Welcome to Thanksgiving: 'The Neighborhood' Equates ‘Conservative’ with ‘Racist’

On Monday night, The Neighborhood on CBS had a special racist Thanksgiving episode.

In the episode, titled “Welcome to Thanksgiving,” Dave Johnson (Max Greenfield) invites his next-door neighbors, the Butlers, over for Thanksgiving. Both families are excited until Dave finds out that his mother, Paula (Marilu Henner), is coming from Michigan. Upon learning the news he decides he has to uninvite the Butlers because he's worried his mom will say something offensive or embarrassing. "Remember when she went off on that lady about how we need to 'Build the wall?'" he asks his wife.

According to Dave, "she can be pretty conservative"… but to the Butlers, that is a synonym for racist.

 

 

Tina: Wait a minute. (Laughing) Wait a minute. Oh, yeah. Hold up. What do you mean, you're uninviting us?

Calvin: Come on, it doesn't matter, Tina. You know? We already hugged it out and everything; a deal's a deal.

Tina:Oh, no. Wait, wait, wait. Wait, where you going? No, no. I want to know what happened.

Dave: Well, as it turns out, my mom is surprising us and flying in from Michigan and, uh... (Chuckles) ...She can be kind of a handful.

Tina: What do you mean, she's a handful?

Calvin: Now, Tina, Tina. The lady's a handful. What else do you need to know? Come on. Well, look, it just, it's... You know, she's from a small town, she's kind of old-school, she can be pretty conservative.

Tina: Oh, she's racist.

Dave: No, she-she's not racist, she just says things most people know not to because they're horribly offensive.


So the logical deduction from the fact that she’s "pretty conservative" is that she’s a racist?

Meanwhile, Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) gives it right back, saying he doesn't care "what your backwoods, Whitebread, hillbilly-ass mama has to say." The Butlers decide they will attend the Johnsons' Thanksgiving anyway.

On Thanksgiving, things don't go so well when Paula assumes that one of the Butlers' sons works for a rap label and went to school on an athletic scholarship. But everything really falls apart when the subject turns to car maintenance and Paula uses the term "grease monkey."

When Dave tries to explain to his mom that what she said is apparently offensive, she says what we’re all thinking about sensitivity and political correctness.

 

 

Calvin: You need to stay out of this, Dave. We're just having a conversation. She just saying what she thinks.

Dave: Yes, but what she thinks is awful.

Paula: I have a right to my opinions. Don't talk about me like that.

Dave: Oh, you mean like the way you talk about other people? It's like you don't care if what you say hurts them.

Calvin: You know, that's exactly what I was trying to say, Paula.

Paula: Everyone's just so sensitive these days.

Calvin: You know, I can actually agree with you about that.

Dave: Yes, Mom, it's everyone else's fault for being so sensitive.

Paula: It's probably from teaching empathy.

Dave: I don't understand, Mom, how someone who I love so much, who I know deep down is a good person, can say such ignorant and embarrassing things as you.

Paula: I'm sorry you feel that way about your mother. 

Of course, if you watched the episode you know Dave's mom isn't exactly a shining example of balancing the truth with kindness. But isn’t that the goal of Hollywood? To make all conservatives look insensitive, foolish, and rude, and paint everyone with a broad, racist brush. What a way to celebrate Thanksgiving!

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