Racism in my hometown

I want to share a story with you this evening.

I happened to be at a local bar this weekend.  I was in a group of people that I know, but don’t know really well, so we usually don’t get into discussions about politics or religion or anything else very deep.

Anyway, I realized that one woman in the group was getting irritated at one of the guys because he was texting her jokes that she considered racist.  I volunteered to make the call whether the jokes were truly racist.  Why?  Well, partly because I like to be annoying, but mainly to try and make a point to the jokester.

I started out by giving the guy some advice.  “Imagine that everyone on that side of the bar is black (or African American).  If you’re whispering the jokes to me, most likely you know yourself that they are racist.”  The jokester came back with something I’d heard before, “I tell my black friends these jokes and they all laugh, so I can’t be a racist.”.

Well, needless to say, he let fly with about 10 jokes in a row, all centered around our new President-elect.  Several involved laziness stereotypes, a few even mentioned lynching or swinging from trees.  How this guy could possibly think his jokes were funny or non-racist, I can’t imagine.  Yeah, he’s not a sheet-wearing cross-burner…  he’s just a guy telling jokes that make a group of people feel like they aren’t wanted and don’t belong.  Wait- isn’t that pretty close to the same thing?

2 thoughts on “Racism in my hometown”

  1. Heh, I was playing at the time, so I didn’t catch any of the jokes, but I heard your part. I noticed he didn’t start reading them out loud to the whole bar. If he’s telling the truth, it makes me wonder: do his black friends just pretend it doesn’t bother them?

  2. That’s one of the things that I find curious about how this all works. I was raised, as you know, to turn the other cheek, don’t let anyone “get my goat”, etc…

    So, myself being rather “calorie challenged”, if I were in a room full of skinny people and someone told a fat joke, I’d probably laugh right along with it. Should I be offended and let loose with righteous indignation about how I’m a person too regardless of how round I am? I don’t know, to me that would be kinda silly. I’d be letting someone else get under my skin, and then everyone would know how “sensitive” I am, and honestly, that would probably put a damper on any other joke-telling.

    So do his 1 or 2 black friends laugh? Maybe, but I doubt they really think it’s all that funny, and I doubt that they consider themselves to be his friends.

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