on your chin. During this meal, a lot of us have potato salad on our chins and we all get along with each other just fine.
Our Thanksgiving meals probably won’t do much to fix the racial chaos that is happening in our country. It won’t do anything to stop whatever racial slurs may have been said at some college campus. It won’t keep rich kids from going on hunger strikes. But while we’re eating that meal in Jackson, Georgia, we’re all getting along with each other just fine.
For one night at least, the racial turmoil we see on the news is exposed for the foolishness that it really is while we all laugh and eat together. And during that time, we’re all reminded that racial healing will never come through hashtag activism, guilt trips, racial superiority or government programs.
And during that one night, there is no Black Lives Matter, no KKK and no news media.
And we all get along with each other just fine.