A nationwide network of white Americans hoping to weed out support for white supremacy has set up a free texting service, the SURJ Holiday Mobile Hotline, to help people respond and report racist Thanksgiving conversations. 

Last year, the Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) network set up a similar service to text “SOS” in case unruly family members or friends attempted to bring up their support of then-President Elect Donald Trump or bigoted conversation topics. This Thanksgiving and holiday season, the group has expanded the free texting service to call out any openly racist white family members disrupting Thanksgiving dinner. The service hopes to "break silence about race in this country," according to the group website.

SURJ also offers a Thanksgiving placemat showing common questions, responses or historical lessons for topics such as "Whose land are you on?" and ways to provide rebuttals to relatives telling "feel-good Thanksgiving myths." This year’s service includes the ability to simply text emojis to the 82623 number or “SOS.” A reply list immediately responds for potential topics and options. Screenshot_20171121-151652 The SURJ hotline provides choosable talking points potentially destroying a family dinner table. Photo: Screenshot

“Welcome to SURJ periodic mobile updates. Respond to our next msg for holiday support. Msg & data rates may apply. Text HELP 4 info; STOP 2 end,” reads the initial text response.

“SURJ: Select a topic

Immigration/DACA

National anthem protests

Origins of Thanksgiving

Trump isn’t racist

More options”

The Louisville, Ky.,-based organization says they want to offer “ways to help support white folks in having tough conversations with other white folks” at family parties or other potentially heated holiday get-togethers.

“Racism exists because white folks avoid these conversations,” said Heather Cronk, a co-director for SURJ, to Splinter News. “I believe my family and friends are worth fighting for to be anti-racists,” Cronk says. “I really believe in their ability to change.”

Last year’s more Trump-focused hotline advised those interested to text the phrase SOS (without quotation marks) to 82623, where SURJ staffers were available for short, one-to-one coaching sessions over the phone.



“It’s vital for white people to break white silence about the danger of Trump’s presidency,” the website reads. “We’ll make sure you have the tools you need to have those conversations over the holidays!”