Poll: Should "racist" jokes be acceptable?
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Should "racist" jokes be acceptable?
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18-09-2013, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 04:33 PM by Hughsie.)
Should "racist" jokes be acceptable?
This oughta be contentious, it was inspired by the exchange between TBD and muffs in the CC. Should so-called racist jokes be acceptable?

Personally, I don't see what the big problem is. I make racist jokes. I make them about all manner of people, including myself (I'm white, I can't dance, that's life). I've never really understood why people object so much (other than they are taught they should and blindly go along with it).

Firstly, a "racist" joke is a joke that plays upon a stereotype regarding the colour of a person's skin, people deem this wrong. Yet jokes that play on a stereotype about a person's nationality are deemed comedy gold. I don't see why there is a difference. In some circles it's decided whether a joke is acceptable based solely on which nationality is the butt of the joke. Jokes about American's are hilarious, jokes about Africans are offensive. Ironically, this is the most racist approach of all. People in this bracket are basing their opinion of what is and isn't acceptable on the colour of a person's skin. This is far more racist than any joke.

Secondly, do people not understand the concept of a joke? It is not a statement of belief, it is not a declaration of viewpoint. It is a statement that tries to use some form of wit for comedic effect. They are not supposed to be taken seriously, and anyone who can't see that probably shouldn't be watching comedy in the first place.

Anyone else got any views on this?

PS. The poll is a private one so no non-FT members will be able to see what you vote.

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Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
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Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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18-09-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
I don't know - it might be up to each individual to find a racist joke acceptable or not. As well... the person telling it might be on their own. Wink

Should sexist jokes be acceptable? Should jokes about handicap people be acceptable? I have to wonder if you meant to ask, "should racist jokes be considered offensive?", rather than "should they be acceptable".

I think anyone can tell an offensive joke and I just might laugh... although, I may not necessarily find the joke to be acceptable.

Alan Davies was watching a game show where the contestant was asked to name a dangerous race. (Alan was waiting for an answer like Le Mans, or something) The contestant responded, "the Arabs".
I laughed my ass off.... terribly offensive idea going on there but... I laughed my ass off.

I do have to say that I learn a lot about a person and myself when someone is telling a joke I find offensive. So I really don't want to overrule anyone's ability to tell one.

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18-09-2013, 01:15 PM
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
I voted no.

I wrote up a long response as to why, but maybe I can say it more simply by saying that "If I would tell it to a person of that group and not be afraid of them punching me in the throat or thinking I am a racist, then it is okay"

Or replace 'racist' with 'homophobe' or a bigot in general.

'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?' —Stephen Fry

^
I love that quote and think he probably means it to reflect less on racism, but I won't try to put words in his mouth.


The last thing I would say is, if a buddy of mine came up to me and told me a racist joke, my taking offense to it would be entirely predicated upon what I knew about his views on race. Some buddies of mine have never given me pause to think they are racist, and I would consider it to be a joke with innocent intentions. But if my father-in-law told me a racist joke, I would almost certainly not find it funny. That is primarily because I would not be able to figure out if he were serious or not (even if he said it as a joke).

Maybe that is the biggest problem with jokes about race. How can you discern whether the person is serious, or joking?

The issue came up with Muffs because I don't know that he isn't actually joke during some of the things he says or other people say are jokes.

If the Grand Wizard of the KKK came up to you, and told you a racist joke. Would that be a funny joke and socially acceptable? Or would it just be racist (regardless of whether or not it actually invoked a laugh from you)?

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18-09-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
I just thought of a simpler way to make my point.

In telling a racist joke, how does the person on the other end tell the difference between a person telling a racist joke and a racist person telling a joke?

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18-09-2013, 01:23 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 01:27 PM by I Am.)
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
My problem with most stereotype-based humor is, it's not very funny. It's based on ideas we're all familiar with, that are only dimly, distantly true.

Much better is humor that shows us something very true, that we haven't seen before. That's what made Bill Hicks and George Carlin so brilliant. For living comedians, I'd say David Cross is among the best out there.

So, I think racist jokes should be funny, before we talk about them being acceptable. If you can find one that's as good as "A Place For My Stuff" or "The Miracle of Childbirth," go ahead and tell it.

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18-09-2013, 01:32 PM
Re: RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
(18-09-2013 01:23 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I just thought of a simpler way to make my point.

In telling a racist joke, how does the person on the other end tell the difference between a person telling a racist joke and a racist person telling a joke?

At what point in the joke they laugh.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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18-09-2013, 01:34 PM
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
(18-09-2013 01:32 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(18-09-2013 01:23 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I just thought of a simpler way to make my point.

In telling a racist joke, how does the person on the other end tell the difference between a person telling a racist joke and a racist person telling a joke?

At what point in the joke they laugh.

At what point in the joke the person telling the joke laughs?

(I'm not entirely sure you were being serious)

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18-09-2013, 02:02 PM
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
Quote:Jokes about American's are hilarious, jokes about Africans are offensive.

That's because Americans owned Africans. You and I are white, so nothing anybody can call us, even the most offensive racial epithet like "Cracker" carries any weight. I try to remember that I'll never know what it feels like to have skin color that not long ago meant I was legally treated as livestock.

So, I try to avoid them just because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, unless it's somebody I know really well. My business partner is a jew, so between us we tell jew jokes because we know there's no offense intended or taken. But I wouldn't tell them to somebody I wasn't close with.
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18-09-2013, 02:14 PM
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
(18-09-2013 02:02 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:Jokes about American's are hilarious, jokes about Africans are offensive.

That's because Americans owned Africans. You and I are white, so nothing anybody can call us, even the most offensive racial epithet like "Cracker" carries any weight. I try to remember that I'll never know what it feels like to have skin color that not long ago meant I was legally treated as livestock.

So, I try to avoid them just because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, unless it's somebody I know really well. My business partner is a jew, so between us we tell jew jokes because we know there's no offense intended or taken. But I wouldn't tell them to somebody I wasn't close with.

My ancestors are German, if someone called me a Nazi I would be pretty goddamn offended.


I completely concur with you about a general negative term for white people not existing and I am glad you mention that cracker simply isn't one. Thumbsup

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18-09-2013, 02:24 PM
RE: Should "racist" jokes acceptable?
It depends on the joke. Some stereotype jokes are hilarious, some are plain boring (which is worse than offensive in my opinion).

It takes a good comedian (not necessarily a professional one) to make racism work in jokes, if people laugh then it's ok, if they get offended, then you're doing it wrong.

Political correctness can't be used to control comedy, because comedy has as much political and social gravitation as correctness, maybe even more. So saying racist jokes are forbidden is making racism as whole invisible in an environment where people's ideas are most vulnerable (it's really easy to convince somebody of anything when they're laughing about it), that's counter-productive...

So yes, racist jokes should be acceptable, they also should be good jokes, otherwise is just useless.

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